We had the pleasure of interviewing Bonnie S., one of our veteran members who’s kind and beautiful heart can be felt from miles away! We are thankful she’s been a part of Michael’s Foundation for about 3 months now.
Bonnie is an Army Veteran, who served for 12 years. Here are some highlights of our chat:
“Being in the military was enlightening, an experience which broadened my horizons. Serving my country felt like my purpose.
My MOS(the role or job of someone in the military) was Personnel Actions. I coordinated other officers who needed to do line of duty investigations. I supported the federal agents, and state agents working on different cases related to illegal activity regarding drugs. I would transpose what I heard through the wire tap. I really enjoyed it. It felt like I was on a mission!
What was challenging about it was being a woman veteran. I felt insecure about feeling like I was valued like my male counterparts. My own perceptions were conflicting, due to how it was then, with women being resented for being in the military and I had judgments and worries about that. I wasn’t sure. No one in my family had been in the military, so it was a time of unpredictability for me. But I felt it was my passion.
Eventually we got called out for Desert Storm. That was unnerving. Then we were 2 weeks from going over to Saudi Arabia and were mobilized to Fort Hood. I had to stay in Fort Hood and It was turbulent for us because we had to fill the soldiers shoes who left to go to Saudi Arabia and we had no training. I lived in the barracks for 9 months. It was an experience.
Now that I’m retired I love encouraging highschoolers to go into the Military to experience the appreciation for it and to understand the importance of protecting our country when we need to.
I enjoy being a part of Michael’s Foundation and feel stronger because I’m united with other veterans who are seeking recovery and coping skills too. We can help each other. I really like the drum circle and Heroes Connection Day where you sync your heart with the horse’s.
I feel at home. We have a bond here and I appreciate the connection again. Being able to be a part of the community, to help myself, help other vets, and I love horses!- That’s why I am here.”
We’re so happy you are, Bonnie!
On May 28th we are hosting our biggest event yet for veterans and their families, and for good reason, it’s Memorial Day weekend! Celebrate Our Heroes-a Memorial Day Tribute Event will go from 10am-3pm, and the lineup of honorary entertainment is not to be missed or forgotten. Just like our heroes, the service people who’ve dedicated their lives to fighting for and serving our country.
This day will be an incredibly special one on the farm. From kid’s entertainment (face painting, games, pony rides) to our Fallen Soldier Programming: A flag ceremony, a Fallen Soldier Table, Veteran guest speakers with inspirational stories (like Eric Davidson’s), a drill performance on horseback (from the Veteran members of the McCormick Research Institute) and more, the activities of the day are sure to stir a variety of emotions, but most importantly, bring people together. Though Memorial Day can be a somber one, here at Michael’s Foundation, and on May 28th, we plan to celebrate, commemorate, and create community around a beautiful day of remembrance. We will celebrate the men and women in service and those who’ve served, with joy and love. They deserve nothing but.
We’re most excited to welcome and host the following guest speaker at May 28th’s event, CFO and Director of Veteran Affairs for McCormick Research Institute, Eric Davidson.
Eric Davidson served in the United States Army between 1995 and 2007; serving tours in Korea and later in the Middle East in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a combat-wounded AW2 veteran. After being injured in combat in 2003, Eric went on to study at Stetson University’s Executive Business Program. Feeling called to serve the veteran community, Eric continued to study Military Resilience at Liberty University. In more recent years, Eric dedicates most of his time to serving fellow veterans as they recover from war and transition back into civilian life. He has worked as a Chaplain serving veterans with PTSD for over 10 years.
Today, Eric’s role at McCormick gives him the opportunity to use his experience of overcoming a Traumatic Brain Injury and post-combat trauma to counsel and support the veteran community. He is a passionate advocate for veteran families and works hard to support and create programs that help our warriors overcome PTSD. He speaks across the country with 3 main goals:To reduce veteran suicide, recover the wounded, and restore veteran families, with the overall goal of providing the necessary tools needed for families to thrive through adversity.
Come hear Eric’s inspiring story on our farm on May 28th from 10am-3pm. You won’t want to miss it!
Where: 11105 Autumn Lane, Clermont Fl, 34711
When: May 28th, 10am-3pm
Call for more info: 407-917-2957
Rsvp by clicking here: Celebrate Our Heroes- Memorial Day Event