Posted by Chuck Chase
Luke returned to the podium today to speak about this new and “signature” program of the Adrian Noon Rotary Club. The full board last week approved the recommendation to submit a formal proposal to the board of directors of the Adrian Rotary Foundation for $25,000 in support of this important program. A motion to approve was made by Kathryn S. and seconded by Bob Behnke and was passed unanimously! Luke made special mention of State Representative Bronna Kahle’s hand-signed letters she gave him expressing total support of this program!
Luke then proceeded to give more details of the program and answered a number of the audience's questions. The basic focus of the program, he said, was to offer PTSD support, allow veterans to use the shop and all of its equipment, receive valuable/marketable education through the classes that are taught and even certification through the state so those who want to pursue a career.
Mike Tobey, a fellow club member and veteran himself spoke next saying that he served in Viet Nam and has medical issues from exposure to Agent Orange. He left Viet Nam in 1966 but it wasn’t until 1986 that he was diagnosed with PTSD. He continues therapy to this day. Hollywood and the media, Mike said, need to be quickly corrected when they allege that those veterans suspected of commiting crimes, always attribute it to PTSD. Mike quickly put that to rest and added that it is actually less than 5% of all crimes.
PTSD, Mike said, was something that could be addressed through woodworking which not only gives vets something to do but helps them interrelate with one another. “The program can potentially reach out in so many other directions, too.” Mike clarified that alcohol would not be part of this program unlike groups such as the VFW and the American Legion. It is an environment that is less than appropriate for people with PTSD who might have a weakness for alcohol.
Nate added that the Brownstown Rotary Club in Brownstown Michigan started an organization called the Victory Gym and was aware of what we’re doing at the workshop and expressed much interest in learning to provide a similar woodworking program at their gym. They said that they would be willing to learn from us and therefore touch even a larger group of vets than are in Lenawee County alone. District Governor Noel Jackson provided a bit more info on what the Brownstown Club was doing.
Luke summed everything up by saying that this program will officially launch in May of this year and that every Wednesday the Sam Beauford Workshop will be closed to the public. It will be called Woodworking Warrior Wednesday and run from sun up to sun down. Vets can simply show up and not do anything they want if it's only to enjoy fellowship and coffee with other vets. For others who want more they can embark on official vocational certification. Those who do simply come in and chat could further be encouraged to get involved in woodworking at some level and eventually seek certification, Luke said. There will be scheduled class time for those who would like to participate the workshop's typical 6-week classes, Luke said. Remember – there will be no charge to veterans regardless of their level of involvement.
Side note: every member should have received a copy of the full color brochure that was distributed. (Shown at the right).