Last week we had the honor of attending the Walker County 10th Annual Wounded Warrior Benefit. Over the last 10 years, the event has raised more than $2 million for injured veterans and their families. It’s part of my life’s mission to support veterans, but especially those local to my community. Marcus grew up in Walker County and is the same community that surrounded his family with an outpouring of love, prayer and support during Operation Redwing.
The Benefit contributes to many organizations, but, one in particular, has impacted my life on a very real, personal level. It’s called A Mighty Oaks.
One of Marcus’ closest friends and brotherhood SEAL is Boss. During his daughter Lulu’s battle with cancer (whom I wrote about previously here) it was no secret that Boss was deeply struggling. His fights on the battlefield (he’s seen nothing but combat deployments in his 22 years in the military) were nothing compared to the battle waging at home. He steadily began to fall apart. He battled severe depression, anger, isolation, insomnia, and a multitude of other symptoms that were rapidly destroying him and his family. He was falling apart and taking everyone down with him. He is open and honest about it, and very bluntly states, “I was dying right along with my baby girl.”
A Mighty Oaks Foundation. Desperate and out of options, his wife Tiggs sought help from the command. Their Chaplain turned them on to AMO. After months of refusal and fighting, Ben hit rock bottom. He finally agreed to attend.
The program changed his life. He found Christ. He found Hope. He discovered a larger brotherhood that existed outside the Teams. He came home committed to life for the first time in years. “I was baptized on Father’s Day 2016. That is the best thing I ever did for Lulita.” He is now a Team Leader with AMO, committed to serving and healing brokenhearted warriors.
Many men (and women) who attend this program are on the brink, on the verge of suicide. AMO shows them there is ALWAYS something else to live for: God’s Love.
Every dollar from the benefit goes directly to veterans and their families. It’s just one of many organizations we support and close to our hearts. We were surrounded by over a thousand fellow die hard patriots and I loved it!!
(clearly, Mama Holly loved it too!)