Raina is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Battle Buddy 4 Life. She and her husband Gene (who is a combat Veteran with PTSD) were married in 2002. They have two beautiful daughters ages 16 and 13 and are in the process of adopting an 11 year old son. Raina works as a Floral Manager for a local grocery store. In addition, she also volunteers her time as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and as an advocate and voice for children in the local Guardian Ad Litem program.
Raina knows first-hand the daily struggles, stresses and implications of living with a partner who has been diagnosed with PTSD. This is why she co-founded Battle Buddy 4 Life. During their transition from Active Duty back into the civilian sector, Raina realized that there was limited support for veterans and their families during this pivotal time. It is Raina’s hope that Battle Buddy 4 Life will help support the Veteran (and their immediate families) to maneuver through this transitional period, not only through the Veterans Administration benefits system, but also to assist in locating treatment within their local communities.
Gene entered into the military right out of high school where he went off to Basic Training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. He completed his first term of his contract with the Air Force late in 1999. Early in the year 2000, he joined the Army National Guard when he met his spouse Raina and they married in 2002. Gene and his wife have two beautiful daughters ages 16 and 13 and are in the process of adopting a handsome 11 year old son. Two days after his marriage to his sweetheart, he got deployed to GITMO for 15 months to work the detainee prison camp as a military police officer with the National Guard. In 2004/2005, he returned to active duty this time with the United States Army, where he served until he was medically retired in October of 2012. During his time in the Army, Gene has served in 9 different deployments with his latest one being Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008 where he served in Iraq. During his time in the military and more so since he retired, he has noticed a great need for Veterans and their families. He decided to start a nonprofit corporation called Battle Buddy 4 Life, in hopes to be an outlet for all military veterans to find help and resources in which they need in order to survive and cope with the “Hidden Wounds of War.” Battling with PTSD, clinical depression, chronic anxiety disorder, chronic insomnia, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) himself – Gene understands that help from the VA is extremely backed-up and not forth-coming, so he understands and empathically sympathizes with the Veterans and their families.
Nate is a long time friend and brother to Gene. He currently serves on Active Duty with the Air Force as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. Nate is a loving father and devoted husband. In his spare time, he serves in the capacity of the website designer and IT guy for Battle Buddy 4 Life. Nate also has his own business that he runs during his spare time. Nate’s Woodshop is custom made wood designs, military coin display cases, ink pens, etc. He believes that Battle Buddy 4 Life is a valuable organization to help bridge the gap between active duty personnel transitioning into the civilian life.
Sabrina is a Professional Writer with Extensive Experience in Grant & Business Communication. She has served over 20 years with nonprofit development holding portfolio of up to $27 million. Recent transition to include Creative Development (i.e. Web, Video, Audio) and other communication tools to help nonprofits and small business endeavors integrate their offering into the digital space. She joined Battle Buddy 4 Life’s board because she respects the service offering and commitment of those who have given their lives for the safety and security of our country. She also acknowledges that there are distinct needs of the population of interest, that have not been met by traditional medical, social and mental health support services and would like to help bridge the gap. Sabrina sits on the board as the Grant Writer Committee Chair Person in hopes to bring in some Federal as well as State Funding through Grants.
Bonnie is a retired Army Veteran, having served for 20 plus years and having to fight for her VA Benefits for 15 years, she promised to help as many Veterans as she can to not go through what she had to endure. She has a strong background in nursing and is a Certified Veteran Service Officer through the Veterans Administration. She joined Battle Buddy 4 Life’s board so that she could continue giving back to the Veterans. Her extensive knowledge and background has proven to be a valuable asset to the organization and is going to be a great fit for our organization as we continue to grow. Bonnie is also a Life Member of the VFW and continues to help Veterans through that organization as well. Bonnie sits on the board as the Veteran Service Officer.
John is a Navy Veteran, loving father, and a Navy Dad. His son John has followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Navy. He joined Battle Buddy 4 Life’s board in order to “Give Back” to the Veterans that have struggled for too long. He believes in the mission of Battle Buddy 4 Life and believes that one organization can make a difference. John currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the organization.