We Support Veteran Families

because it’s not just the solider who serves.

Who’s Committing
Soldier Suicide:


50 + Years Old


23-49 Years Old


New Recruits - 1st Year

Once a Solider FAQs That Every Donor Should Know


How We Gift

Veteran suicide survivors contant us from around the states. We try to give everyone something and still make it meaningful.


Who We Gift

The charity endeavors to support the immediate family members. We follow the VA’s general program list of eligible survivors.


What We Gift

We first seek to cover the costs service families over and above the partial VA reimbursement, but we first ask how we can best help.


Why We Care

We’ve seen the courage and spirit of the families left behind during deployment. Now they must carry on without their soldiers forever.

Mission Recap: Help the Survivors of Veteran Suicide

Our Story

Our passion for helping the families of veteran suicide came in through the back door. Our leadership brings a long history of serving a wide array of non-profits all over the country. And that history isn’t from long ago or from just the older crowd. Inspired by the “22” awareness soldier suicide social media campaigns, Once a Soldier is made up of Baby Boomers, Millenials and Gen X’ers.

This varied group has fed children and fixed the trucks that got the food there. They’ve help the USO raise money for their No-Dough Dinners. They helped both young girls adults in their 50s and 60s – both suffering from rare neuroligical disorders specific to their age group, feel the love and hope that only comes with research funds raised.

We promise that as we grow and give more and more to the families, we will get better at all aspects of helping these veteran suicide survivors. There is no road map, no one else does this. We are pioneers in a landscape full of other veteran charities. We hope you see our value, our sincerity, and give us your supoprt.

Once a Soldier

No matter what happened to these men and women, these American service men and women, they were once a father or mother, a sister or brother. They were once happy and proud. They were once a soldier.

Need a Lift? Try “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End by Paul McCartney

The unofficial anthem of Once a Soldier. It’s about losing a loved one but still moving on with a sense of optimism and hope. It never fails to inspires us. We come here to click that link often. We hope you will, too.

Once there was a way to get back homeward.
Once there was a way to get back home.
Sleep little darling do not cry and I will sing a lullabye.
Golden slumbers fill your eyes.
Smiles awake you when you rise.


And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Our Two-Phase Approach to the Mission

Phase One: As we are newly minted in late 2017, becoming financially stable while we raise awareness is our mandate.

Phase Two: With the first dollars available, we will gift the first of our veteran suicide.

Our Mission is Simple

Ease or erase the financial burden of the funeral costs after a soldier suicide.

Dave Barbush

Dave Barbush


The son of a Navy veteran, Dave now lives in Jacksonville, Florida – home to three Navy installations. Neighbors and co-workers more often than not have a spouse in active duty. It’s their stories and sacrifice that inspired Once a Soldier.

From the Founder:

When I decided to start Once a Soldier, I knew the only way to make an impact on the lives of the survivors was to give something back to every donor.

We “sell” t-shirts because everybody loves a t-shirt, and ours are cool and for a cool cause. We want to thank you and to have you remember that Once a Soldier respects the commitment of the husbands and wives, sons and daughters who sign up for military duty when the soldier does.

After a veteran solider suicide, we want more to be a small and unexpected ray of sunshine in their darkest hours. We want to let them know that every one of you who supports us supports them, too. We want to be the silver lining.




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Thank you for giving to veteran families.