OUR MISSION: To improve the lives of Military and First Responders with supportive services, access to local resources, and building community.
OUR VISION: All veterans have the opportunity to successfully reintegrate into civilian life and all Military and First Responders maintain healthy productive lives.
OUR MOTTO: Together We Will!
TAG LINE: Connecting Those Who Serve Country and Community.
FOUNDATION OVERVIEW: The LCpl Janos V Lutz Live To Tell, Foundation, Inc. is a multifaceted 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in South Florida which exists to support Military and First Responders. Originally founded to decrease veteran suicide as a result of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) by raising awareness and providing support for returning veterans the foundation’s mission has since evolved and expanded. Through programs and services provided directly and through partnerships with organizations nation-wide, the foundation actively works to achieve it’s mission and vision. Our primary focus, Lutz Buddy Up Social Clubs, have been approved as a Health resource in the National Resource Directory by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense’s e-Benefits in addition to being recognized as a best practice for personnel support at multiple law enforcement agencies and fire departments. While much success has been achieved there is still more work to be done. The Live To Tell Foundation’s strategic plan includes expanding the number of Lutz Buddy Up Social Clubs across the country, targeted training, and community building.
LUTZ BUDDY UP SOCIAL CLUB
Lutz Buddy Up Social Clubs connect Military and First Responder’s for an evening of food, fun and comradery. Lutz Buddy Up provides a physical place where those who serve country and community form bonds that can carry forward for the rest of their lives. Here, peer support, community building, and overall well-being are promoted. Currently taking applications to open up in communities all over the United States!
Lutz Buddy Up social clubs are an effective tool in reducing rates of veteran suicide, encouraging family stability, and supporting the reduction of substance-abuse, increasing peer to peer support among the target population, repurposing service members after duty has ended and building community. Partnerships are established with the local VA, Vet-Centers, police and fire departments, and other military and first responder focused organizations. Partnering with local Vet Centers encourages the continued outpatient treatment recommended by the VA after graduation as well as maintaining the peer-to-peer support relationships developed at Lutz Buddy Up. We have also been approved as a Health resource in the National Resource Directory by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense’s eBenefits in addition to being recognized as a best practice for personnel support at local law enforcement and fire departments.
Improving the quality of life for our military and first reasoners, including good metal and physical health, are a key focus area for Lutz Buddy Up and as such multiple forms of alternative health and wellness treatment opportunities are offered to members free of charge. Examples of services include:
- Athletic Leagues
- Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASSIST) by U.S. Southern Command
- Chiropractic Care
- Community Building Activities
- Community Service (elderly home visits, neighborhood clean-up,
- Equine Therapy
- Fishing Therapy
- NLP/Hypnosis Therapy
- Massage Therapy
- Nutrition Education “Eating for Brain Health”
- Swimming with Dolphins
- Transformational Breathing
- Training with local SWAT teams (Team Building)
Social Media Support Group – A Buddy Up Members Only Facebook group is available, providing virtual peer to peer support 24/7. Members have constant online access to each other for support and encouragement.
STRENGTHENING SAFETY NET:
Vet Connect – This initiative is designed to be part of a comprehensive approach to improve veteran mental health outcomes and help communities prioritize resources to have the greatest impact on public safety. Created as a gateway for veterans into trusted community services, Vet-Connect builds a bridge between law enforcement/first responders, veterans, and local resources.
Vet-Connect Mobile App – Utilizing cutting edge technology, first responders are able to connect veterans with local vet-connect teams at the push of a button. Referred veterans will get a call by a Lutz Buddy Up member within 24 hours or less and the comradery they experienced while in service will be revived. The culture the military creates, especially among combat veterans, where service members take care of each other is re-established locally reducing the barriers of trust, shame, and accountability that organizations typically face when attempting to connect with a veteran in order to provide services to improve their quality of life and mental health.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is available for Lutz Buddy Up members provided by U.S. Southern Command. ASIST is a two-day workshop designed for family, friends, and other community members who may be the first to talk with a person at risk, but have little or no training. The emphasis is on teaching suicide first-aid to help a person at risk stay safe and seek further help as needed. Participants learn to use a suicide intervention model to identify persons with thoughts of suicide, seek a shared understanding of reasons for dying and living, develop a safe-plan based upon a review of risk, be prepared to do follow-up, and become involved in suicide-safer community networks.
ADVOCACY & AWARENESS:
#IwasLutz– Providing a voice for veterans, advocating for VA reform and implementing solutions for real-life matters.
Together We Will – The Live To Tell Foundation participates in and facilitates various community oriented activities and events throughout the year. Members from Lutz Buddy Ups volunteer at these events and work to build safe and supportive communities.
LUTZapalooza: Broward County has taken charge in creating solutions to real life matters for Military & 1st Responders. To celebrate our successes in leading the nation in action and activism, we are throwing the first county-wide LUTZapalooza (motorcycle ride & music festival), uniting all 31 municipalities, community residents, service providers and our military veterans under the Red, Blue & Camo!
LCpl Janos V Lutz PTS Memorial Wall – The only mobile PTS memorial wall in the country is displayed at various locations throughout the year to bring honor to those lost to suicide and bring awareness to the epidemic. A virtual version of the wall is view-able on the Live To Tell website including pictures and biographies submitted by families from all over the nation to honor and remember their loved ones.
The foundation’s ultimate goal is to save lives while building community and the best way to achieve this is through awareness, services, and support from You!