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New organization seeks to build stronger support network for veterans
Greenville Herald-Banner - 2/12/2021
Feb. 12—Whether it's the Marine Corps' famous motto, "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful), or the Army's "This We'll Defend," these words not only represent a warrior's code of self-sacrifice and duty to one's country — they can also serve as inspiration to those who would like to support America's military veterans.
Established last month, Twin Rotors Mission is a non-profit organization that aims to assist and honor veterans and their families in Hunt County and the surrounding areas.
Twin Rotors Founder/President and Army veteran Paula Morgan explained that one of the main focuses of the group is to prioritize veterans' wellbeing regardless of what era they served or whether or not they are combat veterans.
"Actually, only about 10 percent of military veterans are combat veterans," Morgan told the Herald-Banner. "And with veterans only making about 7 percent of the total population (of the United States as of 2016), that's an even smaller group."
Twin Rotors Mission is being developed under the wing of 501c3 non-profit GallantFew, an organization that serves veterans and their families across the nation and around the world. GallantFew offers support to veterans and active duty service members both from their peers and from patriotic allies, with an emphasis on nurturing veterans' spiritual, professional, social, physical and emotional health, as they transition back into civilian life.
"One of the hardest things about transitioning is the feeling of isolation so many veterans feel, because it can be hard to stay in contact with anyone you actually served with," Morgan said. "I've been lucky, because I've managed to connect with one, but my husband doesn't have anyone who was there with him when he served."
In addition to working to forge a generally stronger social network between veterans in the community, another one of Twin Rotors Mission's main objectives is to provide financial assistance to veterans — which would include paying for counseling to help veterans better cope with PTSD and/or avert suicidal thoughts. The organization also plans to help veterans who are experiencing homelessness and those who are at risk of losing their homes.
"In 2019, I worked with a homeless woman veteran in partnership with GallantFew, who lived in the Dallas area and had become homeless after her husband left," Morgan related. "She was living out of her car, but had no insurance, and we eventually got her into a shelter in Fort Worth, but veterans were given no priority services.
"I would like to see that if someone can prove that they are a veteran, that they have somewhere they can go, because a lot of vets end up in a homeless situation, whether it's due to traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, a war injury or anything that could make transitioning even more difficult," Morgan added.
"We're not going to just give them handouts. We are going to seek resources to help them transition into living in a place they can call home, help them find gainful employment, and help them reconnect with other veterans so they are not isolated and alone."
Also in connection with helping veterans who are experiencing financial difficulties, Twin Rotors Mission is seeking to assist veterans who are struggling to maintain their businesses by promoting those veteran-owned businesses in Hunt County and surrounding areas.
While Twin Rotors Mission is still in the process of applying for 501c3 status, the organization is moving forward in it's mission by participating in GallantFew's Patriot Challenge fundraiser this month.
The Patriot Challenge is a nationwide veteran transition advocacy and community fitness event in which teams each strive to log 565 miles-worth of running, walking, bike riding, climbing, skating, rowing, or even lifting weights, dancing or doing yoga (15 minutes of movement = 1 mile).
The challenge was first started by Army Ranger Cory Smith in 2012, when he ran 565 miles from Fort Benning, Georgia to Indianapolis, Indiana, with hopes of bringing awareness to challenges facing transitioning service members.
To make a donation to the Twin Rotors Mission's team for the Patriot Challenge, or to join the team and help them meet their goal of reaching 565 miles, visit their team's page online at give.gallantfew.org/team/333837 or send inquiries by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Through money being donated through the Patriot Challenge, 50 percent goes to us, and we'll need the funds to carry out our mission," Morgan said. "Funds are also planned to help with scholarships, to bring in motivational speakers, and musical and arts talent."
In addition to participation in the Patriot Challenge, Twin Rotors Mission is also seeking two more board members, including someone who has experience with grant writing.
The organization is also on the lookout for an attorney with experience with non-profits to volunteer their time, and for a local pastor to help lead the group's veteran spiritual support efforts.
Those interested in getting involved with Twin Rotors Mission may send an email to email@example.com
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