When we think of a veteran, we often picture someone who is strong, resilient, and unbreakable. However, the reality is that our veteran community faces many challenges, including physical and mental health issues like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addiction. Despite ongoing efforts to break down the stigmas surrounding these issues, they still exist.
With more than 18 million veterans in the United States, it is important that we come together to support our brothers and sisters in arms. That’s where Irreverent Warriors comes in. This organization is dedicated to driving a healthy culture that empowers veterans and tears down walls built with attitudes like ego, bravado, and insecurity.
We at Irreverent Warriors believe that laughter, humor, camaraderie, connection, peace, joy, and understanding are all essential elements in supporting veterans. That’s why we organize events like the IW Silkies Hikes, where veterans can come together to have real, raw conversations and build connections with each other. These events provide an opportunity for veterans to be honest with themselves and each other, tear down walls, and take action.
The impact of Irreverent Warriors on the veteran community is undeniable. Many veterans have found a sense of belonging and support through their events. As one veteran, Jake, USN, says, “IW hits different. I am so pumped that I finally found my people.” Another veteran, Danielle, USAF, states, “The demons don’t go away, but they’re easier to face when you have backup.” Nicholas, USA, shares, “IW saved my life by giving me a family of people who understand and care about me.” And Christopher, USMC, adds, “Now when my thoughts start to darken, I have a family of warriors to turn the light back on.”
Irreverent Warriors is led by CEO Cindy McNally, an Army and TX Nat’l Guard veteran and the mother of two active-duty combat veterans. Cindy’s husband, a Naval Academy grad and former Marine F4 pilot, committed suicide in 2007. It was through the IW Silkies Hikes that Cindy, her son, and daughter found healing and the camaraderie that can only be found among warriors. As a result of this experience, Cindy has dedicated herself to bringing awareness to and supporting IW. She is often referred to as “Momma Bear” or “Momma.”
With the support of Irreverent Warriors, veterans can find a community of support that understands their struggles and is dedicated to helping them heal. We are committed to creating a culture of empowerment and support that will help our veterans face their challenges head-on.
Irreverent Warriors not only provides a community for veterans to connect with each other, but we also provide resources for mental health and wellness. In addition to the Silkies Hikes, Irreverent Warriors offers peer support groups and other events coordinated by our local chapters to help veterans cope with the challenges they face after their service.
Through our programs and events, Irreverent Warriors has made a significant impact on the lives of countless veterans. One such veteran is Brandon, a Marine Corps veteran, who says, “IW gave me a sense of purpose again. I was lost before, but now I know I have a family that will always have my back.” Another veteran, Tanya, USN, shares, “IW saved me from the darkness. I didn’t know how to deal with my pain, but the community at IW showed me that I’m not alone.”
As Irreverent Warriors continues to grow and expand its reach, we remain committed to our mission of bringing veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent suicide. Through our events, programs, and resources, Irreverent Warriors is helping veterans overcome the challenges they face and find the support they need to thrive.