James Pond, MA, began his current career path, after serving 8 years in the US Marine Corps and 10 years of corporate sales experience. In 2005, James and his family established a charity to help restore the lives of young girls rescued from sex trafficking in Cambodia. After a successful career of working on human trafficking issues in over ten countries, James found a deep passion to serve the needs of veterans and began mentoring young veterans in developing their lives outside of the military. He comes to Veteran’s PATH with a personal connection to the veteran community and a passion to make a difference.

Veteran’s PATH delivers free programs that are changing veterans’ lives. Their programs combine scientifically proven meditation and mindfulness-based tools, outdoor and physical activities, and veteran peer support and leadership. They help veterans share what they have been carrying in isolation, find self-acceptance, community and camaraderie—in order to heal and reintegrate into society with a new sense of possibility and purpose.


James’ journey from the USMC to Cambodia to Veterans PATH

Applying military skills to post-military endeavors

The lack of purpose and meaning in a veteran’s post-military life

The history and development of the Veterans PATH program

Connection with other veterans

Follow on services after a “mountaintop” experience

Integrating clinical mental health counseling with adjunctive and alternative therapies

Misconceptions about meditation and how it can benefit veterans

The neurological impact of mindfulness

Helping Veterans to connect to the positive things in their service, while also leaving behind the bad habits we acquired while in the service


Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind by Pema Chödrön

Headspace Website: Meditation Made Simple

Insight Timer App

Veterans PATH Web site

Veterans PATH on Twitter

Veterans PATH on Facebook

Veterans PATH on YouTube





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Duane France

Duane K. L. France is a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a mental health counselor practicing in the state of Colorado. Do you want to join the conversation regarding veteran mental health? Share, like, and comment. Read Duane's previous posts and follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep the conversation about #veteranmentalhealth going.