About Our Foundation
We Care Deeply About Our Nations Veterans.
Our Board has come together to create an organization that is dedicated to sharing the stories of our nations veterans. To give voice to those stories which would have previously gone unheard.
From Our Founder
RECOGNIZE. PRESERVE. HERALD.
This is what we know: everyday 22 US veterans commit suicide. This year in our country, 8000 men and women, 5000 of whom are over the age 55, who have courageously and selflessly protected our nation are taking their own lives. Furthermore, according to the National Institutes of Health, hundreds of thousands of veterans (survivors of the Vietnam, 1st Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars) are currently living with PTSD. Many of these veterans do not have access to, or are not seeking clinical support due to a strong stigma of mental health issues, particularly in the armed services community.
As a nation, we owe it to our service men and women to do better. We owe it to them to Recognize, Preserve and Herald their incredible bravery and sacrifice so that they can live their fullest lives after returning from active duty. The Conduct Becoming Foundation’s vision is to build one small bridge between the men and women who protect our country, with the citizens whom they protect. We are building these bridges by meeting with veterans, one at a time, to listen to their stories, empathize with their struggles, and honor their experiences and triumphs. We are not a clinical organization, however, understand that there are therapeutic benefits in telling one's story, especially for a community that is oftentimes voiceless.
In 2014, our founder C.J. Breil was commissioned to photograph and interview 30 veterans of all ages, races, and genders for the University of Michigan Medical School. This was a transformative experience that ignited a new passion for this seasoned photographer. Using his own funding, he began creating a series of images called Conduct Becoming: Surveys in Distinction, Personal Environmental Portraits of the Professional Soldier. He reached out to more and more veterans and has now photographed and interviewed more than 80 individuals across the country. The feedback he received from the veterans was awe-inspiring, with many experiencing an almost cathartic release after getting to talk freely and candidly about their time during and after service. The human connection in these interactions is invaluable and serves as one therapeutic outlet that can potentially be a lifesaver. There is a reverence and a respect for their sacrifice that goes beyond “thank you for your service”.
After meeting these incredible men and women and hearing the direct feedback about their interview and photographic session experience, it was then that C.J. decided that he wanted to make a larger contribution in honor of our veterans and thus started Conduct Becoming The Foundation.
Board of Directors
Craig Breil - (Chairman, Founder and President) Is the owner of C.J. Breil Photography and has 25 years of professional experience as a fine art, editorial and portrait photographer. Mr. Breil also has 15 years of experience in managing people, projects, and programs in higher education and non-profit settings.
Todd Brown - (Secretary, Grants Director) is a grant administrator for the University of Michigan and has 10 years of grant application and management experience.
Halima Cherif - (Board Member) Is currently a business transformation consultant with Hewlett Packard and is focused on organizational change management and stakeholder engagement. Ms. Cherif has over 10 years of experience in fundraising, communications, and program management in both higher education and non-profit organizations.
Diane Harbour - (Treasurer and Accounting) Is the owner of Harbour Tax Accounting and has over 20 years of accounting experience.
Michael Wooton - (Director of Business Development and Negotiation) Is employed by a by a US Government contractor writing proposals, negotiating contracts, and managing programs principally in support of the US military.