A new nonprofit with the backing of prominent military veterans, former government officials and the chief of police of a major city is launching today with the aim of coming alongside children who have lost a parent serving in law enforcement or the military.
Healing the Wounds founder and president Jeff M. Epstein explained to WND his desire is to “honor America’s fallen heroes” by providing long-term mentoring and support for their children as well as raising awareness of the need.
“After the salutes are fired and the folded flags presented, the families are regrettably forgotten,” he said. “Healing the Wounds was chartered with a patriotic and sacred mission – to mentor the forgotten children of our nation’s fallen heroes in law enforcement and the military.
The nonprofit’s advisory board includes retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney; retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin; Vietnam POW Col. Ken Cordier; former chief investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee David Schippers; retired Air Force Capt. and Green Beret Mykel Hawke, the star of the Discovery Channel’s “Man, Woman, Wild” and “One Man Army”; Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La.; and Detroit’s chief of police, James Craig.
Epstein said he hopes citizens who share his vision will become members and sponsors.
Healing the Wounds’ programs will include an Alaskan adventure and learning experience, a 24-hour support call center, access to a vast custom video learning library and career mentoring.
Epstein said the mission is to “empower the youth to become successful and responsible citizens” through opportunities that “build character, self-confidence and leadership skills.”
He hopes the effort will fill a void.
“While so much of society is laser-focused on what is wrong, we are taking a positive approach by focusing on the possible – by equipping the teenagers with the skills, attitudes, habits and behaviors that will ensure their success,” he said.
Paying the ultimate price
Hawke, who has a master’s degree in psychology and family counseling, said he’s especially excited about Healing the Wounds’ Alaska wilderness experience.
He pointed out the struggle faced by the surviving parent trying to raise children on their own.
“When these folks who pay the ultimate price for serving are taken from us, there is a tremendous void in the lives of their children,” he said.
“Getting the children into a new environment and out of the sad and lonely space is a first step,” said Hawke, who retired as a captain from 25 years of service in the U.S. Army Special Forces.
He’s best known for his work on television as the star and producer of seven television series.
“Teaching them outdoor skills that their lost parent might have, helps re-connect them to nature, peace, life, family, people and society as a whole,” Hawke said. “It’s an old-fashioned notion in a modern era of psychotherapy and mental medication where we simply remind the kids of what the world has to offer, what life is really all about, to help them go through the grieving process and appreciate the cycle of life.”
Hawke said the “end result, is healthier, happier children that can return to society, grow and contribute.”