About Bravo Foxtrot

It takes a veteran with similar experiences to truly connect and gain the trust and respect of his comrades.

 

News coverage of successful rescue operations usually brings joy to our hearts when we hear about a worker who has been rescued from a collapsed construction excavation or an individual who has been pulled safely out of a burning automobile. We call the individuals who perform these selfless acts heroes. These heroes come from organizations explicitly formed for our protection such as fire departments, emergency medical service units, and police departments, but also from individuals who bravely react to emergency situations. However, a question remains about who rescues our first responders who find themselves in dire situations. The men and women we are talking about are our military veterans who have found themselves abandoned by society and have come to live on the streets and in secluded camps.

Certainly, there are many organizations that offer help to veterans, but in most instances, veterans can’t find their own way to reach out to them and get the assistance they require. Unfortunately, many of these service members who have defended our country in combat have returned home with post-traumatic stress and serious physical disabilities that hamper their ability to successfully return to society, get the help they need and therefore become lost and invisible. With parts of their soul still back in combat, they suffer from internal fights between their morals and what they had to do to survive and allow the freedoms we enjoy without any thought.  The shame and guilt caused by the injuries to their moral code potentially keep them in a state of judgment, detaching from society and an inability to re-enter this culture they once enjoyed as we do – but feel they can no longer fit into.

Bravo Foxtrot prides itself in its unique ability to perform outreach and build relationships with those living in the streets or in encampments. It starts with establishing a mutually beneficial relationship, gaining that person’s respect, demanding equal respect in return, and providing him or her with food, clothing, shelter, and sanitary items. From there, Bravo Foxtrot evaluates the specific and more detailed needs of that person and develops plans as to how those personal needs can be specifically met by – referrals to other mental health and veteran support facilities; obtaining purpose and meaning through financial literacy training and job training; and obtaining support from other military veterans and by reconnecting with family and friends. 

OUR STORY

Bravo Foxtrot United Veterans Inc. (Bravo Foxtrot) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that Matthew Simoni (combat veteran), and his wife, Jade Pinto founded together. Matthew Simoni and Jade Pinto met in early 2018 at Jade’s tattoo parlor in Islip. Matthew had just arrived in New York after a bout of homelessness in Virginia and got tattooed frequently as a method to deal with his pain. Little did they know that their lives were destined to be intertwined for a cause much greater than either of them. Jade, having extensive experience with mental health and trauma, as well as holistic and natural ways to cope, was naturally drawn to Matthew, who she almost immediately identified as lost and with a part of his soul missing. 

Matthew served in the military for nearly a decade. He served with Naval Special Forces and held a top-secret clearance, and participated in three combat deployments and many classified missions throughout Northern Africa. He reached the rank of e6 or petty officer first class and was hand selected and rigorously trained and screened to be a part of the prestigious Chief of Naval Operations, Priority One Command: Navel Special Warfare Development Group. 

Needless to say, holistic means, meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality were not part of Matt’s vocabulary. Jade played an integral role in Matt’s ability to deal with his traumas and stressors by introducing these healing modalities into his life. Charitable work and the reward that comes with helping others also became an integral aspect of his life. That certainly was not synonymous with Matthew’s military training. However, this relationship has taught both of them much about the opposite ends of the spectrum, so to speak. Learning from each other, and being opposites yet at the same time, so similar, has enabled them to reach others in terms of healing that is unrivaled. Their own lives and personal experiences mirror that which so many of our service members and family of service members experience. 

Jade and Matthew were able to identify shortfalls within the system. These shortfalls turned out to be catastrophic in terms of veterans and their families. The fact remains, that joining the military increases your odds of mental health disorders, substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, and yes, suicide. Throughout Jade’s life, she has taken up a great interest in holistic healing modalities. Matthew’s presence in her life enabled her to bring her lifelong passion to her reality, in the service of others. Simultaneously, this service work and altruism doubles as Matthew’s therapy, providing him a reason to wake up in the morning and giving him a purpose in life that he never thought would be possible again. What better population to assist than the men and women who are responsible for the freedoms and sovereignty of each and every citizen living within our nation, the men and women who wore the cloth of this nation? A phrase that Matthew has coined along with the formation of their organization is simply put, “God bless our troops and God bless the principles that made our great nation free.”

OUR MISSION

Bravo Foxtrot United Veterans Inc. was formed for the purpose of establishing a residential program(s) that will provide temporary stable housing and holistic therapy (meditation, self-awareness, mind/body/spirit cohesion, etc.) to veterans in order to facilitate their successful reintegration back into their families and communities.

Bravo Foxtrot is approved by the OTDA (Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance) to house 20 or more veterans (known as an adult shelter). Our goal is to implement this in the form of temporary and stable housing in a rural or semi-rural area. Healing modalities such as meditation in motion (by working with plants and the land), working with animals, meditation, and other holistic means will be heavily promoted as well as veering off traditional Western medication as a sole treatment plan.

HOW WE ARE HELPING

Bravo Foxtrot has come a long way since our formation, gaining support from our Legislature, Steve Flotteron. We now are assisting nearly 40 veterans from our Bay Shore location. The assistance we provide includes essentials such as food, clothing, hygiene products, talk groups, virtual meetings, and advocacy. In addition, Bravo Foxtrot is sponsored by Fusco Branstein and Rada law firm in order to provide the deserved legal aid for these veterans and to fulfill the “financial stability” aspect of their mental health/social status recovery. It takes a veteran with similar experiences to truly connect and gain the trust and respect of his comrades. We at Bravo Foxtrot, have been successfully bridging the gap between lawyers/political figures and our respected veterans (many of whom are struggling in life). 

WHAT SETS US APART

Bravo Foxtrot United Veterans Inc. is an expert in this field and has already proven to have a significant impact on the lives of veterans and their families within the community they serve. Additionally, the founder and co-founder of Bravo foxtrot directly reflect the narrative of those whom they serve, creating the passion to completely dedicate their lives to this cause.

 

Outreach

The Bravo Foxtrot team locates veterans in wooded areas and abandoned lots building mutually respectful relationships. Our team works together with the veterans in order to help provide support and access to the services they need. 

In-Person Talk Groups

Weekly meetings for veterans who share common ground with the purpose of offering each other support and a sense of community.

Virtual Meetings

Weekly meetings for veterans who share common ground with the purpose of offering each other support and a sense of community.

Providing Life's Essentials

Bravo Foxtrot accepts physical donations such as food, clothing, and hygiene products and distributes them to any veteran in need.

Advocacy

Bravo Foxtrot is the voice that represents veterans everywhere and defends their rights and benefits. Our team stands for veterans every time.

Legal Aid

We have partnered with a local law firm to provide the deserved legal aid for these veterans and to fulfill the "financial stability" aspect of their mental health/social status recovery.

The Bravo Foxtrot Board 

The Bravo Foxtrot United Veterans Inc. Board are a group of volunteers dedicated to helping Long Island veterans obtain the services and aid they need in order to lead successful lives. The board does not receive salaries.

Matthew Simoni of Bravo Foxtrot during filming of Long Island's Forgotten Heroes

Matthew F. Simoni

Executive Director

Executive Director Matthew Simoni, served in the United States Navy as an active duty service member. The last 4 years of his career were spent at The CNO Priority One Command (Tier One command) SOCOM (Special Operations Command), JSOC(Joint Special Operations Command) (active duty) from 2006-2016. Participating in four deployments’ various missions, Matthew held a TS/SCI4 with polygraph (Top Secret/Secret Compartmented Information level 4) clearance for the last 4 years of his service. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation New Dawn (OND), and many classified operations in Africa. After his separation from active duty military service in 2016, he encountered many issues in his life that were extremely contrasting to his accomplishments during his service. This is a significant part of his story because he has seen both sides of the spectrum. Today, he focuses and dedicates his life to assisting other veterans with transitioning to civilian life through this not-for-profit organization that he is so proud to be a part of and founder of. It should be added, this organization plans to set the standard for all others. God Bless Our Troops and God Bless The Principals Which made Our Nation Free!

Jade G. Pinto

Deputy Executive Director

Co-founder of Bravo Foxtrot and wife of Matthew Simoni, Jade Pinto is a business-savvy, gifted & talented tattoo artist for the past 25 years.  She is the owner of a successful Bay Shore, NY tattoo business, Ink Sanctuary, Inc. for 20 years. Jade has also crafted her artistry extensively while living abroad in several countries such as Italy, Spain, and the state of Hawaii.  She has dedicated her life to holistic modalities and spirituality using these gifts with the veterans we serve. Her methodology has provided an alternative healing process much needed by our veterans who so badly need ongoing therapeutic care.

ARE YOU A VETERAN?

Bravo Foxtrot United Veterans Inc. offers aid to traumatized veterans that have been forgotten by the system, and by society.

1A Railroad Plaza
Bay Shore, NY 11706

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Tuesday - Sunday: 12pm – 12am

Monday: Closed

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