Episode 5 guardian revival
Episode 5 Snapshot
Air Dates: November 1, 2023 (8 PM ET and Midnight ET/9 PM PT)
Destination: Beacon, NY (Dutchess County, Hudson Valley)
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Lieutenant, Navy SEAL, United States Navy
Venture Type: Non-Profit
Venture Stage: Initial Growth
Industry: Non-Clinical Mental Health Services
episode 5 summary
Veterans find healing in helping others – that is a new purpose for them!
Alex was in 5th grade when 9/11 happened. His father was a NYC firefighter during 9/11, and his life was traumatically impacted. This was the spark that led Alex to join the military.
Alex graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Point (Long Island). He chose Naval Special Warfare and then made his way into the Navy SEALs. There he learned the secret to success – those who have failed before have more mental resilience and are more likely to succeed when challenged. Alex deployed with the Green Berets, who he said “were cut from the same cloth as Navy SEALs.” He served 8 years, was 100% combat disabled, and began a difficult transition to the civilian world.
He leveraged the Department of Defense Skills Bridge Program, which led to a six-month internship with a biotech firm, while still on active duty. Alex realized the corporate world was not for him, and he began his entrepreneurial journey with two for-profit startups and a non-profit.
During this transition period, Alex lost his sense of purpose, lost perspective, and struggled with a shift in identity from Alex Othmer (Navy SEAL) to Alex Othmer (civilian). After asking himself, “Why do I want to be here?” Alex had suicidal ideation and “hit rock bottom.” Traditional approaches were not helpful, so he realized he had to deal with his own issues – “I needed a total overhaul from scratch.” Alex had to “revive” himself. He did this through his dogs, his music, outdoor adventures, and peer support with other veterans. Through these non-traditional means, Alex was able to heal himself. And he realized these same methods could heal other veterans and first responders struggling with mental health issues. Enter Guardian Revival, his non-profit.
Guardian Revival focused on reviving and preserving the mental health and well-being of veterans & first responders (in honor of his father). Alex refers to them as — our guardians. The same four methods Alex used to heal himself grew into four comprehensive non-traditional therapy programs, all free to veterans and first responders. These include Boots & Paws (companion dogs), Encore (therapeutic music creation), Another Summit (outdoor adventure), and G-Connect (peer support).