Vet2Vet

KNOXVILLE REGIONAL VETERANS MENTAL HEALTH COUNCIL LEGACY PEER SUPPORT GROUP – VET TO VET TN
From left to right: Howard Frank, WW II veteran sitting; George Howell, Jr. Desert Storm veteran kneeling; Michael Crawford, Vietnam veteran;
Freddie Owens, Vietnam veteran; Don Davis, Vietnam veteran; Ed Junod, Vietnam veteran

We are three (3) Veteran affiliations working as one volunteer unit to serve those who served in the Military

You fought for your country.
Now we’d like to fight for you.

Our goals are to stop Veteran suicide, homelessness, and incarceration through PTSD awareness, intervention, and resolution training; mental health first aid, peer support, Veteran suicide prevention training; coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and area non-profit organizations; and mentoring.

We can help you navigate the VA, address immediate support, and offer strategies and coping skills for living a healthy lifestyle. Give us the chance to tell you how. Just as on the battlfield.

What started almost four (4) years ago as an urban based organization has now grown and expanded its programs to over 24 East Tennessee counties. Many services are available to Veterans and their families in the urban communities but little are available in the RURAL communities. Not only do we support urban communities but we also specialize in helping in the rural areas where most services are unavailable. We are still a totally volunteer group with no paid staff and donated meeting and office space. Our officers generally pay for their own training or participate in community-based, grant-funded training programs.

If you went to see the movie “American Sniper”, then you can start to understand how the war changes the brave men and women who served. The next mission they encounter is returning and readjusting at home. It was the legend, Navy Seal Chris Kyle’s veteran advocacy that helped him return to his family to find joy, happiness, and love that he lost in the war.

It is only through the generosity and kindness of caring people like yourself that we can provide the services we do. Your support towards helping us help other veterans is greatly appreciated.

Please contact your patriotic friends and veteran advocates to help us achieve our mission to “Leave no veteran behind”.

Communications is the key to a successful partnership and examples are listed below. We are honored to serve with you!
Veteran Advocacy ~ Communications ~ Rapid Response ~ Veteran Centric

CONTACT: www.tnvhc.org • 865-336-2624
DONATIONS: visit the website or send check to:
4812 Ashville Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37914

Listen to a podcast at: www.AmericanHeroesNetwork.com

Download Article Files Here.

Healing a Soldier’s Heart Through Faith

Freddie J. Owens, Ia Drang Valley Survivor

When meeting a decorated vet, I am always curious about how much of his heroism he brought back to civilian life? Freddie J. Owens is a true hero, not only for his Bronze Star, he was awarded for actions in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam, but also for his work today as a Vet to Vet TN facilitator and mentor.

The Ia Drang Valley was one of the most brutal battles in the Vietnam War. It was where the North Vietnamese learned close “hand to hand” combat was the way to limit our use of overwhelming fire;power. Freddie survived that ferocious action only to loose 341 of his !st Air Calvary Division brothers. The North Vietnamese lost over 1,000 men.

When he returned, he was haunted by memories of those left behind and coping with the merry-go-round of head, heart and gut. While Faith provided final answers, he Bronze Star courage allowed him to climb out of his feelings and trust a power greater than himself. This acceptance is the sign of a true hero. Freddie is now a highly competent and effective Vet to Vet TN Counselor, who also works to assist ministries in establishing vet friendly congregations. There is no cost for his work. All his cohorts are unpaid volunteers. Feel free to contact Freddie and friends at (865) 336-2624 or visit www.tnvhc.org.

The Ia Drang Valley battle happened Nov., 1965 over North Vietnamese infiltration routes. At one time Cambodia hosted over 4 North Vietnamese Divisions. As a special ops pilot, for a time in 1967, I operated out of Plei Mei Special Forces Camp near the Ia Drang Valley. My later involvement illustrates one of U.S. soldier biggest gripes, or they were not allowed to take and hold ground like their Korea and WW II counterparts.

Download Article Files Here.

Memorializing Those Who Fought in Vietnam

Vietnam War’s fifth anniversary has caused new research to surface revealing a different image of why my fellow combatants served. Hollywood and popular culture misrepresented those of us who served and why. This report is extracted from “Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans” published in the Military Order of World Wars magazine, “Officers Review” Oct., 2013 issue.

“The Vietnam War was not fought largely by draftees. Two thirds of the soldiers in Vietnam were volunteers. While minorities played a full played a full role in the fighting, 86 percent of the Americans who died fighting in Vietnam were white, middle-class volunteers.

The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was not a rag tag army of black clad peasant guerillas who fought from the shadows. We know from released Soviet Union records that the North Vietnamese comprised of 27 divisions that were kept at full strength by a communist nation supplying 200,000 new 18 year olds per year. There was a famous North Vietnamese saying, “born in the North to die in the South”. Archives show the Soviet Union poured huge amounts of money and weaponry into North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese Army had full armored divisions, high tech weaponry and extremely sophisticated supply network.

The realities of the Vietnam War are harsh. It was a war with no front lines and fought on difficult terrain. America’s lack of political will deeply restricted military strategy in the war. Through it all our troops fought bravely and with distinction only to have their nation turn their backs on them as they returned. Some were blamed for the war.” (End of comments from “Officers Review”)

Who were the anti war groups supporting? After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the Communists sent 1 million to reeducation camps where 250,000 died of malnutrition, torture and execution. Of the 2 million who tried to flee 200,000 by drowning or pirate savagery. What happened with the borders of China, North Vietnam’s key sponsor? While I was fighting regular North Vietnam divisions in II Corps, China had the “Cultural Revolution” in full swing. They starved approximately 1.5 million Chinese depending on source. Mao’s personality cult was in full swing with immature Red Guard touting his little “Red Book”. Before that the “Great Leap Forward” starved anywhere from 18 to 37 million depending on source. When Mao’s reign ended with his death in 1976, he had killed 70 million people. Vietnam’s Cambodian neighbor Pol Pot’s communist government killed 1.5 million out its total population of 7 to 8 million.

REST ASSURED VIETNAM VETS: YOU FOUGHT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS, THE RIGHT PEOPLE AND THE RIGHT VALUES IN THE VIETNAM WAR.

Download Article Files Here.