In March of 2013, Dan decided to end his life. He had just finished a difficult deployment in Afghanistan and, compounded with traumatizing childhood events and previous law enforcement work, it seemed like a better decision than asking for help. While in Afghanistan, half of Dan’s men evacuated and he lost one in combat– Dan took the full weight of his death. When his deployment ended, the American Red Cross informed him that his mother was dying; he was unable to get home in time to say goodbye. In March of 2013, one of his soldiers, Corey Smathers, took his own life. Dan turned to alcohol to mask the pain as he found no solutions elsewhere. Following medical retirement in September of 2014, Dan met his wife and was married soon after. She encouraged him to find help, which he soon found. Through loss and failure, Dan finally found the Research and Recognition Project, who had a new treatment for PTSD. Their success rate was greater than 90% and Dan found something that worked for him. With 22Zero, his primary goal is to share this knowledge and treatment with anyone and everyone.
What is your business? We connect veterans and first responders to the resources to successfully end trauma from PTSD.
Who are your clients? We work with first responders, veterans, active military, and families of these communities affected by suicide. We also sponsor licensed mental health counselors to receive the training.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? I saw a need to help those who have served not only because they struggle: but because I struggled. I found a solution and want to share it through my story.
What are some business wins? Thanks to money we raised, Parkland, FL now has 40 RTM Protocol counselors. Many of these counselors now serve students and teachers from the horrific shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School– and successfully I might add.
What are your short-term goals? We have plenty on our plate at the moment! We are working to build our social media presence nationally, sell our shirts to help fund our services, launch our podcast, and put together a coaching platform for peer-to-peer mentoring.
How has Catapult helped you? Catapult has offered a way to enter an entrepreneurial venture without breaking the bank. They also have just about every resource one might need to break into a successful business or nonprofit venture like ours.
Why Lakeland? The Lakeland community is extremely supportive of our cause. We have access to all the business resources we need and Catapult makes it easy to get connected with the community of like-minded entrepreneurs at an extreme value.
Secret Sauce? The RTM Protocol developed at The Research and Recognition Project has helped us change lives extremely quickly.
CatapultLakeland.com | 863.940.9660