ABOUT MISSION ZERO:
We know from experience a PTSD diagnosis isn’t a death sentence or the end of the line. But we also know that it changes everything.
We’ve known how it feels to have the horrors of the battlefield follow us home. We understand what it’s like to be endlessly hounded by nightmares, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and the thought that there might never be an escape. We know that a PTSD diagnosis can feel like a life sentence of personal and professional limits. We witnessed first-hand how the current medical and veteran support systems often can’t handle the problem, relying on oversimplified approaches, punitive mindsets, and dangerous pharmaceuticals that risk making the situation worse. And we know what it’s like for the war within your mind to claim collateral damage – your job, your family, and your very existence. For many veterans returning home, the fight of our lives is just beginning. And doesn’t always seem to be a path to victory.
But from our own experiences, we know there is a way to win. We know there are people and resources that can help our country’s heroes recover from their invisible wounds. We know that there are endless opportunities for veterans to prove that they are not used goods, but instead incredible assets whose service to society is only just beginning. We know that a PTSD diagnosis can’t be wiped away – but it can be overcome, and the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves. And we know none of these efforts are quick, easy fixes – but that’s why we’re building an entire movement to help us accomplish our mission.
Mission Zero’s founder and CEO, Jose Belen, is a decorated United States Army combat veteran whose deployment began in the spring of 2003 during the initial invasion into Iraq. His tour continued for 14 consecutive months in combat as a field artillery soldier in support of both operation Iraqi Freedom One and Two.
Upon honorable discharge from the military, Jose sought a life full of potential as a combat veteran and civilian. Jose’s natural ability to lead and conquer the most difficult challenges landed him many successes in corporate America. As one of the nation’s top producers in the real estate and insurance industries, Jose consistently exceeded expectations, broke records in sales and service, and never turned down an opportunity to mentor those around him. For many years Jose managed a successful corporate career, his responsibilities as a husband and father, and the duties of a mentor and friend to those who knew him best, all while quietly battling PTSD.
For many combat veterans like Jose, the battle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts is fought in silence. Current data supports the fact that more than 22 veterans a day commit suicide, and Jose was almost one of them. From the depths of despair and destruction, a reason for Jose to choose life was born, and that reason was for those 22 we lose to suicide every day. Thankfully, instead of Jose’s story ending in death, his story continues with a powerful message of strength, perseverance, and hope. Jose won his battle with PTSD and suicide, but the war that wages on our veterans is far from over. For many soldiers leaving the battlefield, the fight has only begun.
Jose and his family know first-hand what life is like when our soldiers come home, and how having the proper support, education, and resources available can mean the difference between life and death. Mission Zero was established to find solutions that address the lack of support, education, and resources available to our veteran community and to bring national awareness to the veteran suicide epidemic. Mission Zero is an organization dedicated to ending veteran suicide, and by establishing key initiatives to address the issues our veteran community faces we hope to fulfill our purpose to give life back to those who sacrificed their lives for us.
Its founder and co-founder, Jose and Danielle Belen, have made Mission Zero their life’s work . Together they have over 20 years of success in professional sales, service, and consulting. Danielle, a University of Central Florida graduate, uses her experience in public relations, marketing, communications, and corporate training to create the necessary relationship to support our organization’s objectives. Jose’s professional success, keen business insight, and ability to overcome adversity, combined with excellence in leadership as a soldier in combat, empowers him to be the catalyst this nation needs to bridge the gap between the industries that represent resources veterans can use to successfully battle PTSD and thoughts of suicide and the veterans and loved ones who need them the most.