Director of Fund Raising & Director of Communications Greg Dobrowolski
- May 16, 2013
-- Camaraderie, friendship, fellowship, and most importantly Espirit De Corps are the founding principles of any military unit or successful cooperative venture. Whether it be a military movement or a soup kitchen, kindness and caring are two elements inherent to any successfully enduring operation. A shining example is Frank Woodruff Buckles (born Wood Buckles, February 1, 1901 – February 27, 2011), the last surviving American veteran of World War I. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1917 and served with a detachment from Fort Riley. After the war, he settled down and got married in West Virginia. A widower at 98, he worked on his farm until he was a 105. During his final years, he was honorary chairman of the World War 1 Memorial Foundation and advocated that other memorials be established in Washington D.C. To the end of his days he did not forget his Fallen Comrades and the ultimate sacrifices many of them paid. Any medal awarded, achievement accomplished, and recognition given to a service member does not belong to the individual, but rather to the ones not there to receive it, like a cross one bears because it is the right thing to do.
The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are often one and the same. No one wants to leave their family, community, and friendships thousands of miles behind them; however, this is the initial sacrifice every serviceman entering the Armed Forces must be willing to make, cognitively and whole heartedly, even before the trials and tribulations of combat. It is loyalty that binds us together and camaraderie that eases the pain of separation, trusting one another’s skills and dedication that each and every one of us will, should the time arise, make the ultimate sacrifice so the mission and the team succeed. An old African proverb goes as follows: “If you want to travel fast, go alone, if you want to travel far, go together.” An Army phrase we use in training goes: “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” While seemingly unrelated, to those in the armed forces they are one in the same. Due to proper planning, actively assessing risks, and the trust inherent in camaraderie, we arrive, engage, and achieve victory together. Given the proper tools and resources, it is said there is nothing we can’t accomplish. The training we receive on behalf of the American people fortifies us individually to function as a group to achieve a collective purpose. We don’t try, we simply do. To quote Margret Meade, “"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This rings true in the heart and soul of every Veteran.
Everything is multi-faceted. We speak of community, leadership, respect, duty, selflessness, honor, integrity, and personal courage (LRDSHIP the military values) yet we all live within a world that is, in large, partly guided by the hand of self-interest-
that which is relevant is only relative if it relates to “me”. There are an estimated 21 million Americans, who are serving, have served or are family members and loved ones of service members, out a population of over 300 million. Veterans are a small, but proud, percentage of this country’s population that is trained and conditioned for victory in the most difficult of circumstances. Veterans are characterized by selfless service and a duty to one’s country and ones comrades. These strengths in service can be many a veterans’ weakness after they transition into the civilian community. According to some estimates, on any given night, there are as many as 86,000+ veterans living on the streets in the United States. Veterans are twice as likely as other Americas to become chronically homeless. The number of homeless Vietnam-era veterans, is higher than the number of soldiers that died during the war. Between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless sometime during the year. These situations lead veterans to take their own life at a rate of 1 every 80 minutes, so the need for a structured system is obvious. That is why we created OVP, to embark on a new mission that is in many ways a continuation of our service. These statistics, while alarming, are by us seen as a challenge, rather than a reason for despair. First and foremost, we at OVP reached an understanding that the why is not important. Second, an approach must be found that can offer aid, support, and access to available resources establishing the foundations of self-sustainability while maintaining their pride and dignity. Third, as everyone knows for any ongoing operation to have any impact, financial resources must be available and ongoing. Just like on a plane, we are advised to secure our own oxygen mask before helping others. In this same fashion, we all have basic requirements that must be satisfied before anyone can help anyone else. So we at OVP are fostering an atmosphere and environment by which ones livelihood is directly associated with helping our fellow brothers and sisters in arms. ...http://www.operationveteranspromise.org/
Michael Angielski Greg A. Dobrowolski
Chief Executive Officer Director of National Fundraising
OPERATION VETERAN'S PROMISE