Amanda and Kevin Jewell both grew up in Alamogordo. When Kevin joined the Army after college, they saw firsthand how hard the transition from military to civilian life could be. During this time they were “searching for something to help [them], but could also be of service to others.” They discovered Team RWB (Red, White, and Blue), and decided to try and create a chapter right here in Alamogordo.
Team RWB is a non-profit Veteran’s Service Organization, whose Mission Statement is: “To enrich the lives of America’s Veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” As Amanda said, “Every year more than two hundred thousand veterans leave the military. This transition can prove difficult as they often face challenges of isolation and loneliness. At Team RWB, we work to build a bridge connecting veterans to their communities.”
There are over 200 Team RWB Chapters nationwide, and Team RWB Alamogordo is the 2nd Chapter in the state of New Mexico. In order to start the local chapter, Amanda had to be interviewed and attend leadership training. From there, the local chapter was considered a “Developing Area.” In order to gain national recognition, Amanda had to meet standards, including consistent weekly physical activities, social events, and community service events. And last week, she did just that, and our local Team RWB chapter became nationally recognized! They now have access to broader resources and can continue to grow.
Amanda’s research showed that 18% of the Alamogordo population are veterans. “I have a background in Mental Health, and I personally and professionally understand many of the unique challenges facing today’s veterans… We wanted to bring to Alamogordo a nationally recognized organization that truly benefits it members beyond just physical health and social activity.” Well, they’ve done just that. With activities every week that are open to both veterans and community members, they have already seen an increase in participation. “By getting people active through physical activity, it creates engagement, and we hope that our members enjoy the wide variety of activities our community has to offer.” Those activities include hikes, runs, and yoga, and can be modified to fit the physical needs of the whole family. They also do a monthly social for those who want to see what it’s all about but may be apprehensive about physical events. You can learn more about the different events here.
Amanda and Kevin were looking for something to help themselves, and ended up starting something so much bigger. “At Team RWB, we are not a mental health organization; But we are an organization that improves mental health.” We can’t wait to see how this organization continues to grow and impact our community!