One telephone number is all a local military member, family or veteran needs, because they never “should do it alone when they need help,” said members of the nonprofit Peak Military Care Network at the second annual Honoring the Brave Day Breakfast.
The clearinghouse number to find resources: 719-577-7417 (pmcn.org).
More than 525 people were on hand to support the group, its board and its navigation team Nov. 16 at The Broadmoor, where an estimated $93,000 was raised. PMCN has 45 government and nonprofit member agencies, said Kate Hatten, president/CEO, and calls for service by August already had surpassed the 2017 total of 1,200.
Board chair Steve Dant said resources were scant when he returned from serving in Vietnam, and many needed help. “Peak Military Care Network, I’m all in,” said Dant, vice president/general manager at KXRM, Fox 21 News.
Keynote speaker Kristen Christy said when she went “through a storm” after her Air Force officer husband committed suicide April 21, 2008, “I wish I had the one phone number to call for help. I wish I had known one phone number.” She also wishes there had been Angels of America’s Fallen for her sons, who struggled, sometimes tragically, as they dealt with the effects of their loss.
Christy, born into an Air Force family and remarried to a reservist several years ago, is there for other military families. Her work with suicide prevention programs and resources led to her being selected the 2018 AFI Air Force Spouse of the Year.
Hatten said PMCN works to build the community agency network, “break down silos, and decrease duplication and fragmentation of services, ultimately to ensure that no one who needs help is left behind.”
Serving on the PMCN board with Dant are retired Lt. Gen. Ed Anderson, Luke Anderson, Jennifer Barks, “Bear” McConnell, Terrance McWilliams, Tina Neuendorf, Buddy Newton, Bill Ramey, Mark Richardson, Dave Tohlen, Keith Watkins and Monte Watts. The advisory board includes law enforcement, representatives of all military branches, nonprofits, education, defense contractors and governmental agencies.
Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town