John Mayer, inspired by his recent encounters with wounded warriors, decided to create his own foundation to better the health of veterans. Mayer’s project, The Heart and Armor Foundation, formed with two goals in mind. First, the foundation will utilize scientific research to improve the lives of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Second, the foundation will also use research to assist female veterans, an overlooked, but growing population, with their needs.
On March 1, Mayer announced the start of his foundation. However, the project has been a work-in-progress since 2012, when Mayer started working with veterans and scientists to create the foundation.
“We’re going to the public with things like published research papers and having raised enough money to really build some pilot programs. We have some really great data and… we want it to be working first so that a lot of the questions were answered before we brought things to people by way of awareness,” Mayer said, according to Fox News.
Mayer’s inspiration for the project came from a couple of important life experiences. First, Mayer’s father was a World War II veteran. So, Mayer grew up in a military family and has a solid familiarity with military culture.
However, Mayer credits a different event as the true muse behind The Heart and Armor Foundation. Back in 2008, a friend of his took him to visit the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Mayer’s visit was incognito, so nobody on base was aware of his celebrity status.
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“It was going to the wounded warrior barracks [at Camp Lejeune] that I think changed me forever. It immediately showed me that my notion of what I think (are) the wounds of war are completely wrong. The way in which I was proven wrong was so compelling and fascinating and nuanced,” Mayer said, according to Fox News.
Mayer’s foundation has already accomplished impressive work that is rooted in scientific research. To date, The Heart and Armor Foundation has published 10 peer-reviewed journal articles, created a PTSD intervention strategy that focuses on exercise, and also invented a tool to help check the nutrition of female veterans, according to NBC News.
The foundation still has a lot of work left to do and is currently placing an emphasis on some of its future goals. Right now, the foundation hopes to create a better outreach program so that veterans and the military are better able to communicate and connect. Mayer plans to accomplish this outreach by hosting events that bring both those in the military and veterans together.
On March 1, Mayer’s foundation kicked off an event called “How War Changes Women, How Women Change War.” The event will be available for public viewing and can be streamed via Facebook.