When I arrived at work just before 6:30 yesterday morning, it appeared Helping Up Mission was being invaded! I couldn’t enter our parking lot because of all the military vehicles in my way.
HUM Director of Facilities and Operations, Tom Stone, and some friends brought half a dozen old army vehicles, including a troop carrier, tow truck, and mobile kitchen to celebrate Veterans Day. As soon as they got set up, coffee and cookies were served from the kitchen in the parking lot throughout the morning.
I guess the rest of the vehicles were just there as a show of force!
Then last night the Helping Up Mission kitchen staff quietly saluted our military veterans with a special meal.
It was my privilege to serve them — some member of our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program, some graduates of our program and some living here as part of our contract with the Veterans Administration to provide temporary housing for vets in transition.
There were vets from the Viet Nam era (the same period as some of the military vehicles!) and both Gulf Wars. Even a number of guys who’ve served just recently.
Our HUM kitchen provided a wonderful steak dinner and our staff and security team stepped up to meet every need. It made me proud to see everything in motion and everyone in action.
I thank God for my country…the men and women who served and serve in our Armed Forces…and the folks I serve with and get to serve every day at Helping Up Mission.
Pastor Gary Byers