I have been blessed the last 5 years to lead and to be part of the Our Heroes’ Dreams family and our many amazing volunteers, vets, board members and community supporters. My life has been changed by seeing the great Americans in our country as we have all come together to help give our veterans a hand up in their time of need. Most veterans are embarrassed to ask for a hand up and refuse to take a hand out while they learn how to accomplish and take on their new mission in life. The hard part for me over the years has to be saying no to a veteran who is in need but the resources were just not there. The worst being when I am talking to a suicidal vet and we don’t have a retreat for 2-6 months, knowing that it can save their lives. Thankfully we can offer more this year due to Easter Seals donating cabins and food for our retreats.
I would say that the best part is being able to help get a veteran and their family out to the Healing Retreat where we can start to put on the band aids like home, car, relationship, spiritual, PTSD, TBI, MST, marriage and family counseling. It warms my heart to see those warriors get into a new mission and to start living again. I must say, none of this would be possible without you. Now we have advanced to having a Veterans Community Response Corps program up and running which is a platoon with squads. The squads are programs like Mountain Warriors, Women Warriors, Archery Heroes, Veterans Quick Reaction Force Team, Gold Warriors, our fishing/hunting/adaptive sports squad and others that are in the making as we speak. This platoon allows our veterans to have avenues to get up off the couch and into a new mission while learning to live again after their military service has ended. Turning off that warrior light switch and becoming a veteran is extremely difficult but we help teach these warriors how to live, love, feel and conquer once again.
I will end by saying thank you for your service to all of our vets and military out there, thank you to all of the many volunteers who make Our Heroes’ Dreams a success and what it is today and thank you to our supporters who trust us with your hard-earned money and trust that we will be frugal with it as we help save lives in our all-volunteer nonprofit. May God bless you and yours!