STORIES

This is the place where you can find out what is happening in the lives of some of our service members. Mixed in, we also have stories of Network as a whole.

We will periodically be adding new stories.


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#TWN2018Stories: SENDING THEM OUT


"We are thankful that family can be bridged by text messages and phone calls, and even car rides and plane flights."


There is a phrase that we have grown all too accustomed to around the Network that brings both joy and pain...that phrase, while sometimes accompanied by a sheepish grin on the face of the one saying it, is "I Got Orders"...which is usually met with a fake smile from me...if I'm being honest.


I've had to learn a lot over 2018 because I have heard that phrase from some of our closest friends. One's that I never thought we would say goodbye too. While it stings, I've also learned that distance can't change this thing we call family. This military culture is a strange thing sometimes but it is also a special thing in the fact that saying goodbye is normal, but what is abnormal is allowing that goodbye to negatively impact the friendship. It just does not happen. If anything, the goodbye strengthens it. Which in a cool way is pretty awesome.


I've had to actively change my thinking and adapt to how we handle the PCS. Pressing forward into 2019, we will be more active and intentional in the training, equipping, and sending of those who leave the Shreveport/Bossier area. One of our everyday rhythms will be to send our family members out into new territories ready, willing, equipped, and trained to make an impact through the influence they have with what will be their new circle of influence.


So while goodbyes are hard, and we definitely miss our friends who are now stationed all around the world, we know that this will only increase as the years roll on. We are thankful that family can be bridged by text messages and phone calls, and even car rides and plane flights. #ThisIsFamily is more than just right here in our home town of Shreveport/Bossier.



CRAIG TAYLOR

Here the story of a man who has dealt with not one, but two life altering injuries and how he hopes to use them to leave a lasting legacy of influence.


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#TWN2018Stories: THE STORY OF GRIEF


"God has allowed us to sit hand in hand in some of the most gut wrenching moments alongside our hurting friends and family"


We’ve all heard “it’s darkest before the dawn” and this family has experienced its share of darkness over this year. But the God-sized dawn we did see, and do foresee is bright, glorious, and full!

We've all felt the sting of some service members that felt so lost they couldn’t go on. One more smile, one more call or text, would one more conversation have shown them that we loved them? I don’t know… but we must be for the next hurting one.

We lost nearly half of one of our board member’s family in a gruesome car accident, watched the surviving family try to go on with their new normal, wondered how.. and why and WHY?! But we rallied around them, cried, and tried to remember that God is still in charge.

We've gotten the call from our military family that their life has suddenly been thrown into shock at the loss of their mom, dad, brother, sister, child, friend, or grandparent. God has allowed us to sit hand in hand in some of the most gut wrenching moments alongside our hurting friends and family...urging them to put one foot in front of the other as we press forward together.

We woke up to shock when we heard of the senseless murder of members of our Barksdale family. The headlines show stories of Airmen, of dress blues, of selfless acts being tragically rewarded with violence. They seem to portray a world where hiding or digging a moat to protect yourself from the world around you is the only answer. But they are wrong. Those sound bites were cut short for commercial break. They forgot to follow the families as they came together to discuss grief with an extended family around them passing no judgement. A conversation that involves being angry, scared, lost and reminding everyone its ok to not be ok…. But it's not ok to stay that way. So no… no moats. No hiding. Yes we can be angry and need to vent. And yes, you can hurt. But through the hurt comes the triumph. When you celebrate the initiative to do for those that can’t do for you...when you care about your neighbor, your community and even strangers.

That’s the dawn. And as I sit here at my kitchen table, trying to find words to express my sympathy and empathy for some of the huge kicks in the gut that life gives… I’m reminded by the picture attached taken from my back door that the sun will rise again. That we don’t know why things happen, except that we aren’t meant to understand it all. I do know that the teacher is silent during the test. Maybe, that’s it.. maybe not. But whether we figure it out or not.. we will do it TOGETHER.

Your love, your support...YOU...have made the three words "THIS IS FAMILY" come alive in a real way this year.

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU, for letting us in and for pressing in.

-Eric and Trey

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#TWN2018Stories: TOY GIVEAWAY


"We filled trucks, trailers, boxes and crates with smiles permanently stuck to our faces. "


Sometimes God answers prayers over time or quietly.. But not this time. He lead right out and screamed the answer to us.


As we sat planning out the upcoming calendar, we mentioned how great it would be to bless local military families with toys for Christmas. The logistical wheels start to turn, always at a more lumbering laborious pace than the visionary wheels do… then we got asked to lunch to discuss an “issue”.


There, we learned that a local toy drive was “too successful” and even after helping shelters, schools, and other agencies, some assistance was needed to help give out toys to those deserving….wow. We started hoping to do a giveaway in the morning, and God didn’t even wait til the afternoon to put those generous donors in our lives, and focus their mind to the military families on Barksdale!


We filled trucks, trailers, boxes and crates with smiles permanently stuck to our faces. One would think the smiles were as large as possible, until over 350 military families came by the Chapel to pick out a few toys to make this Christmas extra special for their kids! During that week a few severe needs were highlighted to the Network and we were able to put gifts under the tree for a handful of local folks that would have gone without.


Call it a Christmas miracle, call it a generous sponsor… I’ll always call it the day I saw God’s work and the possibilities if I’d listen even more.


-Eric



ALYSSA KIDD

Get a glimpse into the heart of a young lady who lost her husband to tragedy, and how she hopes to create a culture of influence because of the life he lived.


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#TWN2018Stories: THE WAREHOUSE


"The Warehouse was born out of a desire to serve our service members right in the middle of one of their biggest needs, which is when the move to our from Shreveport/Bossier."


At the beginning of 2018, Davon Anderson looked at me and, as serious as he could be, said that we need to provide household goods to families moving to or from our area...for free. You can imagine the questions of how we could possibly do this... Well, fast forward to July and we officially kicked off The Warrior Warehouse.


The Warehouse was born out of a desire to serve our service members right in the middle of one of their biggest needs, which is when the move to our from Shreveport/Bossier. We intentionally aimed at keeping this simple and painless for both the service member and the Network, so, as odd as it seemed, we set out with inflatable couches and beds, portable chairs and tables, and tubs full of kitchen supplies...all that can fit in the back of a truck or SUV. Odd, maybe, but oddly enough, it worked. Military families now had an option of getting temporary household goods while they were without their own household goods...which, little did I know, can span from a couple days to up to a month or more. The Warehouse was born out of a need that Davon saw and wanted to meet...which was simply easing the burden of things at home to families who have never stepped foot in our area. Families moving here or leaving here have the option of reserving their goods on our website and then either meeting our staff or having the goods delivered straight to their home.


When we started 2018, this was not on the radar, nor was it budgeted for...but because of your generosity, you helped us make it happen. Our current inventory allows us to serve up to 10 families at the same time, and in 2019, we will be able to double that inventory thanks to a grant we received. For more about the Warehouse, you can check out www.thewarriornetwork.org/warehouse. Thank you to all who have taken advantage of the Warehouse and thank you to those who have helped make it a reality.



CHRIS HAYNES

Get a glimpse at how Chris has dealt with and overcome major health issues and how they have changed his life as a young man and young leader.


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BRUCE JONES

Watch the story of Bruce Jones and how he has become a leader through life and his career in the Marines.


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#TWN2018Stories: HONOR THE FALLEN RUN

"82,000 SERVICEMEN ARE still missing from our nation’s wars."

In 2018, the base came out to support the 2nd annual Honor the Fallen Run, and more importantly the to raise awareness and funds to support the families of the 82,000 still missing servicemen from our nation’s wars.


Over 600 participants carried the POW/MIA flag for 24 hours straight, through light, dark, sun and a downpour that broke just long enough to end our vigil run at the base flag pole. Honor Guard retired the colors as we paid solemn tribute to our missing.


The funds raised were put to use this year as The Warrior Network learned of a local family’s hero returning from the battle of Tarawa. 2Lt Harville Moore was killed over 60 years ago trying to render aid to one of his teammates. Due to the battle and worsening conditions his battlefield grave was lost and not discovered until this year. His family traveled to the small town of Chatham, Louisiana to bury their loved one. We were able to support their travel and hotel expenses during this time. The family was overwhelmed that a local nonprofit chose to do what national agencies could or would not. This outpouring of love showed the heart of the entirety of the Network.




PATRICK & SUSAN BAILEY

"WE DON'T KNOW WHY THIS IS HAPPENING, BUT I HOPE THAT IT WILL HELP SOMEBODY, EVEN IF IT'S FOR ONE PERSON...TO GIVE THEM SOME HOME, SOME ENCOURAGEMENT...TO HELP GET THEM THROUGH A HARD TIME. YOU WILL GET PAST IT..." 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH



JERAMI & TAMMY REYNA

"I CHALLENGE ANYONE TO LOOK BACK OVER THEIR LIVES, AND LOOK AT THE TIMES WHEN THEY FOUGHT SOMETHING, ONLY TO FIND OUT IT DIDN'T GO THEIR WAY, YET IT STILL TURNED OUT BETTER BECAUSE OF IT...I'M NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE DISEASE, BUT AS CHALLENGING AS IT IS, I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY...


CLICK HERE TO WATCH

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