The Seeds of Service
In 2009, our founder, Dale Robbins, had the great pleasure and honor to join the Veterans Affinity group at the company he had worked at for years. This group was made up of people - veterans and non-veterans - that CARED.
Dale's inspiration to participate was the passion he witnessed in a peer involved in the group. He had no idea how the simple idea to join an email alias would forever change his life and those of his wife and children. Since that email, Dale has had opportunities to get involved, to lead, and ultimately get others involved.
The message has always been simple:
We need you!
We need whatever time you can devote to this effort as we give back to those that have given so much to our country and ultimately to our families.
Growing the Mission
As 2010 progressed, there was a series of events that got Dale involved, including getting a ‘Thank You’ email from a Sergeant in Iraq who was thanking the affinity group for their efforts. An email exchange began, and this served to make their efforts very real to Dale as he had never served in the military and thus never been in a combat situation much like the man on the other end of the email thread. A friendship was forged with contact lasting for years.
After a trip to Ft. Bragg to sit in on a training class for ‘wounded warriors’ and then a series of conversations, the idea to host soldiers from the Warrior Transition Battalion from Ft. Bragg was put forth. This event occurred in October of 2010 on a corporate campus in Research Triangle Park, NC. What an honor and what a beautiful day as 30 soldiers, Heroes to those hosting, attended that initial event. The first event would ultimately lead to the vision for Whole Vet and the creation of a Military Mentorship Program.
Through the years this event has grown and also is held at other corporate locations hosted by an all-volunteer force. Every one of them will tell you this is an honor, and they do it, in addition to family and job responsibilities, because of their belief in and desire to give back to our veteran and active duty military members and their families.
The vision for Whole Vet was forming in 2010. No one knew just what was taking root, but the seeds were planted.
At that first event, Dale’s wife Ginger came and spent the whole day with the group. At the end, he turned to her and said: “I don’t know what we started, but this was very special, and God is in the middle of it.” Later, she would pen a note stating the goal of that day was simple: To Give Hope and a Future! That is how we started, and the words are eternal. Everyone needs Hope, and everyone needs to know they have a great future. That is why we do what we do.
The Way Forward
The Vision for Whole Vet has grown from very humble beginnings. It was a grass root effort to inspire, encourage and say ‘Thank You’ to a very deserving group of Ft. Bragg soldiers. Through the years, things have happened because of the great leadership and volunteers that gave so much of themselves (most of the times almost entirely behind the scenes). To all of you, we say a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU!!! Many lives have impacted because of your sacrifices and service.
Ultimately, what has motivated each and every one of us has been Passion and Compassion. We have a Passion to serve, give back, and to help build lives. We have a Compassion for those that are in need, hurting, or just simply need a ‘hand-up.' These two words have defined every effort from Day One and have only grown.