3rd Battalion 8th Marines Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans, 3/8 OIF & OEF Veterans, is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization that provides financial and lifetime support and assistance to Post-9/11 Veterans of 3rd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment and their families.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, 3/8 served in Fallujah, 2005; Ramadi, 2006; 22nd MEU, 2007-2008; Afghanistan, 2008-2009; 26th MEU and Afghanistan, 2010-201, and Afghanistan 2012. During these deployments 3/8 suffered 37 Killed-in-Action (KIA) and over 300 wounded.
Many of these veterans are still suffering from physical, mental, and emotional wounds that they sustained from combat. We want to ensure that they have the resources needed for their emotional, physical and economic recovery and transition back to their civilian lives. Our team is made up of 3/8 Veterans who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Support we provide is based on the individual need of each veteran that requests assistance. Our mission is to assist 3/8 OIF & OEF Veterans with:
Medical Expenses Relief Assistance – Veterans can apply to have their medical expenses, not covered by the VA, paid for. This can include any unexpected medical costs not covered by the VA.
Emergency Financial Relief Assistance – Veterans can apply for financial assistance for emergency expanses, or bill assistance due to a financial hardship. These can range from mortgage or rent, or utility bill payments, to prepaid gas or grocery cards, burial cost, or any other expenses.
Legal Expanses and Advice Assistance – Veterans can apply for financial assistance to cover their legal needs.
Provide PTSD Service Dogs - Veterans can apply to be provided with a trained PTSD Service Dog. We currently work with few organizations that train and provide these certified service dogs to veterans in need, which can assist with a variety of daily tasks.
Connect to a Larger Veteran Service Network – As we work with many Veteran Service Organizations, we are able to connect veterans to many organizations around the U.S. that can offer other services that the Veteran might need.
Sponsor Unit Reunions to Combat PTSD – PTSD is one of main issues that has plagued the veteran community. PTSD is something that all combat veterans deal with on a daily basis, and it can sometimes lead a veteran on to a path of despair and helplessness that can result in substance abuse, causing overdoses, or end with the veteran committing suicide. Over the past 10 years, 3/8 has lost many of its brave Marines to both. Many veterans feel alone and distanced from their civilian friends and families as they deal with these issues. Our founder, Bart Skiba, experienced similar issues and recognized that the support from his 3/8 brothers-in-arms helped him in dealing with many post-combat issues.
In 2008, Bart started the 3/8 Weapons Company Reunion for those who served in Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraq. These reunions quickly grew and assisted these Marines to combat PTSD, and other injuries, through closure, support and healing environment, which allowed us to recognize those who were in need of support, whether it was emotional, physical, or financial. Many of our veterans expressed their feeling about these reunions to Bart, and attributed their recovery to these reunions which showed them they were not suffering alone. Since then we have expanded our assistance to other 3/8 Companies. We wish to continue Bart’s tradition and provide financial assistance in reuniting 3/8 companies on an annual basis. Please help our goal and contribute to help reunite these veterans.
Help us provide service and care that our heroes in need. Your support and contributions are greatly appreciated and will help us make sure that our mission is accomplished. All donations are a tax write off.