Home Base

Joseph Smith: Advocating for Veterans’ Well-being with Home Base Florida

In the heart of our organization, Joseph Smith, a Veteran Outreach Coordinator Intern with Home Base Florida, embodies the seamless integration of military experience and a passion for social work. His profound journey from the Army to mental health advocacy has not only shaped his career but also serves as an inspiration for those navigating similar paths. 

Joseph’s military background is etched with a tale of uncertainty and resilience. Enlisting as a high school student, he found himself stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, by mid-fall 2015. Driven by a desire to be the perfect Soldier, Joseph faced a common yet often overlooked challenge – the toll of mental health. The deployment to Kuwait, Jordan, and Syria in 2017 became a turning point, revealing the importance of addressing mental health issues within the military community. 

Six years after leaving the military, Joseph took the courageous step of seeking mental health care. This pivotal moment ignited his mission to ensure that fellow Service Members, Veterans, and their Families recognize the gravity of mental health needs, placing it on par with physical well-being. 

The alignment of Joseph’s skills and experiences with Home Base Florida (HBFL) was not merely a coincidence but a conscious choice. Given a list of internship options, Joseph’s determination to work with Veterans guided his decision. Though initially faced with a non-Veteran-centric placement, an opportunity with HBFL surfaced, aligning seamlessly with Joseph’s mission. Home Base Florida’s dedication to healing the invisible wounds of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families resonated with his aspirations as a social worker. His ability to speak the “military language” dismantles barriers and establishes a level of rapport crucial in mental health discussions. 

Looking ahead, Joseph envisions pursuing a master’s degree in social work, solidifying his commitment to making a lasting impact on Veterans’ lives. While open to opportunities with a BSW, his unwavering passion lies in working with the Veteran population. Joseph Smith’s story serves as a testament to the power of personal experience, turning challenges into a driving force for positive change within the Veteran community at Home Base Florida.