This all began with a few friends and a dream. As Trey served on staff at a church in Bossier City, LA, he began meeting airmen and felt as if he had one God-given responsibility...just take care of them. These guys (and gals) quickly became some of the greatest friends with not just him, but also with each other. Over the next couple years, looking back, things arose that were instrumental in paving the way for The Warrior Network. A core group of friends and families just began doing life together, which was weird at first...a civilian couple spending countless hours with a bunch of military folks...but it worked.
Just as he was really beginning to realize that something more needed to be done (and could be done) for our military, God moved him and his wife, Tiffany, to a church on the other side of Shreveport, and honestly, that dream was kind of given up on simply because of proximity to the Base. But little did he know that it was just getting started. They began a group out in Shreveport that, over six months, evolved into mostly airmen, even though they were not the "target audience." Not only was God continuing to build the core of the Network, but He was also putting a team of leaders into place that has a burning desire to see God do something HUGE in the lives of the people of the Shreveport/Bossier community. As all that was happening, they decided that they wanted to show a little love to some of our military folks, and sitting at a table at Chimi V's in Bossier, The Warrior's Thanksgiving Feast was conceived.
"I must say that on November 23, 2014, I stood in a room full of airmen, spouses, kids, and volunteers, in absolute awe of what was happening." says Trey. That night, they saw over 100 volunteers come together and serve and love our military community. "When it was over, we asked ourselves...if our community can come together to do this, what else can we do?" And then and there, the idea of a consistent network of businesses, churches, organizations, and community members coming together to serve and meet the needs of our military community became a reality.
From there, in January of 2015, they moved our Military Community Group (as they were calling it) to the then home of Major Corby Carlson and his wife Kristen, and met consistently until March when they got orders and eventually left the Shreveport/Bossier area. At the same time, things were shaking up in Trey and Tiffany's housing situation, and after several shocking turn of events, they moved on Base in April of 2015. In these months and still today, they we're continuing to see amazing things happen in the lives of our airmen...
Through these times, we have seen miracles happen in the lives of some of our airmen. From a mom and dad struggling watching their little girl who is sick, to a Security Forces airman who had some pretty choice words in response to the first time he heard us even talk about the Network (who actually named the "local family" part of our mission), a family who faced uncertain times because of a sudden stroke, a wife who consistently prayed for her husband to be the spiritual leader of their home, a family rocked with sudden retirement at age 30 because of M.S., a guy who calls his former roommate from years past when tragedy strikes because of the impact that roommate left on him, and the list goes on.
No, these are not success stories of anything the Network is doing, they are success stories because each person talked about above has experienced the power of God because someone (a friend, stranger, church, community, etc.) stepped into their lives and showed them the love of something bigger than themselves and just walked with them wherever they were headed. And the amazing thing is that some of the above listed stories started long before the Network was even a thought. This is the heart and soul of TWN...people serving people together.
"Looking back, I can see where, personally, God was not only building me and Tiff, but was also putting people alongside us that are instrumental in this. We were a part of two churches that both provide us with key foundational elements needed as well as a host of love and support. However, this story is not about us, it's first and foremost about God and His work and power, and second, it's about the men and women that the Network serves." says Trey.
Looking forward, our hope and prayer is that no matter what happens with the Network, we will never lose the key cornerstone of why we are even in existence, which is to position ourselves alongside our men and women who serve so that when they need anything, we, the Network, our community, are there. This story wouldn't be what it is without key men and women that we believe God has used and it still using, both military and civilians. And the exciting thing is...this story is just beginning to be written...