Danner Boot Supports the Military Helpline

May 24, 2011

Danner Boot Company has two upcoming events in their Factory Store and at Danner.com to support the Military Helpline!

This week the Danner Factory Store is hosting a $2 sock sale with all revenue going to the Military Helpline. Then Friday through Sunday, May 27, 28 and 29th, all of their Combat Hiker boots will be on sale (Factory Store and Danner.com) with 10% of sales going to the Military Helpline. The Combat Hiker boot has been the issue boot for all US Army soldiers deployed to Afghanistan for the past few years, so Danner Boot is really excited for this opportunity to support our troops both in-theater and after they return home.

Those boots are being offered at a 61% discount this weekend. Please pass this information on to anyone you think might be able to take advantage of it this Memorial Day weekend.

We are thankful that Danner is leading the way in supporting those who serve us so well.

From The Military Helpline Comes Hope

April 1, 2011

It was a relaxed Friday afternoon. The week was winding down and I was getting excited for the weekend. Suddenly, my phone rang and it was a Military Helpline call.

“Thank you for calling the Lifeline, my name is Josh.” I said. The person on the other end responded quietly and unhurried: “I want to kill myself”.

The caller was an older gentleman dealing with a strong desire to end his life. To connect with him, I listened to his reasons for dying that included severe depression and unreconciled grief. The caller had no money due to being unemployed for over a year and was constantly criticized for it by his wife. I reflected back to the caller his feelings of worthlessness, frustration, and despair.

The caller shared how his father told him to never quit, but he did not see a way out other than suicide. So I asked him if he had a plan to kill himself. The caller did have a plan and that was to shoot himself. I asked if he had access to a firearm. He said that he was outdoors with a firearm but would not disclose his location.

From being in the service, I know how veterans like their firearms. So I asked the caller what kind of firearm he had, and he responded that it was a .45. After having a cheery talk about guns, I asked the caller to unload his .45 because I was concerned for his safety. He agreed and I could hear the .45 being cleared over the phone, a sound unmistakable after spending 6 years in the infantry.

I congratulated the caller for unloading his weapon and making the first step to staying safe. I told him the next step would be contacting a counselor. The caller agreed to leave the weapon unloaded and the ammunition in a different location and to contact the local counseling agency I had referred. The caller expressed his gratitude to me for listening to his pain and helping him make the decision to continue living another day.

This is just one story of many of the high risk calls we receive on the Military Helpline and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The staff and volunteers of Oregon Partnership are real life superheroes who save lives every day.

– Josh

Getting Ready to be Deployed

February 18, 2011

(Editor’s note: Tim is an Army Ranger Lieutenant who was instrumental in helping us launch the Military Helpline. He has been called up and is receiving final training before shipping out overseas)

I drove across the country in 4 days during one of the most massive snow storms in the Midwest’s history. I have gotten lost on base more times than I can count and have felt more like a Private then a Officer on more on then one occasion as I try to get myself situated. I have been worked into the ground and spent easy days lounging about. I have met guys from every corner of the country and work with an NCO that was in Restrepo. I made a fast friend that turned into an on base housing roommate.

My inception into Active duty has been an experience that I have nothing to compare to. I am at the same base that I became a young PFC at, my only experience has been from basic training and for that matter, is a bad comparison now looking back, but seeing as it was all I had, it’s what I focused on. When I showed up here last time, I had had about 5 hours of sleep and was looking at a 36 hour-long day ahead of me – full of getting shots, shaved head, and enough verbal abuse to last a lifetime. When I showed up this time, I was welcomed with a handshake and a intro into what would be required of us the first week. Its been an odd change, from going to absolutely no power or control, where every decision is made for you to complete freedom when you’re not training has been odd. With that transition comes responsibility.

It has been an odd experience so far, full of life experiences, traveling through the country to report in to become an infantry officer. On occasion I dread, not the decision I made, but the hard work that accompanies the job I choose. While it is still difficult adjust being away from everything I love in Oregon, I keep moving knowing that, eventually, I will return and that my family and friends will support me through all my struggles.

So, from one moment to another, life has changed rather quickly, and while I have known it was coming for a while, no matter how much I try to adjust or accept it, it’s still a shock, it’s still a drastic change from the usual.

The only difference now is that we are meant to do this, we are supposed to do this. We can do this.

– Tim

Military Family Month

November 23, 2010

President Obama has proclaimed November Military Family Month, noting that military family members “serve,” too, and also require community support.

“I call on all Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in support of our service members and our nation,” the President said in his proclamation.

Experts in both the military and civilian sectors found that the U.S. will be facing increasing addiction and mental-health problems among returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghan war. All returning veterans face adjustments, but for some, dealing with traumatic experiences can lead to diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, substance abuse and addiction. These problems not only affect the individual, but can have a profound impact on families and communities.

The Military Helpline is here for military families to use as a free, confidential resource. Not only for dire needs, such as suicide or PTSD, but for assistance in navigating the system so that families can get the benefits and support they’re entitled to.

We are so thankful for the freedoms we enjoy because of the sacrifices of every person who has served – either as a member of the military or of the family that serves as well. Make sure they know assistance is available by spreading the word about this 24/7 service. 888-HLP-4-VET (888) 457-4838 – or on the web at http://www.militaryhelpline.org.


Leaving One Branch of Service for Another

September 30, 2010

(Editor’s Note: Tim Hasty leaves today to go into active service as a Lieutenant in the US Army. He has been a tremendous help to us in setting up our Military Helpline while waiting for his deployment orders)

My time here at Oregon Partnership working in drug prevention has refined me; I knew I was ready when those bars were pinned to my shoulders. I knew I was ready when my peers started to look to me for leadership, guidance and advice. I knew I was ready when I had come to peace with life changing in drastic ways. I knew I was ready.

Getting the news that I was going to have to wait to do what I had trained so hard to become was painful. I feared I would lose everything that I had become. The fine tuned skills of what I thought it meant to be a leader, to be responsible, to take responsibility, keeping myself to a high standard, I agonized about how I would lose all of that.

Instead of losing it all, my time here on the Military Helpline refined me. Polished me, turned me from a rough neck hard nose grunt into a something I have strived to become. I came here as a tough kid full of himself and his accomplishments. In my time here the world has grown before my eyes. I am sitting here today a man, fully versed in the ways of the world and how the matters of a single person do have an effect on people.

Compassion can save someone’s life. My view of life has been painted a different shade as a result of my time here. I arrived fresh faced and ignorant, I am leaving with a knowledge of how people care about each other, that life is not as harsh as I was taught and that caring is a good thing. It has made me a better soldier. I understand the struggle now.

Today is my last day here. It will be the last of many things for me and the first of many. The last time I answer the phone for those in need. The first time my country will call me during a time in need. The last time I will have the pleasure and honor of working with some of the most dedicated individuals I have come to know; the first time I lead the finest men this country has to offer. The last time I come to work in clothes of a civilian, the first time I wear the uniform of an officer in the United States Army. It is the beginning and the end of many things.

As I move on from this place, I think not of the job, but of the people. I came here to help those in need, and it was I who received the most help.

– Tim

All The Way, Sir!

September 29, 2010

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Some people come into our lives, leave imprints on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.

Tim Hasty is one of those people who has come into the lives of Oregon Partnership, left imprints on our hearts, and we will never forget him. On October 1st, Lieutenant Tim Hasty will be placed on active duty with the United States Army. For the past 5 months he has performed the duties of Military HelpLine Specialist. His unique insight and military perspective brought tremendous value to the operation as a whole.

The job of Military Specialist was defined by Tim’s hard work and dedication. He helped design and implement many of the procedures in use today. The mailing of 10,000 Military HelpLine informational postcards to Oregon Veterans was one of his many brilliant ideas.

In being activated, Tim will be embarking on a rigorous military training schedule. As an Infantry Officer he is destined to Fort Benning, Georgia to attend among other things, Airborne school. I graduated from Airborne School in 1974, so I understand what lies in wait for Lt. Hasty. Yet having seen him perform here at Oregon Partnership, I have full confidence in his ability to master not only jump school, but also Ranger School.

From jump school, Tim is slated to be assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Designated as the “All American” Division”, the 82nd is an elite strategic response force. Members of the 82d are forever banded together by an “espirit d’corps” and a greeting unlike any other in the Armed Forces to date – “All The Way!”

Having served in the 82d Airborne Division myself, I want to extend my welcome to the brotherhood. I am happy to have had Tim on the Oregon Partnership military team, he will be missed. However, I am even more proud to know that he will be one of the newest members of “America’s Honor Guard” and would like to salute him here with his first: “All the Way, Sir!”

We wish you well. You will be missed.

-David D.

A Heart For Service at the Deschutes County Fair

August 2, 2010

Hanging in the corners of the tent, on display for all those who passed by, were the uniforms of the men who had worn them during this nation’s most turbulent times. Decorated with ribbons and cords, medals and awards, they hung as a testament to the character of those who sat under the cover of a tent away from the hot sun. Each ribbon and award that hung from their chests gave them more right than most to expect something, but they didn’t . They sat there laughing and smiling, trading jokes and stories as they waited to help the next veteran in need of their grace.

As I sat there in the presence of such experienced and accomplished individuals, a feeling of inexperience washed over me. They laughed and joked, told stories and were never short on giving a young 2nd Lieutenant advice. Advice that I will never forget.

We were largely ignored by the rest of the fair. Most people didn’t seem to pay much attention to us, others just seemed to glance on their way to the rides or shuffled towards the livestock areas. It didn’t seem to bother those with the ribbons on their chests. Never once, in all their stories, in all their experiences, did they ever speak a word of animosity or frustration towards the nation they had given so much to.

The veterans always sat together.

As the sun climbed high on a hot afternoon, the depth of what we all shared shown through. A young private in the National Guard came up, in uniform. No doubt ordered to assist with a detail, he walked up to the booth to speak with the veterans. The feeling of inexperience that had come over me earlier in the weekend, was running down his face like beads of sweat, his eyes wide, staring at the symbols of heroism they wore. Men who’d seen combat and came back to tell of their experiences stood around talking with this young private, fresh from basic training. The old veterans paid no attention that he had never seen combat, or that he was a mere private in the grand rank system of the military, nor that he has been in the military less than a year. They spoke and gravitated towards him for one simple reason.: He, at age 19, wore the same uniform that the veterans had.

As we sat under the blazing sun patiently waiting to help those who had once worn a uniform; I began to realize that the low turnout of veterans to our area and being mostly ignored by the general population did little to deter those who sat there, waiting to help.

It was a symbol for how things truly are, the men who earned those medals and ribbons go largely unnoticed in public, but that never stops them from showing up, always being there, and always looking out for one another.