Former Marine creates veterans mentoring group on Facebook, website
MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - After serving in the United States Marine Corps in the Middle East, Scott Leeper, of Mishawaka, saw a need for veterans to mentor each other. A certified life and mindset coach, Leeper leads a monthly veterans mentoring group at the V.F.W. #360 on Jefferson Boulevard.
But he wanted more veterans to help each other on a greater scale.
“If I can coach people in this setting [at the V.F.W.] here, I can do it nationally through Facebook,” stated Leeper.
This past June, Leeper started the Facebook group Vets Mentoring Vets. In one month, it garnered 8,600 military service members. Now more than 12,000 current and former U.S. soldiers are helping each other through challenges, offering solutions, and resources. Political discussion or negative talk is not allowed.
Leeper said he has seen suicidal veterans reach out on the social media group.
“The [Facebook group] at large just attaches themselves to this person. You’ll see 80 comments on one post, people reaching out,” he offered. “The next day, you’ll see that same person say they’re extremely grateful for this group because somebody in the group reached out to them. They actually got on the phone with them, realized suicide wasn’t the way.”
Seeing the rapid growth of the Facebook group, Leeper realized he had hit a vein, that veterans were hungry for authentic resources. Having served in the military and employing his life and mindset coaching skills, Leeper founded the member-based Alpha Lima Charlie website. For a $47 monthly fee, members receive a mindset coaching video from Leeper every week along with a survival guide that forces viewers to answer questions based on the media content in Leeper’s videos. He also provides action steps, with the goal to inspire veterans to take small steps in the healing and civilian life adjustment processes.
“We, as vets, we are grasping so tightly on what we’ve been through. We’re not willing to let that go so we can move forward, and this is a way to help them release that,” explained Leeper.
Leeper creates his content based on a concept called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which he said works on the unconscious mind.
“By utilizing NLP, they don’t even need to go back through and continue to experience the same challenges they’ve faced over and over again, like if it’s a traumatic experience,” Leeper said.
Thanks to a corporate sponsorship, AMVETS is able to put 10 veterans in the organization’s Heal Program through Leeper’s Alpha Lima Charlie. AMVETS Chief Advocacy Officer Sherman Gillums, Jr., said Alpha Lima Charlie teaches veterans how to heal in a practical, all-encompassing way.
“The answer doesn’t lie outside with a pill. The answer doesn’t lie outside with a retreat that you have to go to. It lies within you, and [the program] asks you to look at the problem, look at the barrier you’re facing a different way," said Gillums, Jr., a retired Chief Warrant Officer 2 in the Marine Corps.
Local businesses interested in sponsoring additional veterans can contact Leeper at (574) 205-9410 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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