Mission: The mission of the Fallen Warriors Foundation is to help heal the wounds of war and to honor the sacrifices of American soldiers. Basically our dollars are spent in copying, mailing, distributing flyers, mailbox, costs associated with travel expenses of the retreat facilitator and his assistant, retreat center fees, food, transportation and scholarships for those who wish to attend but have no money. In addition, we make an annual donation to the retreat leader for his teachings for which he does not charge as he is a mendicant monk.
Please visit our website: http:/www.fallenwarriorsfoundation.com
You can find videos there as well on the right side of the page. Just click Media!
When I was 18 I carried a machine gun and fought as a Marine in the Vietnam War. When I came home the country had exploded with the anti-war movement and I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I tried many things to ease this illness but healing did not come for decades.
Writing helped, but traveling back to Vietnam, to my original point of pain was critically important. Thus, the Fallen Warriors Foundation grew out of a trip my wife and I and our two children made to Vietnam in 1993.
My wife felt that if I carried medical and educational supplies and toys I could replace some of my muscle memories and other thoughts associated with my tour as a Marine. We carried these supplies and donations and they helped replace the thoughts of carrying a machine gun and killing enemy soldiers.
I followed that trip up with several more to Vietnam. Each trip consisted of carrying medical supplies. One year we took back a group of Vietnam Veterans who also carried donations. We took them to their former battlefields on a mission of healing. Then we led a group of doctors and nurses to Vietnam to help provide care to the poorest villages.
Over the years Fallen Warriors Foundations has delivered ton's of donations of medical supplies such as kidney dialyses machines and computers and other critical supplies.
We built a clean water system to deliver fresh water to a village than had none. We donated funds for students to attend school and even sponsored a Vietnamese student to come to the US to study, at a time when it was very difficult to leave Vietnam.
We have held annual retreats for the past fifteen years for veterans and their loved ones and have put on special events such "Feasts for Peace", where veterans and former war protesters meet to reconcile.
We staged theater presentations and have written articles on remembering veterans that have been published in newspapers across the country.
We have been active in working with incarcerated veterans by creating a speakers buereau, lecture on ways to deal with PTSD, such as setting up meditation programs.
We have also provided small stipends for veterans when they transition out of prison back into the community. Jack Estes, President and co-founder.
Results: Helping numerous Veterans and families soothe the effects of PTSD symptoms.
Target demographics: Veterans and their family members.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Annual impact on hundreds of people.
Geographic areas served: US
Programs: Annual Fallen Warriors retreat, and hopefully more retreats in various locations throught the year if enough funding is received.
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I have been involved on the periphery of the Fallen Warriors Foundation as a documentarian, studying the impact of Post Traumatic Stress and the healing modalities currently employed to help relieve PTSD sufferers from their symptoms. The work that Jack, Colleen and Claude have undertaken through the Fallen Warriors Foundation and through their annual retreats is simultaneously inspiring and down-to-earth. This is a strong organization with dedication, honor, and a deeply humanitarian mission.
The stories written and read aloud by the "fallen warriors" in attendance the two years I participated live in my heart forever. One year Claude Anshin Thomas, retreat leader, asked that each "write about something you've never spoken before," ~ the stories were heart shattering and the sharing was healing. The participants were lighter upon leaving. I served in the kitchen, hurrying with my work in order to witness this great process.
Helped in my understanding my personal PTSD problems and how to deal with these problems more effectively. I was more involved when I lived in Portland, Oregon. Now I live in So. California and am not as involved. This is a great organization, and needs others to understand its importance in the healing of war wounds among other things.