The month of May started with an amazing Fight Club session in Junction Texas and ended with the Graduation of our founder, Chad Robichaux’s son Hunter from Marine Corps Boot Camp. In the middle of those two events was our annual national remembrance of the sacrifice paid by so many so that we might be free. As we consider these three events we are reminded of the many stages of life and the role that each of us must fulfill as we encourage, support and remember. We encourage those who, like Hunter, are willing to stand up in a post 911 world and defend the freedoms that we all enjoy. His time of service is just beginning but we have an obligation to encourage him and the many other young men and women who will courageously do what only one half of one percent of our population is willing to do. We then need to support those who have gone into harm’s way and come home with the invisible wounds of war. We stand alongside of them as they find their way back to the people that they were created to be and the people that their families and our world need them to be. We then must remember the incredible sacrifice paid for the privilege of living in this great country. It truly is a great honor to minister to those who have done so much for us.
Here are some of the highlights from this month:
At a lodge called The Great House at Blaylock Ranch just south of Junction, TX, we conducted a Mighty Oaks Warrior Program Fight Club for Men. We had 12 students and 8 staff and instructors. Along with the classroom time, we were able to get out on the South Llanos River to do some fishing and kayaking while getting to know each other better. The week was concluded with a Flag Retirement Ceremony and a graduation BBQ for the students. About 10 local families were in attendance at the graduation to show their gratitude and support for the Men and their service to this great Nation.
A very special event held each year during Memorial Day week is the display of the War Memorial traveling wall. Our West Coast facilitator was the keynote speaker at this year’s event and had this to say: “I had the extreme pleasure and honor to be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for the War Memorial traveling wall, in Yuba City, CA. This Memorial has the names of all our fallen service members from Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF). Over 6,800 names are on the wall, our brothers that paid the ultimate sacrifice over the last decade plus. I was extremely emotional and humbled to be a part of the ceremony, and represent our fallen, as I have many brother’s names on the wall! We must remember that Monday represents more than BBQs and a day off. It is a day that all Americans should pay tribute to the selfless sacrifice that over 600,000 servicemen have paid in full with their lives since the revolutionary war, establishing and maintaining our Freedom! Semper Fi….. God Bless our fallen, our Gold Star families and America!”
Memorial Day weekend was spent in our Nation’s Capital by several members of the Mighty Oaks Team as we supported events in the Washington D.C. area. The weekend started with a meeting of the Elizabeth Dole foundation held in the Russell Senate Building. In addition to approximately 40 pastors from around the nation the speakers included Senator Elizabeth Dole, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Senator John McCain and Pastor Joel Osteen. This event highlighted the role of the military caregiver and provided awareness to the faith community of the need to support those who are supporting others.
Following a number of meetings with other veteran service organizations, we had the privilege of conducting a one day men’s conference for the The Life Church D.C. This event brought 300 men together for a time of worship and teaching by Chad Robichaux and Jeremy Stalnecker. In addition to men being encouraged to be who they were created to be, 4o men responded to the call to give their lives to Christ and 30 others committed to becoming small group leaders at the church. Following the conference Chad and Kathy gave their testimony in the churches 4 main campus services while Jeremy spoke 2 times at a satellite campus. Sunday evening was spent at Mclean Bible Church where Chad and Kathy again shared their testimony to a full auditorium.
Memorial Day weekend was an amazing time with connections made, lives touched and hearts given to Christ. There is no better way to honor the sacrifice of so many than to embrace the freedoms that they fought to preserve.
On Memorial Day, Jonny Benton, our Deputy Director of Mighty Oaks, was invited to be the Keynote speaker at the Faces of Freedom Memorial in Atascadero, CA. Over 700 local residents were in attendance that day. Over half of those in attendance were Veterans ranging from WWII to current Gulf War Conflicts. The Memorial stands as a tribute to all those Service Members from the local area that gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. It was the perfect backdrop for such an event as this to once again remember those names on the walls as well as those we remember in our hearts.
May ended with the graduation of Hunter Robichaux from Marine Corps Boot camp. This was, of course, a proud moment for Chad and Kathy as a third generation Robichaux took his place as a United States Marine. We were all reminded as we celebrated this next step in Hunters life what a great privilege it is to serve the men and women of our armed forces.
Thank you for standing alongside of us as we stand alongside of those who have given us so much. May we never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by so many and continue to uphold our commitment “to reach the brokenhearted, with a specific calling to assist our nation’s military Warriors and families find a new life purpose through a hope in Christ, after enduring hardship through their service to America.”