|Dear EVF Friends,
All they wanted was the black knit watch cap, 1 ea. That was all they wanted from me before I could officially sign out of the United States Marine Corps. I had lost it several months before in some winter outdoor training and the thought hit me that after six years of the USMC, my freedom depended on that missing black hat. In a few days I’ll be attending what will hopefully be my last Reserve duty at Ft. Jackson, SC. Hopefully, I’ll have the watch cap this time and everything else I need to finish my time. Its been a good 20 years, all told, and I’m looking forward to finally being 100% veteran. There are so many people along the way I’m thankful for. The relationships I forged there are so meaningful to me and I hope I can see most of them again. As I face this next step, I’m scared of the loneliness and the loss of identity. As much as I’ve complained about the military over the years, it gave me something I can’t quite explain. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. That’s why we formed this group, to be there for each other. To still experience the Best of our military service (people) without the Worst of it (early mornings, hurry up and wait, and shaving every day). Thank you for being on this journey with me.
The last couple months have seen an expansion of our ministry presence. To reach out to all these diocese, parishes, and veterans has cost us time and money. We continue to do it with hopes that we are shooting out a signal flare that veterans will see. Some of them will rally to the flare and join us in this pilgrimage home from war. I’m especially thankful for our supporters. This week a dear couple, Ann and Roger Seyler, handed me an envelope. In it was a substantial gift. Every year during Lent they set a place at their table and “have someone over for dinner.” This year it was an invisible veteran. They took the money they would have spent on the meal and gave it to EVF! We will use this money to get our message out to bishops, diocese, parishes, and veterans.
On June 7th we will start our first monthly Moral Injury Healing Service for Veterans. 7pm at St. Mark’s in Austin. We will have experiential music, healing, and holy communion. Please consider joining us for this adventure in following the Holy Spirit in this ministry of healing.
(It’s not a plus sign, it’s a Cross, indicating I’m giving you a Blessing! So peace and love be with you.)