My name is Jonathan Forse and I am native Texan who was raised in a little town called Sealy about 30 minutes west of Houston. Both of my grandfathers served in the Army but they never really talked about it much, so I never really experienced the dynamic of being in the military family. That is until I got involved with Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF). The camaraderie and commitment that I witness within the military community really can’t be described as anything but family. I have been volunteering with Lone Survivor Foundation since 2012 and have done just about every job imaginable, from helping with the fundraising galas to selling merchandise to assembling retreat packets, to stamping envelopes. When I first got involved with the Foundation it was just to lend a hand, but the more I helped the more educated I became about how the retreat program worked and why it was needed. Through this, I realized the gravity of the situation that too many veterans are facing every day and it drove me to help out as much as I possibly could.
Without a doubt, my favorite volunteer opportunity is helping with the galas. Part of this is because helping with events like this is more in my wheelhouse, but also, being able to watch so many people commit to helping our veterans is inspiring. I have volunteered at 12 galas and I can tell you that being in that room and watching people step up and aid these veterans in their time of need never gets old.
To those who are financial supporters of LSF – I thank you. Though you may never see it, I can assure you after 7 years of volunteering, that your support is not only changing lives – it is saving them. And to my fellow volunteers, I thank you. It is a joy and a privilege to work alongside each of you, doing what needs to be done for those who did what needed to be done for us.
To those who are reading this and may be on the fence about helping out, I urge you to get involved. I know we all live busy lives, but we all have some time that we can commit. Taking time away from some of our extracurricular activities is small compared to the time that you may add to the life of a veteran.
In closing, I would like to say this. As I mentioned before, the military community is a family, and Lone Survivor Foundation is part of that family. I’ve learned this LSF family of staff, volunteers, and supporters can be summed up in three parts. One is that they love, and that love gives them the strength to do what they do every day. Two is that they support, and that support is focused and unwavering. And the third, which needs no explanation, is that they NEVER QUIT!