Skip to main content

Sandy Journal

Warrior Revival supports vets transitioning to civilian life

Mar 01, 2024 02:24PM ● By Peri Kinder

Warrior Revival participants learned the basics of scuba diving during one of the organization’s monthly events for veterans who are transitioning to civilian life. (Photo courtesy of Warrior Revival)

In a November 2023 survey conducted by OnePoll, 1,000 U.S. military veterans defined three big challenges in the transition from military service to civilian life: finding a job and purposeful career, leaving military companions and the absence of structure. The survey also showed it takes veterans an average of seven months to assimilate into civilian life. 

Warrior Revival, a nonprofit organization located in Sandy, was created to support veterans and their families through the transition with fun activities and wellness retreats. By providing resources and opportunities, the founders of Warrior Revival hope to foster a sense of camaraderie and purpose in the veterans they work with. 

“We like to raise awareness in the community to help them understand what it’s like for a veteran to leave service,” said Dr. Katie Fry, a clinical psychologist and founder of Warrior Revival. “Once you’re in civilian life, it’s a totally different structure. Just to have time on your hands, the structure is much different than what it was like in the military and the pace is much different.”

Veterans and their families can attend free monthly events with Warrior Revival. Past adventures include indoor rock climbing, axe throwing, scuba diving, archery, hot air balloon launches and a cornhole tournament.

By creating a community outside of the military structure, Warrior Revival allows veterans to develop a sense of purpose and passion. Fry said without meaningful connections, retired vets often experience depression, anger and irritability. Transitioning to civilian life can also bring an onset of PTSD once their high-stress military jobs are complete.

“The military keeps you busy, so you’re not always paying attention to how you feel about things,” she said. “I see a lot of veterans feeling like they can handle it on their own, but then a couple years go by and they realize they might need some help. Often, 40% of veterans who leave the service have substance misuse.”

Zach Jacobs USAF (ret.) is vice president of Warrior Revival. He served active duty in the United States Air Force for six years, deployed to Afghanistan on three combat tours and provided air support to the U.S. military and its NATO allies. Jacobs then spent 10 years in the Washington Air National Guard.

Now a manufacturing engineer, Jacobs said he witnessed the harsh realities of war during his service and the aftereffects on military personnel. Those experiences propelled him to become involved with Warrior Revival to help veterans heal and navigate a new path.

“It was really eye opening when I left the military because I thought I would just go back to civilian life. It was no big deal. But it was very difficult,” Jacobs said. “No one really cares that you were in the military once you’re out. You can put whatever you want on your resume but they’re not paying attention to military service. So we’re going to help with mentoring service members that leave, helping them with that aspect of the transition.”

Using mentors, Warrior Revival creates opportunities for veterans to support and encourage each other, along with sharing valuable insight and experience as they transition to civilian life. 

The organization is always looking for community partners, willing to sponsor events and retreats, or provide educational, career and counseling opportunities. For instance, Alpha Coffee donated space in its Cottonwood Heights location (7260 Racquet Club Drive) so Warrior Revival can host a monthly coffee meet-up.

For information about how to become a part of Warrior Revival, or how to become a community partner, visit

“We very much want the community to come together in this,” Fry said. “It’s really everyone’s business to give back to service members and help them reintegrate to civilian life.” λ