My name is Rebecca Fitzpatrick-Yancey. I come from the Volunteer State, Tennessee; however, I currently live in League City, Texas. I am proud to support veterans as a volunteer for Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF).
Although my father was a veteran, I was not involved with veterans’ organizations before my involvement with LSF. My dad served in the Army in Korea, and when he returned home, he used the GI Bill to attend college and became an educator. He passed away when I was 12 and I never knew much about his service.
I came to be involved with LSF through my son’s Boy Scout Troop. The Troop volunteered one weekend to help with the Crystal Beach BBQ Cook-off which benefited LSF and local emergency responders. Although my son could not be in attendance, I went along with the Troop. There, in the sun, as we assisted with parking cars and gathering trash, one of the dads told us about LSF and the retreat facility on Bolivar Peninsula. More importantly, he told of the incredible need that many of our veterans face in finding healing and hope after they return home. He held up his right index finger pointing to a ring that symbolizes the 22 veterans a day who tragically commit suicide. I was struck to my core.
I knew then that I might not be in a position to do great big things, but I could do something. I followed the Frog Fest Facebook page and became a supporter there with Frog Force 25. Through that, I learned of a work day at the retreat facility and I headed there one cold, wet Saturday in January to help in any way I could. During that work day, I met LSF staff and learned more about the mission to bring hope, healing, and empowerment to those who are struggling.
I signed up for the LSF Volunteer Force and have not looked back. I volunteered for Frog Fest, the Belle’s Christmas Gala, Dressed to the Kilt, Ten Man Jam, and several other events. I have donated items through the Amazon wish list, and I have signed on with the Ground Support Team, pledging each month to support this work. At each event, I have been blessed to meet veterans who have attended retreats and to hear how their lives and the lives of their families have been changed. Those who thought there was no hope, found hope!
Retreat attendees speak of how the work at a retreat has changed their lives. Some attend more than one retreat, some retreats include spouses and entire families. To see these brave men and women reach out with that NEVER QUIT attitude and seek help to make it through the troubled times they are facing is inspiring. LSF provides the retreats at no cost to the attendees and this is no small effort. The mission of LSF requires the help of many volunteers, and I am so thankful to be a part of that group. The opportunity to give back, even in a small measure to those men and women who have risked everything to fight for my freedoms, is a blessing in itself. To see hope restored, families strengthened, and know that lives are being saved is more than enough reason to keep signing up and keep showing up, never quitting on those who never quit on us.
To learn how you can become an LSF volunteer, please visit https://lonesurvivorfoundation.org/get-involved/volunteer/