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Pathfinders Studio & Mentoring is a special project of Pathfinders Outdoors a 501c3 a multi-step program that encourages veterans to find faith, recreation, art therapy, job skills & most of all a battle buddy program that gives the veterans a partner in the battle of PTSD. The most important step is camaraderie they had during their enlistment. Founder & Director Melvin “Buddy” Lee Dobberteen a combat disabled United States Marine Corps Infantryman came home lost, spiritually dead and began to think dark thoughts and how suicide would end his pain. Days before carrying it out Buddy had a an amazing friend Mike Christmon reach out to him and show the love that Christ showed. This ultimately changed his mind and then he thought if it worked for him, maybe it would work for others. The Mission of Pathfinder Outdoors: Pathfinders Studio & Mentoring is to reduce the rate of American Veteran suicide by engaging the veterans most prone to suicide, and their families, in outdoor, musical, and educational activities, capturing and sharing those efforts with the world through the production of visual and audio media through supervised outdoor activities and faith based focused mentorship. Many veteran experiences will be captured via various media as keepsakes for the veterans as well as a outlet to share their stories, experiences and testimonies with the public at large. Our message then is to simply offer hope and healing to the unseen casualties of wartime service at a pivotal time when their worlds seem hopeless.
Pathfinders Outdoors: Pathfinders Studio & Mentoring was dreamed up by Buddy Lee Dobberteen and Mike Christmon after Buddy was considering ending his life. He had put an ad on Craigslist and Mike answered it. Buddy was new to Texas, right out of the United States Marine Corps after serving 3 tours of duty in Iraq. Buddy felt lost, hopeless, and like his life was over. Mike's ability to relate and show love to Dobberteen, and with the help of some other organizations Buddy abandoned his plan to commit suicide. Buddy & Mike then decided to start Pathfinders Outdoors. In 2015, Buddy began to lose his vision due to injuries sustained in Iraq. Buddy, a Musician and Engineer, remembered how he and Christmon originally offered to play music and Dobberteen started a studio & mentoring program. Thanks to Mike Christmon, Buddy is here today! We are focused on providing veterans and their families a REAL life community, with mentorship through LOADS of activities. We are not only a Veterans’ Organization, we are a family. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us. We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There's much more to come!