A Program called FOCUS.
The FOCUS Marines Foundation was created in 2010 by Marines who served in the Corps years ago. Following active service they lived productive and rewarding lives. These Marines, many of whom saw combat in Vietnam, understood firsthand the issues of transitioning from military to civilian lives and were determined to help this new generation of Marines and veterans who served during the war on terror.
FMF developed a week long program called FOCUS, located west of St. Louis, Missouri. The program is conducted four times each year with a maximum of 30 per class. Participants arrive on Saturday and depart the following Saturday. Sunday is spent building class energy and cohesion. Monday – Wednesday focuses on “Who Are You? & Who Do You Want To Be?” Thursday – Friday addresses “What Do You Want To Do? & How Are You Going To Make It Happen?” The entire FOCUS program and travel are provided free of cost to participants. To understand how effective the FOCUS program is, please read through the Graduate Testimonial found on our website.
To date, nearly 1,000 post-9/11 veterans from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Air Force have attended FOCUS. Marines and Navy Corpsmen comprise 90% of each class. Attendees have ranged in rank from Private to Lieutenant Colonel, and in ages from 21 to 55. They came to FOCUS from throughout the U.S. These veterans return home with new-found self-respect and purpose.
Since the beginning, over $4.5 million in private donations have funded the FOCUS effort. Hundreds of patriotic volunteers have tirelessly supported FMF’s mission with impressive results. Following graduation, continuing communications between FOCUS staff, volunteers and graduates provide further mentoring to strengthen the positive impact FOCUS has done for them.
Who Is A Candidate For FOCUS
Below is a list of characteristics that post 9/11 veterans attending FOCUS have exhibited. They are the issues that cause the downward spiral many veterans find difficult to recover from. FOCUS has been very successful in providing tools to address these problems.
- ANXIETY: Quick to anger. The smallest things can trigger anger
- DEPRESSION: Lacks motivation, focus and purpose. Not working or attending school
- ADDICTION: Addicted to drugs, alcohol, porn or video gaming
- INSOMNIA: Poor or erratic sleep. Little or no sleep at night and little sleep during the day
- ISOLATION: Avoids public places, friends and family
- RELATIONSHIPS: Problems with family, friends and coworker relationships
- NEGATIVITY: Most things have a negative meaning, the glass is always half empty
- SELF-DOUBT: Lacks self-confidence and has lost pride and self-respect
Veterans Eligible To Attend FOCUS
- Served during Global Wars on Terror in the Marine Corps, or in the Navy as corpsmen attached to Marines. Space permitting, up to 10% may be Army, Air Force or Coast Guard veterans.
- Both Combat & Noncombat veterans
- Have a DD214
- Have been honorably discharged (OTH may be considered on a case-by-case basis)
- Must be vetted to make sure the FOCUS Program is a good fit for both the veteran and for FMF
- Must demonstrate sincerity in seeking and receptivity in accepting help to improve their lives
Veterans NOT Eligible To Attend FOCUS
- Persons actively abusing substances on a level that may require detoxification
- Persons with unstable psychiatric symptoms and/or behavior that present a danger to self, others, or property
- Persons who are highly disruptive
- Persons with medical conditions requiring skilled nursing care
Why Do Veterans Come To FOCUS?
They want to improve their lives and know if they keep living the same way, nothing is going to change and, may become worse. They also recognize that change does not happen without determination and focus. Some of the reasons for attending FOCUS are:
- “I want to get more out of life”
- “I want to be my old self”
- “I want to find purpose in life”
- “I want to be a better person, father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, citizen”
- “I want to be the Marine I use to be”
The Graduate Testimonials demonstrate how FOCUS can change your life and help you realize your goals and dreams.
With only four FOCUS classes each year, space is limited so we encourage you to apply early.