Though publicly announced for the first time Friday, the Heart and Armor Foundation was formed in 2012 and boasts a team of veterans, scientists and clinicians. It’s particularly focused on post-traumatic stress disorder and issues that directly effect the growing number of women veterans, The Associated Press reports.
In an interview, Mayer spoke of the work the Heart and Armor Foundation has already done, saying, “We’re going to the public with things like published research papers and having raised enough money to really build some pilot programs. We have some really great data and… we want it to be working first so that a lot of the questions were answered before we brought things to people by way of awareness.”
So far, the organization has developed an exercise routine to help with the effects of PTSD and made a screening tool for nutrition in women veterans. Along with its ongoing health and research efforts, the Heart and Armor Foundation will also conduct outreach efforts to unite military and veteran communities. Its first event, “How War Changes Women, How Women Change War,” will take place tonight, March 1st, and can be streamed on Mayer’s and the foundation’s Facebook pages.
The son of a World War II veteran, Mayer said he was inspired to start the Heart and Armor Foundation after visiting the Marine Corps Base Camp in North Carolina in 2008. “It was going to the wounded warrior barracks that I think changed me forever,” Mayer said. “It immediately showed me that my notion of what I think [are] the wounds of war are completely wrong. The way in which I was proven wrong was so compelling and fascinating and nuanced.”