EPISODE 9 Heroes In Transition
Episode 9 Snapshot
Air Dates: November 29, 2023 (8 PM ET and Midnight ET/9 PM PT)
Destination: Mashpee, MA (Cape Cod)
Gold Star Mother
Captain Eric A. Jones, United States Marine Corps
Killed In Action, Afghanistan, October 26, 2009
Heroes In Transition, Inc.
Venture Type: 501(c)3 Not-For-Profit
Venture Stage: Mature Growth
Industry: Programs for veterans, active service members and military families
episode 9 summary
Transition is the Mission!
Cyndy Jones is the Gold Star Mother of Captain Eric A. Jones, United States Marine Corps, who was Killed In Action in the Helmand region of Afghanistan on October 26, 2009, in a helicopter collision. Eric was Cyndy’s only child and they were extremely close. Growing up, Eric was very empathetic and full of compassion for people. He loved people, and as a result, Cyndy’s house was always filled with friends coming for dinner and sleeping over on weekends. Eric loved to fly from the time he was 10. He joined the Marines because he wanted to fly helicopters so he could be close to the troops on the ground.
The mission of Heroes in Transition (HIT) was already in Cyndy’s heart when standing on the tarmac at Dover Air Force Base. “This is extremely painful for any parent to stand there. I grabbed my husband’s hand and said, we’re going to continue Eric’s mission.” We decided to protect the troops during and after their transition to civilian life. When they get discharged, they don’t know where to go. All of a sudden, their brothers and sisters are not with them. And who do they relate to? It’s hard to relate to civilians who did not have military experience.
HIT started by providing service dogs to veterans with PTSD. Cyndy and her HIT team listen intently to the needs of veterans and their families. As a result, HIT has grown to provide many innovative and powerful programs. One such program is Equine Therapy, where veterans and military families have the opportunity to experience the therapeutic qualities of horses. Cyndy describes the experience, “I don’t know if you have ever looked into the eye of a horse, but it goes right to the soul. You put a veteran family who is hurting with a horse, and magic happens!”
From there, HIT grew to offer many more programs with a holistic focus on self-care, resiliency, mindfulness, and meditation as well as relationship and communications skills. These programs include military couples gatherings and retreats, military spouses programs, military family programs, veteran outings, and the newest program, Searching For Meaning.
The annual Ruck4HIT Relay Race event brings veterans and supporters together to promote HIT’S mission.
The HIT mission is far from “mission accomplished.” Cyndy explained that HIT is currently in a campaign to fund a new building that will house all of these programs.