Jonathan Kirkendall

Jonathan Kirkendall's Fundraiser

Join me in making a tangible difference in a veteran's life. image

Join me in making a tangible difference in a veteran's life.

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$1,335 towards $2,500

Why I'm asking for your help:

It was June 1976, and I was 14. In two weeks the country would be celebrating the Bicentennial, and my parents and I had traveled to a small college town in West Texas where my brother and his wife were expecting their first child. I remember waiting in the family area of the hospital. I remember my brother racing out of her room, a bit dazed, to give us updates, and then racing back in again. And later, I remember standing with my brother, gazing through the glass of the nursery window, at John Mark Kirkendall, my first nephew.

Because my parents lived and worked overseas, I wasn’t around for all the milestones in John’s life, and I followed much of his life as he grew through pictures that we got in the mail. And in one of those pictures, John stood with his dad, fresh out of high school and newly inducted into the Army, both smiling and proud.

I followed John’s military career, his three deployments: two to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. During this time, I was inspired by his service, and my own growing concern for his well-being led to my seeking out ways to work with and support families whose military member had died.

I grew more and more grateful each time John came back alive from each of his deployments.

At the same time, I saw the stress and pain of the deployments on John’s family. I heard the pain in John’s voice when he told me that one of his soldiers had died by suicide. Today, I am grateful John is home with his family and doing well in life.

My work with military members and their families has been immensely challenging and rewarding in ways I never could have expected. I am proud to have recently joined the board of The Warrior Connection, an organization dedicated to creating a healing path for our veterans, paths that reconnect them with their partners and families, that reconnects them with the civilian world, that enables them to find their voice, to tell their story. Most importantly, The Warrior Connection retreats give the veteran the tools to reconnect to themselves. I’m lucky to have witnessed these retreats first-hand, and feel honored to accompany vets on their journey during each retreat.

Any donation from you will go a long way to helping me meet my goal for The Warrior Connection

$2500 Provides full scholarship for one participant to begin their journey

$449 Provide round-trip travel for a retreat participant

$259 Provide meals for a retreat participant

$98 Provides a week of mindfulness training and yoga for a retreat participant

To see our most recent annual report, click here.