As Memorial Day approaches, several U.S. veterans from the special operations community and beyond are praising an organization that helped them transition to the civilian work and succeed after knowing nothing but military life for decades.
Yuma Barnett of Georgia went through The Honor Foundation’s program, telling Fox News Digital this week that it would not be “an overstatement to say that it changed my life.”
Based in San Diego, the organization provides a valuable opportunity for numerous American veterans who have served in U.S. Special Forces. With their extensive military backgrounds, these veterans possess valuable skills that can be effectively transitioned into successful civilian careers.
Fox News noted:
The national nonprofit has multiple locations and a digital presence to serve America’s former military all over the country.
Barnett, a husband, father of four and entrepreneur, said he learned about the program through colleagues who were also transitioning out of the service when he was — transitioning specifically out of the Special Ops world.
“We provide a clear process for professional development and a diverse ecosystem of world-class support and technology,” the group says on its website.
“Every step is dedicated to preparing outstanding men and women to continue to realize their maximum potential during and after their service career,” it adds.
Barnett now owns Barnett Multimedia, which provides photography, videography, custom art, and live streaming for various clients.
He told the outlet that previously, he left the military in 2004 but then went back in after a short stint as a civilian.
“I had such a terrible transition” the first time around, he said, “that I knew that the second time, I had to do something more to be successful on the other side of the uniform.”
“I wanted to go through The Honor Foundation’s program so that I could set myself up for greater success this time,” he said when he left the military for good.
When he got into the program “and saw what it was all about — it’s not an overstatement to say it changed my life,” he said.
He told the outlet he grew up in New Mexico “on a cattle ranch, in the middle of nowhere.” He added that he went into the Army “straight out of high school,” he said. “So I was used to being part of a team. In high school, I was part of a team, the basketball team. Then, when I joined the military, I was a part of team” for more than two decades.
When he left the military on May 1, 2022, “it just ended” suddenly. “I was no longer part of a team anymore.”
Like so many other former members of the military who have led a regimented life, he suddenly found himself in the civilian world without any real direction and all alone.
“When you leave the Special Operations world, they take your badge away, you leave and you walk out the door — you can’t even get back in the building anymore,” he said.
As a result, “I went to The Honor Foundation for help with the transition. And while they say it’s a transition program — at the end of the day, it’s really a life-changing program. It helped me understand who I was without the uniform.”
It’s different because “they hold their cohort members accountable.” He said, “if you don’t show up for class, if you don’t participate, if you don’t do the work — they’re not going to let you graduate from the program.”
THF is thrilled to announce its expansion to Florida this fall! Two new locations, near Eglin Air Force Base and Tampa, will be powered in part by THF’s partner, @wwp and help expand THF’s offerings to serve the U.S. Special Operations Forces in those areas. #furthertogether pic.twitter.com/SsTh1oYez2
— The Honor Foundation (@HonorInstitute) June 13, 2022
Matt Stevens, CEO of The Honor Foundation and a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, told Fox News: “The one thing I want people to know about The Honor Foundation is that our impact isn’t limited to the program we provide to the service members who are transitioning out of their military posts.”
Instead, he said, “We’re strengthening their families, we’re infusing our communities with servant leaders — and we’re enriching the workforce with talented entrepreneurs, executives, creatives, and visionaries.”
The program “creates a sequence of positive change all around the people we serve — and it is a direct reflection of their special military service and the hard work they do with THF to find a clear, impactful way forward,” he said.
Stevens served as a U.S. Navy SEAL for 26 years, transitioning out in 2017.
In an email correspondence with Fox News Digital, Jason Hunt, a retired U.S. Navy SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen) and an alumnus of The Honor Foundation, along with his wife Jesi Hunt, who is both a U.S. Navy SWCC spouse and the director of impact for The Honor Foundation, wrote: “As a family, transitioning out of the military can be confusing, uncertain and full of anxiety. The Honor Foundation provides not only the resources, but the community that is necessary to navigate the process with confidence and clarity.”