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February 2019

2/16

Snowed In?

And internet while the dish is clear, but I’m looking at 3 to 3 1/2 feet of snow right now! I’m at the mercy of the plow guy who is overwhelmed again- snow can be relentless! But relentless is good- we’ve got some care packs to get out, a vehicle to deliver, a US Marine (Andrew Nard) to support, less than 2 weeks away to start the Appalachian Trail with BJ Cotton- AT Hiker!!!

There is always work to be done to help others. We delivered firewood to a Viet Nam veteran in Sonora last week and now I can’t even get out of here to check his supply, but even storms like this don’t last forever- makes me think about the veterans that struggle with post traumatic stress and how they might think the “storm” will last forever….

Next week we have two meetings to promote our Task Force Hope veterans camp here at what I’m now calling Ice Station 46, and on Saturday I am doing the service for an Air Force Veteran in Klamath Falls, Oregon- like I say, there’s always work to be done in serving others.

Best, Ed

Still Encouraged

Romans 12:12

2/11

Snow bound and focused…..

It’s easy to focus I think when whatever you are facing is right in front of you! This week has been amazing and difficult- this beautiful thing they call snow has my full attention! Snow doesn’t always just snow- it drifts and it blows and it piles up high!

But knowing that the plow guy will probably come today gives me hope. Hope that I can mail a few care packs, hope that I can stock up on food, hope that I can see through this ridiculous amount of snow, and continue God’s work!

Last week we delivered firewood to a Viet Nam veteran in Sonora who was out of wood. And as my own supply dwindles and I can’t help but think, does he need more wood?

We have purchased a vehicle for a veteran who lost everything in the Camp Fire and will deliver as soon as we are able. Patience is not my strong point, but living in snow country will help me with that!!

Still Encouraged, Ed

Romans 12:12

2/6

I was thinking today, and yes, it did hurt, but thinking is good….and bear with me

I was thinking about being overwhelmed at times, and I’m not complaining, but I am so busy running a Christian Camp that does benefit Operation Creekside greatly, and running Operation Creekside, a mission that I truly love- I can get caught up in thoughts about being behind, and 4 feet of unexpected snow will get you more behind….

Today I shoveled and plowed, got the Kubota stuck, dug out the Ford by hand to pull the Kubota out, dealt with snow pretty much all day and I am exhausted tonight and more snow is coming on Saturday!!

But then a Facebook post about a Marine friend of mine, a post about his brain tumor growing and the next word “hospice” makes all of the above nothing. My troubles are nothing! Please see the post by me on Operation Creekside FB about my friend Jimmy Gooch. I am definitely behind on everything, but I am praying about going to see Jimmy tomorrow, someone I don’t really know that well, but someone, a US Marine, that I care about deeply….

If I’m always behind, just know that I do my best- I love my veterans, they are before my schedule, they are everything to me. American veterans, worthy of my prayers and my gratitude.

Best, Ed

God Bless America!

2/4

I wish it would just snow straight down!!

The joy of living in the mountains and on God’s 46- 46 acres in Mi Wuk Village Ca.And it will be approx 10 degrees here in the morning, and I am not complaining, but Pastor Steve in Maine will get a good laugh at my report!! But a little snow here will keep me from the post office for a couple days- we have some more care packs to get out and then we need to step up our game again- new names to ship to!!

I am preparing for Task Force Hope Veterans Camp Mar 28-31 up here and we have some interest already. We are also in full support of US Marine Andrew Nard’s trip back east to hike 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail with US Navy veteran BJ Cotton, AT Hiker.

There’s always something to do and sometimes it’s God’s timing- we had a Navy veteran drive from here up to Chico to assist a veteran in need- we were ready to help provide a vehicle, but the veteran was not cooperative. Unfortunate, but we have to be careful- people need to be accountable, but that opened the door for a combat vet who really needs a vehicle…..

Family Truck & Auto in Oakdale came through again, and as soon as this weather gets through up here, we will deliver the vehicle. We have continued to provide two VFW leaders up there with Safeway Gift cards to veterans in need that were Camp Fire victims. Many thanks to all who help us do real mission work!!

God Bless America! I Stand!

Best, Ed

2/1

Chaplain Joshua Remy born on this day in 1975

And in January of 2013 he took his own life as a direct result of post traumatic stress. These families of the 22 are hurting. I know his mom and dad. I hear about how Joshua’s girls are doing, how his twin brother is doing, and I see the photos of mom and dad going up to Killeen every month to visit their son’s grave.

Knowing some of the families makes it for real. It’s not just a staggering statistic of what’s happening, it is for real! 22TooMany has 275 families of the 22 in our database. They are all over the US and I have visited about 35 of them Y’all know how busy I am these days, but I look forward to meeting more families- we all need to tell our stories, and a trusted and listening ear can mean the world to someone who is hurting!

Today I went down to Modesto to share our camp’s special needs mission with a group at a Bible study and ran into a Marine that is a true miracle- at our first camp in 2014 this guy was in trouble and literally almost drove his car off a steep canyon road. Somehow in the last year or so, he connected with some Christian veterans and turned his life around. I was able today to tell him in front of his son that he was a new creation- 2 Corinthians 5:17.

We are all mission. We purchased a car today for a veteran who lost everything in the Camp Fire. That’s two cars we’ve had something to do with and a whole bunch of Safeway Gift Cards thanks to people that believe in our mission…..

Ten years ago, when Joseph and I were care packing in my mom’s pantry, i never dreamed we would be able to do so much more. It’s a blessing to be connected with good people, people that really care for our military, the families, and our veterans.

God Bless America!

Best, Ed

Still Encouraged!

Romans 15:13

January 2019

1/19

We had a good week of mission work and there’s plenty to do still……..

On Wednesday I went to a meeting at Volunteers of America in Sacramento and then up to Orland Calif to meet a Camp Fire Veteran. His story is amazing about how he escaped the Camp Fire with just the clothes on his back, then three different shelters until finally a VFW Post Commander got him into a FEMA trailer in Orland.

There is a real need here and we are on the fast track here to get this veteran a vehicle! And speaking of vehicles, another group let us assist in the donation of a vehicle to another Camp Fire veteran that also lost everything in the fire. I picked up US Marine Dennis Payne on Thursday morning in Chico and we headed to the Sacramento Sportsman’s Show. He wanted to know what we were doing and I just said, “do you trust me?”, and he said, “yes.”

Anyway, after 2 hours of wandering and paying top dollar for food and drink I got the signal and took Dennis to the Wishes for Warriors booth. There he was presented with the keys to a very nice and well-maintained Ford Explorer! I watched my Marine drive away with a big smile- mission accomplished!!

We are only a month away for US Marine Andrew Nard to be headed back east to meet up with BJ Cotton AT Hiker, for the start of their 700 mile hike, completing BJ Cotton’s thru hike of the Appalachian Trail. The airfare is handled and to be honest, I have not even been to the post office, but any money coming in via check or paypal for Andrew’s support will be used for gear and or other needs for the hike.

The postal service has made it a little more difficult for their clerks to process the care packs- more work than the already time consuming customs forms and for me it will take more time at the post office. Luckily I can add one more post office to my awesome list of great service, the Sonora Post Office does a great job- top 3 in the US in my opinion- Discovery Bay, Soulsbyville, and Sonora, all in California!

The veteran I met in Orland is in for a treat and it will be like an overflowing blessing- he is getting a car and soon. He lost 2 Bibles in the fire. We’ll take care of that too and maybe a new Notebook or Lap Top?? This veteran is worthy and I love the fact that sometimes we are able to make a huge difference, and one veteran at a time…

Best, Ed

Still Encouraged!!

1/14

This is a direct request to fund a Task Force Hope Mission

I’m not going to guilt you or shame you or ask for your refund check, but I will tell you all the about the importance of this mission, and at the risk of getting my butt kicked by a US Marine!

Andrew Nard is that US Marine and he along with another Marine helped us start Task Force Hope. We rescued a military family that was in trouble in 2014, and Task Force Hope was born. All of our guys have their unique and often times difficult stories, but the fellowship that we have found with each other is priceless and we add to our ranks one veteran at a time.

You all know that US Navy veteran BJ Cotton, also known as Too Many on the Appalachian Trail hiked in honor of veterans we have lost to suicide, some 1400 plus miles of the AT in 2018. And to complete the “thru hike’ he has to walk/hike another 700 miles. This gives Andrew an opportunity to hike with him to finish, but to hike for the survivors like himself who are still with us!

I cannot tell you how significant this is in words alone, but my heart is all for what these amazing men are doing; awareness, prevention, honor and respect for the families. If you’re on the Appalachian Trail you meet a lot of people. Many many Americans do not know what is happening. Our troops, our veterans and all military families deserve better from our government and better from those of us that appreciate them..

We need to buy a plane ticket for Andrew immediately. We have already purchased some gear, but we need to support this mission fully. Please help if you can- BJ and Andrew will be sharing the mission on Facebook as they travel.

Operation Creekside
PO Box 1758
Discovery Bay, Ca 94505

Note: Andrew Nard AT Hike

Please support this important mission.

Best, Ed

1/12

Please Read: Two stories and why WE should keep doing mission work…..

On this day in 2012, Rick and Gail Rush buried their only daughter Courtney, who was active duty in the Air Force. Courtney Jo Rush had taken her own life. Her Mom Gail wrote on Facebook today, “7 years ago today it was cold, snowy, heartbreaking day. No one should have to do this.” 22 families a day in this country will go through this- most not on a cold day in Illinois, but the heartbreaking part they will all share.

I met Gail and Rick 3 years ago, I don’t remember the Hwy, but it was Exit 272- they had went past me and I was waiting. When that Mini Cooper pulled up, I got out and met them- in minutes we were headed to supper, then they took me to Courtney’s grave. There was a beautiful bench there in her honor and memory and they told me how much the Air Force had done including braving the cold cold weather on that day 7 years ago. They had brought all of Courtney’s stuff from North Carolina including her dog and her horses!

Gail and Rick were one of the first parents of a military member that had committed suicide that I had met, and now after meeting more than 30 families, it’s very clear that we need to do this kind of work. I learned a lot from this mom and dad and they will be my friends for life. These are my people, like my pastor says about his Marines and their families, these are my people.

Story # 2 is about a veteran that was able today to see his own children for the first time in over 3 years! It’s a complicated story, but we, Operation Creekside, and the people that support our mission, had a lot to do with that. I had to drive down to Oakdale today to help with the $60 fee for the meeting- there still may be a long road here, but we are in support of this veteran as long as necessary.

Our veterans struggle. Some things are fairly easy to help them navigate. Some things take some time. We are in the process of purchasing possibly 3 cars for veterans in need- two are victims of the Camp Fire.

The mission continues. We do the work. We are efficient- Walk the walk, talk the talk, and don’t stop for the photo op!!

God Bless America and All who keep her free!!

Best, Ed

Still Encouraged!

1/7

the challenges of 2019 are opportunities to serve more veterans……

We are working on vehicles for two veterans of the Camp Fire. One veteran spent 6 weeks in a shelter in the same clothes until a VFW Post Commander rescued him and now he’s in an RV in Orland- needs a car! The other vet is living in a motor home at the Old Hardware Store (closed) location and needing to relocate asap- needs a car!

We are still supporting two VFW Posts, Gridley and Chico with Safeway Gift Cards- many of these, most of these from Viet Nam Veterans #391, Hal & Gina Prock, Sonora Vets Helping Vets, and others- we are grateful for the support!!

The care packs from the Brentwood Auto Parts NAPA/VFW Post #10789 Annual Pack are being received in Bagram, Kandahar, Bahrain, Germany, and all over the world, and the stateside packs have reached vets and veteran homes across the US as well! Effective mission work from Brentwood California with special thanks to the two best post offices in the nation- Discovery Bay and Soulsbyville Ca.

In less than two months US Marine and Task Force Hope leader Andrew Nard will be headed back east to walk with BJ Cotton, AT Hiker, Too Many in the completion of his Appalachian Trail thru hike. This is amazing stuff right here- if you’d like to help support this mission, let me know- you can find Andrew on Facebook, also see Task Force Hope.

I am very excited to see what God has in store for 2019. Personally I’d like to keep our mission strong on all fronts- sending the care packs, 4 went out today, helping vets, and possibly visiting more families of the 22…….

God Bless America and all that keep her free!!

Best, Ed

Still Encouraged

1/4

and God provides

From this last bunch of care packs we have received two new names; a civilian worker in Bagram and a Lt Col near Kandahar. Another round will go out and we continue to ship the stateside care packs out too; Eagle’s Healing Nest in Minnesota, US Army veteran and pastor Steve Nute in Maine, two to active duty personnel on the east coast, a Care Packing 101 box to BJ Cotton in Alabama- we are a full-time nationwide mission!!

We have had some Task Force Hope vets up here at camp[ helping me prep for winter, and a local vet is working in our kitchen! She also helps me with the customs forms for the care packs….

Working on two cars for veterans that lost houses in the Camp Fire and still supplying gift cards to veterans from Paradise and Magalia,

Also our friend Chris Kinley from Foundation Constructors recently deployed and has already received a bunch of care packs from us! Chris hosted two care pack events in 2018 that enabled us to send a bunch overseas!!

Just an update to let you all know that we are busy and continuing to reach troops and veterans through this mission…

Still Encouraged, Ed

Psalm 55:22

PS: Please pray for our veterans that struggle- anniversary dates of events can trigger post traumatic stress, and if they don’t tell you, then you don’t know. If you’re close to a veteran that struggles, be in tune and be a good listener and pray!