Is it really 2018? I remember reading the book 1984 and thinking that year so far away. In the midst of the Cold War, few gave the idea of reaching the turn of the century much thought. However, here we are, over 50 years later, and we’ve survived the Cold War. Fortunately, the stop-drop-and-roll exercises we practiced in school and the civil defense sirens were never necessary. While the enemy never came and nuclear destruction never occurred, America’s men and women in uniform continued to answer the call to defend freedom throughout the world. It’s to them we owe an enormous debt. Freedom comes with a cost. Many of them paid a high price and now need our help. Each of us must find a way to plug in and do our part to help those who have done so much on our behalf.
Once I realized how fortunate I was to have come of age in rural Missouri during the 1960s, and that everyone in the entire world hadn’t had the same experience, I had to tell the story. So far the story has been revealed in a series of three novels and one non-fiction book. My novels are meant to entertain and provoke the reader’s memory. The non-fiction was written to honor those who set the stage for me. There’s more to be told. I was blessed early on and the blessings continue to flow.
Providential happenstance led me to Dr. Gordon (Chrisanne) and Resurrecting Lives Foundation during my search for a veteran’s organization to which I could donate the proceeds of book sales. An acquaintance, who was then president of a firm that represented a large veterans’ organization, and unbeknownst to me a high school classmate of Chrisanne, suggested I direct the book’s proceeds to an organization that was just then taking shape, Resurrecting Lives. He gave me Chrisanne’s phone number. I dialed the number, Chrisanne was expecting the call, we introduced ourselves and then I listened. Those who know Chrisanne understand. Her passionate explanation of the need and the organization’s mission was clear and compelling.
The introduction to RLF turned out to be more than a place to which I could funnel book sales proceeds. Once one is introduced to Chrisanne, they need to buckle up. Passive isn’t in Chrisanne’s lexicon. Soon thereafter I was drafted to participate on the board. RLF board meetings are unconventional, more like a track meet than a button-downed, tightly scripted series of preordained conclusions. RLF board meetings include a variety of vigorous discussions, each with a common goal: the restoration of America’s finest who have been wounded on our behalf.
I’ve enjoyed a rich experience during my association with Resurrecting Lives. RLF has a laser focus: traumatic brain injury (TBI). I’ve found that while serving on boards I often receive more benefit than I provide. While my goal is to contribute to the organization’s success, I often sense that my gain in knowledge of the organization’s mission exceeds my meager contribution. This is certainly the case with RLF. Few things in life exceed the sense of fulfillment of helping America’s finest enjoy a way of life they’ve secured for me.
The mission of RLF is the resurrection of a hero and the strengthening of a nation. I’m more excited about this year for RLF than ever before. I sense the addition of new high quality and enthusiastic staff will facilitate the deepening of existing relationships with organizations that share RLF’s goals and will ultimately make an enduring difference in America, one treasured life at a time. I challenge readers to identify how they can join in and contribute to the restoration of America’s finest to a life they’ve won for others and richly deserve for themselves.
Stan Crader, a long-standing member of the RLF Board of Directors, is an author, lecturer, community leader, businessman, and president of Crader Distributing Company. Learn more at https://www.stancrader.com/