A Volunteer's Story of Commitment
Ali Yantes is a volunteer peer-to-peer facilitator of our BEITZ group (Bring Everyone in the Zone) at Operation Homefront Village San Antonio, TX. Her commitment to veterans started at an early age as many of her uncles served in the military. Hearing their stories, and growing up during the Vietnam War, helped to shape her feelings regarding trust, loyalty and being someone’s confidante. Ali worked in corporate America for 30 years before being laid off in 2007. In 2011, she was hired at IHG Army Hotels, which services wounded warriors after they have been released from in-patient treatment at SAMMC. During this time, she met a wounded warrior who saw her commitment to veterans and referred her to Operation Homefront Village San Antonio, TX. Ali now facilitates two BEITZ groups at the Village to ensure that the groups are small enough for the warriors to trust and feel comfortable sharing with each other. The idea behind this group concept is to have a trained facilitator that is a few steps ahead of the attendees in successfully dealing with life transition. The facilitator leads the group as a traffic cop, and make sure that they stay on time , stick to a chosen topic, and everyone has a safe environment in which to share.
“The most requested topics are anger and trust. We discuss how we choose to deal with those feelings, both past and present, and what we have learned that might be a better way of working through them. Confidentiality is the key to the success of our group, and every member is required to sign a confidentiality statement acknowledging that“ said Ali.
It is a group for all life-changing issues that they are dealing with, including PTSD, TBI, and various physical and mental challenges. It encourages sharing problem-solving skills, safe coping mechanisms, and hope.
“I have learned so much from this group of veterans in the past year, and truly have grown in my life's journey as well,” said Ali.
The BEITZ group at Operation Homefront Village, San Antonio, meets Monday at 1:00 PM and Tuesday at 5:30 PM.