By Jordan Lappin
This week, we would like to highlight one of Triangle Cares’ newest partnerships with The Flak Foundation. The Flak Foundation was created this year by Chris and Karra Athey after the passing of Bobby Flak, one of Chris Athey’s good friends and a fellow marine who served with him in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2009 - 2010. When Bobby returned home from his tour, he struggled with PTSD and addiction, and he tragically passed away in 2021. Bobby was the third marine that Chris knew that died from addiction or suicide that same week following their deployment. Chris felt that it was time for veterans to take matters into their own hands and help each other out. The reality is that only Chris and his fellow comrades really know what eachother went through on the battlefield and what it’s like to transition home to “normal life” and cope with the wounds of battle at home.
Chris and his wife Karra started the Flak Foundation to help veterans with depression, anxiety, and addiction. Their mission is to bring veterans, active service members, and families together in regions across the US to help veterans find the help and support they need. By hosting events in these areas, the Flak Foundation aims to bring as many local resources to the events. The Flak Foundation has also created a buddy system between veterans to help rescue each other in crisis and begin the conversation of these issues to truly find peace, hope, and healing.
During an interview with The Ohana Homefront Organization, Chris mentioned that veterans are oftentimes “adrenaline junkies''. When they come home from a tour, they lose that adrenaline high and resort to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. A unique aspect of the Flak Foundation is the programming with equine, surfing, hiking, diving, and other outdoor activities so that veterans can feel the rush of adrenaline, have fun, and ultimately rediscover the beauty of life.
The Flak Foundation is holding its first event January 14th at the Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, NC from 11:00 to 14:00.
Jordan Hannan and Jordan Lappin