In 1959, as a kid in Great Falls, Montana, I would ride my pony and enjoy the fresh Montana air. I fell in love with that big Montana sky, especially when I heard a rumble draw so close it shook the ground. My heart would pound with anticipation whenever I heard that loud roar in the sky. Everything around me seemed to shake, including the ground under my little cowgirl boots!
No, it wasn’t a storm. It was the Blue Angels flight team doing maneuvers right over my house. Well, it wasn’t right over my house - they were several thousand feet in the air. However, to this little Montana cowgirl, it sure seemed that close. Just like any other department in the military, they were a well-oiled machine with such precision, focus and timing. I felt an enormous sense of pride for my country as they flew overhead.
At Goodwill Manasota, our Veterans Services team is also a well-oiled machine. The team is staffed by people who are veterans from every branch of the military. They understand, first-hand, the needs of a veteran. Heart, compassion, diligence and tenacity are the tools with which our Veterans Services team fights for their fellow veterans. They are there for other veterans who have "rumbled" in order to maintain freedom for people they don’t even know. Now that’s inspirational!
Many veterans have to start from scratch. Many don’t have jobs waiting for them or the means with which to start over. Some have medical needs as well. They’ve seen and experienced far more than we civilians could ever imagine.
One of the programs that we have for veterans is our “Veterans Family Program.” This is an expansion of the Goodwill Job Connection program, which provides job training and placement, and employment services for the benefit of thousands of American veterans as well as their spouses and families.
The Veteran Services team strives to meet the needs of veterans and their families, with the support of our community and other professional resources.
Whenever you find yourself in the presence of our veterans, does that same heart-pounding pride fill you? Do you want to say "Thank you for risking your life for me"? That little Montana cowgirl inside of me wants to run up, hug them and say, “You don’t know me but I’m still here because you fought to protect my life and I just wanna’ give you the biggest hug ever! Thank you for making me feel safe. You risked it all for me and my family!”
But how do you actually thank a complete stranger for laying it all on the line for you? I invite you to join me in making a donation to the Veterans Family Services Emergency Fund. It’s an opportunity to say to a veteran, “Now you can take your family out to dinner, buy some new clothes, get groceries or whatever it is you need to start over again. It’s my way of 'rumbling' for you, my heroes. At Goodwill Manasota, you are family.”
Join me in this restorative venture. Let’s rumble!