Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona Announces Inaugural Outstanding Veteran Advocate Award

Photo: Jonathan Hancock, his wife Tiffany and their son

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona announced the recipient of its first-ever Outstanding Military Family & Veteran Advocate Award.

Jonathan Hancock, a Valley veteran and the subject of the acclaimed documentary, Bastards’ Road, will accept the award on Jan. 14, 2022, at the inaugural Brainiac Bash…a Soiree to Support Brain Health event. The award was announced nearly 20 years to the day after Hancock finished boot camp and began a career in intelligence with the United States Marines. He would go on to be part of the infamous 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, based out of Camp Pendleton. The infantry battalion, nicknamed the “Magnificent Bastards,” saw heavy casualties and urban warfare while Hancock was deployed in Iraq eight times.

Once his deployment was over, Hancock found himself facing post-traumatic stress disorder alone and became suicidal. Unsure of what to do next, he walked 5,800 miles across the country, using the solitude of the road and the moments he shared along the way with his fellow Marine brothers and the Gold Star families of the fallen to manage the invisible wounds from war. “We know that coming home and folding back into everyday life is for some when an entirely different battle begins,” said Carrie Collins-Fadell, CEO of the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona. “In Bastards’ Road, Johnathan rips the lid off those conversations so many families don’t know how to have, giving families and loved ones a playbook to break though the silence, aiding them to be there in a different way for their veteran. And let’s be clear, the silence around brain health issues is a big part of why we are losing 22 veterans a day to suicide.”

Hancock said he welcomes the opportunity to open the door for conversations focused on brain health challenges as many Arizona veterans now face these issues and deserve help and support. After filming the documentary and settling in Arizona, he had this to say about being the first recipient of the Brain Injury Alliance’s award that honors those who advance veterans’ brain health advocacy. “I am honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Military Family & Veteran Advocate Award.”

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children with all types of brain injury through prevention, advocacy, awareness and education. The organization works with veterans of all eras and provides police and first responder training on how to assist those with crisis-level PTSD.

About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media. She is Principal of Julie Coleman Consulting, providing strategic philanthropy consulting services for individuals, families, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations.
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