This is the “holiday edition” of my Point of View.
Since 1954, November 11 has been deemed “Veteran’s Day.” A fitting tribute to the living men and women whose history of military service and sacrifice has made America’s continued experiment in freedom possible. Memorial Day honors the fallen; Veterans Day recognizes those who remain among us.
Since 2015, Veterans have been honored by The Master’s Program. Through the vision of our ministry partner Phil Brown, graduates of TMP have been encouraged to provide scholarships to warriors whose service careers were nearly – or, recently – finished. Their transition into the civilian community means a significant shift – for most, occurring in the middle of life’s calendar – and a loss of missional identity. Almost 100 of these brave and self-sacrificing heroes are being served by TMP, in recognition of their service to us all.
Some of these TMPers are men whose active wartime assignments are past, and their current duty focuses on assisting long-serving military professionals with their re-entry to the American culture. Their discovery about their peers: their primary challenge is not PTSD, though that issue grabs headlines. Their new reality: their time in the armed forces was not a career, but – rather – a calling, and they were transformed from ordinary citizens to extraordinary warriors to fulfill that trust. Their time in uniform comes to an end… but their core identity – as warriors – is not terminated.
The Warrior culture is foreign to American culture. For years, these men awakened each day with clarity of mission, certainty about the role they play in a larger battle plan, and confidence that they are part of a Band of Brothers who live to close ranks around one another for protection and victory. They return to their homeland – and to civilian life – without the cultural oxygen that once filled their Warrior lungs: no mission, no role, no Band of Brothers. Strangers in the country they gave their youth to protect and to serve.
What do these Veterans say about The Master’s Program? The training we (America) invested in them to represent the country made them formidable for the national mission; the training we (TMP) are providing to them now is allowing them to represent the Kingdom, making them formidable leaders for the spiritual mission.
These amazing men and women represent a thin slice of the American population, but their potential for high impact in their next life – beyond their military years – is immense. We’re already seeing incredible outcomes as these modern-day centurions uncover and unleash their Kingdom Calling…
Two statistics have cast a shadow over these patriots’ return from active duty: the incidence of divorce and suicide (often linked, in that order) is disproportionate compared to the civilian population, and calls for intervention. Just three years into our service focus on these high-value participants, we’re seeing their time in The Master’s Program as a powerful counteractive force that neutralizes those two destructive decisions.
We have more Veterans on a waiting list for The Master’s Program; they’re waiting for scholarship funds to become available ($3600/year for three years). In many cases, a single sponsor has adopted a Warrior; in others, a cadre of contributors have been aggregated to provide that amount.
The Warrior’s wives are the unsung heroes; a handful of spouses have been funded to participate in The Master’s Program for Women ($1500/year for three years). Allowing these women whose family sacrifice has often gone unrecognized or applauded to experience the same transformative breakthroughs that their husbands are reporting puts them in sync with their mate in ways that ensure their partners-for-life commitment.
Cheri and I have seen this impact, firsthand. We’ve adopted four Warriors – and two Wives of Warriors – to provide them scholarships in TMP. If you’d like to make Veterans Day a moment of recognition that goes from an empty Hallmark card to a powerful Heavenly calling, click here to join us in moving men and women from the waiting list to the enrollment rosters of The Master’s Program.
They’ve put their skin in the game to save our skin; is it time to say “thank you” in an eternally strategic way? Click here to cast you vote for a Veteran!