Living Among Lambs

amonglambsYou are not alone in your struggles. Transition is hard and takes time, but you CAN DO IT!!! This is another battlefield and war you’re fighting. The key now is to learn how to fight it: what are your weapons, how do you use them, who/what is your supply & provision. Most importantly in this battle know that defeat is not an option & NEVER EVER give up or quit fighting!

I ran across this picture that a facebook friend and veteran Marine had posted. It was a visual image reminder that made me think of what God showed me about our combat veterans….

Hearts for Heroes Final Meeting

We would like to invite everyone to this weeks Hearts for Heroes meeting on Nov 13th. Please read the following from Kylene, the meeting leader…

Dearest Friends,

I am sending the Hearts for Heroes email reminder for the last time. Our November meeting will be the final ‘official’ gathering. Nothing is wrong or happened, it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. So many want and hope to come to the meetings but life, kids, jobs, other commitments, etc. just aren’t making it possible to do it all!  The decision is simply that the world and our lives have changed in such a way that it’s  just time to move on. And I want this to be clear, moving on is healthy when there’s no longer that need in your life.

This group has been a true blessing to  me from the beginning and I will forever be grateful for it.  Friendships of past and/or present have been unbelievable and in many ways, still continue to be for many of us.  Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives, the challenging times and the blessings and all the moments in between.

So… how about one more time together??!!  PLEASE mark your calendars for Nov 13 and stop by and say hello. No matter if you were one of the three people at the last meeting or  if you came to one meeting, we haven’t seen you in years, or maybe you never got to come but you meant to… I invite you, urge you to join us next month.
In Him,
Kylene
***

If you have attended these meetings before, you know how much the support and fellowship means. It can get through a tough time when your loved one is deployed. Many lives have been touched over the past several years… but change is sometimes necessary in this world. Hope you can stop by! 

If you need more info about the meeting time and location, please visit our webpage http://military-missions.org/support/h4h/

 

Healing Invisible Wounds of War – A Dozen at a Time

It’s great to see that there is a program for military spouses dealing with PTSD.  What is hard to believe is that this program is only available to 12 people at a time. I’m thrilled for these twelve spouses, but what about the rest of us????

According to a report by CBS News, the military has diagnosed 78,000 cases of PTSD, but it is estimated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that the Veteran’s Administration estimates the number of cases to be closer to 800,000.  That number does not even take into consideration the thousands of troops who are going to return from a deployment in the future.

It was stated by the Chairman that to catch up with numbers like that, there will have to be programs in communities all over the country.

So what are we waiting for? Let’s get these programs started and let’s be sure to include, in addition to the spouses, all caregivers and significant others who are supporting combat veterans with invisible wounds.

 

You’re Not Alone

Do you live with combat PTSD?  Perhaps you aren’t the combat veteran.  Maybe you live with a veteran, or it could be that you have become the primary caregiver for someone who battles this condition. The first thing you need to understand is that you are not alone.  There are many resources out there, including Not Alone, which provides programs, resources, and services to warriors and families impacted by combat stress and PTSD.

Not Alone offers online support groups for combat veterans, spouses, parents, and significant others. If you are the parent of one who is affected, the weekly online support group meets tonight at 8:00 pm.  Click here to read more.

 

Calling All Volunteers!


We have a lot of exciting opportunities for volunteers.  Please check them out and let us know how you would like to get involved.  For more information visit our volunteer page or contact Ginny at volunteer@military-missions.org.

 

EVENTS:

Sporting Clays Shoot – Saturday, May 21, 2011 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Volunteers will help with registration, station management, score keeping, and lunch service.  No previous experience necessary.  Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to help with this event.

Sam’s Club – Friday, Saturday, Sunday – June 3-5, 2011 – 10 am to 4 pm

We are looking for volunteers to work in shifts to help us work the table which will be set up in front of the store.  Volunteers will be handing out shopping lists and flyers and sharing information about Military Missions

July 4th – Volunteers are needed all day. Many shifts need to be filled.

  • Festival Booth – Our booth will be set up in downtown Lexington.  We need shift workers between 8:-00 am and 6:00 pm.
  • Parade Float – We need parade participants to ride or walk alongside our float.  Parade line up begins at 1:00 pm.  The parade starts at 2:00 pm and usually lasts about one hour.
  • Saul Good Fundraiser – We need shift workers to help out at both restaurant locations from noon to 8:00 pm.

 

TEAMS:

We are looking for volunteers interested in joining or leading a team.  It takes many of us to accomplish our mission to support our troops, veterans, and their families. If you are interested in any of the following areas, please contact Ginny at volunteer@military-missions.org.

Community Outreach Team – help us to reach out and connect with our community.  We need to get the word out about Military Missions and get others involved in supporting our programs.  We need a liaison who is willing to work with specific target areas to keep people informed and get them involved.

  • Team members are being recruited to coordinate with churches, schools, businesses, clubs and organizations, etc.
  • Team members are being recruited to help us schedule information tables and booths at ongoing events in our community or in conjunction with local businesses.
  • Team members are being recruited for our Drop Box Team.  Help us get donation boxes placed throughout the community.

Grants/Fundraising Team – Up to this point, Military Missions has relied on the donations given by individuals and small groups.  With the sluggish economy, giving is down.  We are looking for someone who has experience with fundraising and seeking available grants.  We hope to broaden our ability to bring in donations so that we can continue to serve our military, veterans, and their families.  Contact Ginny at volunteer@military-missions.org.

Office Management Team – We are looking for more volunteers to help us run the office in 2-3 hour shifts.  Weekly and bi-weekly shifts are available.  Please contact Joanne at joanne.ky@juno.com.

Events Team – We are looking for volunteers who are interested in planning special events.  We have a number of events during the year and are looking for someone who would be interested in leading the team or volunteering to be a member of this planning project. Contact Ginny at volunteer@military-missions.org.

VA Team – We are looking for individuals who are interested in volunteering at our monthly Bingo parties hosted on the first Tuesday of each month at the Lexington VA Medical Center.  We are also looking for volunteers who would be interested in planning quarterly parties for our hospitalized veterans. Contact Ginny at volunteer@military-missions.org.

Communications Team – We are looking for volunteers who are interested in spending time on their computers helping us to reach the online community.  We actively participate in social networks, blogging, and will soon be opening a new forum on our website.  We are looking for people who can help us to maintain these sites by posting and moderating forums.  If you are a writer, we ask that you consider joining our blog team. Contact Beth at beth@military-missions.org.

VET2VET Team – Our VET2VET program gives Veterans an opportunity to give and receive help within the veteran community.  We are looking for Veterans who have moved further along in their journey to overcome the battle with PTSD, who would be interested in mentoring the veterans who are now returning from war and need to talk to another veteran.  If you are interested in mentoring a veteran, please contact Beth at beth@military-missions.org.

OPERATION S.E.N.D CHRISTMAS Planning Team -OPERATION S.E.N.D. CHRISTMAS is a project that spans the months of September through December. Volunteers are involved locally and nationally. Several events are planned in the Central Kentucky community as well as a donation drive for care package items, monetary donations for postage costs and personal cards and letters written to the troops.  To find out more about OPERATION S.E.N.D CHRISTMAS, visit our OPSEND website at http://opsend.org/events/christmas.  To find out how you can get involved, contact Joanne at joanne.ky@juno.com.

 

It’s Time to Think Outside the Box!

Military Missions has been operating officially as a nonprofit organization for over three years now but we’ve been supporting troops, military families, and veterans since the fall of 2004.  We had no idea that we would still be fighting a war, or two, or three at this point in the game, but as we all know, we are still sending troops overseas to stand in harm’s way for the good of our nation.

Things are constantly changing and this calls us to action in new and different ways.  When most people hear of Military Missions Inc, they associate us with care packages.  That is how we got started, and sending packages does define about 50% of what we do, but with the growth in number of returning combat veterans and the prevalence of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries amongst our warriors is also becoming one of our mission fields as well.

We work in a variety of ways with our veterans.  Currently we host Bingo once a month at the Lexington VA Medical Center.  We also host parties for big events such as the Super Bowl and the Final Four.  We supply a feast for these events and we are always looking for volunteers to help with food preparation as well as helping during the events.  We provide $300 in quarters for the Bingo games each month.  For some of our veterans, these quarters won during Bingo is what they count on for spending money.

Our goal with these small events is simply to let our veterans know that we care about them.  We want them to know that they haven’t been forgotten and we want them to know that we are here in the community when they graduate from their inpatient programs for PTSD or Substance Abuse.  Many of these veterans are homeless and reside in Volunteers of America (VOA) housing.  They are dealing with the issues that affect those with the invisible wounds of war.  When they start fresh in the community, we want our veterans to know we are here for them.  We are excited to report that our plan is working.  Our veterans are completing their inpatient programs and they are getting involved with us at Military Missions.

In the next few weeks we are starting a support group which will meet twice a month for families of combat veterans dealing with Invisible Wounds.  We will extend this to our veterans as we find combat veterans who are willing to be mentors to our younger veterans who are just starting on the road to recovery and life after war.  Child care will be provided so you have no excuse to miss a meeting!

We also have plans to launch an online support community and in order to accomplish that goal our website will be undergoing some big changes.  Currently we maintain four websites and have an active Facebook group, so if our site is down at any point, here are the places you can find us.  We will only have one site down at a time.

http://military-missions.org

http://opsend.org

http://fellednot.com

http://stepstohonor.blogspot.com

If you ever visit our sites and see out of date information, please understand that we have a limited staff of nonpaid volunteers running the show around here. If you have skills in an area that you find lacking, please speak up and we will gladly accept your help!  We will never turn down a good idea or someone who can implement it.

In August we are working with Lutheran Military Veterans and Families Ministries (LMVFM) to host a training seminar designed to educate caregivers in the unique and challenging aspects of providing Christian care and outreach to veterans and their families.  We will be inviting clergy, therapists, and medical professionals in the Central Kentucky area to become familiar with combat PTSD and other related issues with the hope that our community can better meet the needs of the large number of veterans returning home to our home town.  With the VA being overrun with patients, we all need to do our part to help our veterans and their families.

As we grow our ministry to meet the growing needs of our warriors and their families, we hope that you will consider joining our support team.  We are looking for more than just a few care package donations.  We need help in a number of areas and will soon be posting the needs on our website.  We hope that you will begin to think outside the box and consider how you can be a part of making a real difference in the lives of our heroes.  We’ve got a bzillion great ideas that we hope to implement over the next couple of years.  If you are looking for a place to make a difference, you can do it right here at Military Missions Inc.  We promise that you will be blessed!