I am an eight year Navy Veteran (Aviation Ordnance Tech) a proud Father/Husband and a passionate Veteran advocate in the Coachella Valley. Since getting out I have worked with Veterans in several capacities. I have worked with Veterans who have struggled with homelessness, chemical dependency, post traumatic stress, sexual trauma just to name a few. I help because someone once helped me.
Through the process I have come to understand the significance of consistency of care. Getting help is one thing, continuing to work on yourself is another. Having worked in mental health for the last six years I have been given a unique opportunity to help Veterans in all stages of recovery. I have pushed through what is considered the norm of care and brought care to Veterans in our community. Whether facilitating a support group at a local community college, strumming a guitar with Veterans in the park or partnering with community resources, I am constantly working on ways to extend care outside of conventional treatment and meet Veterans where they are comfortable and willing to engage in care and support.
Mission Veteran was started because of the lack of resources available to our Veterans, particularly for spouses and family members in the Coachella Valley. I think of the Veterans that have fallen through the cracks because not enough was done or resources were not available and I find it unacceptable. I believe changes can be made with the right team, passion and resources. I come humbly to ask for help because I know it is a mission I cannot complete alone. I have learned through my own challenges/barriers that we never have to be alone in our struggles or in our victories, that what is within us is stronger than what is in front of us.
My big picture goal is to create a new evolved method of helping Veterans, creating new centers to allow Veterans to come together not just to socialize with cocktails but through exercise, education, recreation and social engagement. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives of our Veterans through a peer approach, to create support systems for Veterans and family members who are struggling. The need is there and the rewards of helping a brother or sister comes second to none. I have lost friends, my best friend to Veterans suicide, I work harder everyday for the twenty two Veterans we lose. There is a new battle for our returning Veterans and an all too familiar one for our Veterans of past conflicts.
Together we can make a change, we can save our Veterans and their families. We are starting with a music program as well as a Veteran and spouse retreat program, we are asking Veterans to commit to four retreats a year, at each retreat Veterans will acquire new tools as well as reiterate tools they have gained in previous retreats with new Veterans to help create a community of support. We hope you will consider contributing to our Mission and look forward to working with you to make a positive impact in the lives of our Veterans and their families.
Edward A. Robles