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Dugri for Veterans – 101

What does Dugri mean?

Adapted from Turkish into Arabic, then into modern Hebrew slang, dugri is defined as “straightforward”—speaking freely, saying what is on one’s mind. To speak dugri is to tell it like it is.

What is the Dugri protocol and where has it been used?

Harnessing Stress to Excellence (HASTE) is the resilience model at the foundation of Dugri. In keeping with our core mission, it focuses on promoting personal wellness and better professional functioning. Developed over decades working with military special forces, emergency medical and surgical teams, corporate leadership and first responders, HASTE has been successfully implemented around the world to help the strongest in their most difficult and demoralizing times. Beneficiaries include the Israeli Navy SEALS, FEMA, and its NJ Urban Area Security Initiative. 

Who is Dugri for Veterans for?

Dugri for Veterans was made to support all US military veterans and their families.  With Dugri, help is at hand, day and night, offering a safe space where those who have served (either directly or indirectly through a loved one) can show up for each other.

Is Dugri for Veterans a replacement for therapy?

Absolutely not. Dugri cannot substitute for professional therapy but can be used as an adjunct to therapy or an element of peer support and self-care.

Those in crisis or in need of immediate medical help should call 911 or dial the Veterans Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)

Where do I start?

There are multiple ways to give and receive support on the Dugri for Veterans app, depending on what you need and how much time you have.  Try them all!

  1. Gather: Join the conversation in a discussion board tailored to military veterans. This open forum helps you recharge by connecting you to the formerly uniformed community, offering valuable feedback, and reminding you that you’re not alone in post-military life.
  2. Exchange: Get something off your chest and receive support from an empathic ally who gets what you’re going through in a walkie talkie-style, 1:1 voice message chat. These dialogs can unfold anytime, at your convenience.
  3. Live Call: For a deeper conversation, try a real time, voice-only call with a peer.  The app guides you in compassionate conversation, which helps to unload stress and re-energize.

Tips for sharing

  • Think about something that’s bothering you, that you need to get past.
  • Share honestly without fear of judgement (including from yourself).  
  • Don’t worry about how your voice sounds or your specific choice of words.
  • Follow the lead of your ally, who will lead you through a series of questions. 
  • Name the emotions: this is a safe space to be vulnerable.
  • Talk about what helps and what might be learned from this. 
  • Confidentiality is key, so avoid personal details that could reveal your identity.

If you feel desperate or at risk, Dugri is not equal to your needs: stay safe and call 911 or the Veterans Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1)

Tips for listening

  • Receive what is being shared with openness, not judgement. 
  • Do your best to truly hear your ally and take their perspective.
  • Remember that emotions are not problems to be solved: no need to fix things or give advice. Compassion is all that’s needed.
  • Focus on what your ally is experiencing and the emotions they are feeling. The simple act of standing with someone in adversity can be a powerful comfort.
  • Think of your listening as a gift in itself. Any opinions, interpretations, and stories should come from them.
  • Echo what your ally is saying—in your own words—so they know you’re with them.
  • Empathy honors another person’s experience without trying to define or dismiss it. Even the most well-intentioned analysis or advice can make an ally feel less heard. 
  • Be respectful of your ally’s boundaries and protective of your own: you are here to listen compassionately, not to assume your ally’s burden or take responsibility for it.