Sunday, November 11, 2007

In front of City Hall, Tranquility Park and Herman Park 11:00 a.m. - VA Ceremony 1:00 p.m. - City of Houston Veterans Day Parade 2:00 p.m. - Houston Freedom Fest Helping us Celebrate our Heroes will be:

Lee Greenwood

The Texas A&M Singing Cadets 200 Person Choir

Houston Drum Corps Robin Roewe

Barbara Tucker

First Baptist Church Orchestra, Alex Pancheri, Conductor

Military Ministry’s “Bridges to Healing” video describes the plight of many service members across the U.S. as they return from harm’s way. Michael Wagner, Ph.D. We prayed for them while they were deployed, Walter Reed Army Medical Center Hear from the experiences of two returning but now, they need our prayers more than ever. medics and how difficult the transition back home can be. Please select the ribbon to watch this very powerful video. Houston Freedom Fest is an exciting new initiative to "Honor the Troops" and maximize awareness of the urgent physical and spiritual needs of our military community and to meet those needs through the compassion of the Greater Houston community. The event will entertain, inform, inspire, and connect the participants; resulting in affirmation of Houston's military community and relationship building to meet the unique needs of these military troops and families.
When a soldier is wounded, the family and community also are wounded. The Need is Urgent

The Iraq War began in March 2003 and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan started October 2001, with over 2,000,000 troop deployments to date. These deployments have averaged approximately 10 months at a time, with sometimes short returns home. On the national level, U.S. force have sustained over 25,000

casualties, with 3,000+ deaths and another 22,000+ wounded. With plans for bolstering deployments in 2007, many families will be facing their second, third, and even fourth deployment. Additionally, the Veterans Affairs reports over 400,000 untreated cases of PTSD, beginning from Vietnam forward. From a Texas and Houston perspective, there are thousands of active, guard, and reserve troops and families in our local communities that are silently hurting - bruised and bleeding on our behalf. Men and women returning from service who face difficulty with the transition back to "normal" life, experiencing relationship or financial struggles and even post traumatic stress syndrome, "a ticking time bomb in this generation of returning warriors". The personal and societal effect of these burdens is dramatic, as seen in the rising military divorce rates and in the increased potential for substance abuse, domestic abuse, and criminality. Hence, there exists a moral mandate, and very practical societal rationale, for the leadership of Houston, Texas, to reach out to these military men, women, and children amongst us who so urgently need our support.
Our Mission

To help in meeting these needs requires an intentional, concerted effort by developing a "Corps of Compassion" (comprised of churches and other caring organization, armed with expanded resources and training), which reaches out to meet the needs at a personal relationship level. This kind of support goes well beyond bumper stickers and an occasional prayer to truly knowing and supporting individuals, to understand and help meet their individual needs.
Our Community

In many ways, Houston is a "military town": thousands of serving citizen soldiers, active duty families with parents, sons, and daughters serving around the world; various Reserve component headquarters, a major Veterans Affairs hospital, Bush Intercontinental Airport as a major thoroughfare of military personnel, and an absolute multitude of military veterans. Following the caring response to the needs of the victims of hurricane Katrina, Houston is nationally recognized as a beacon of compassion. It is our hope that Houston can once again be a model for other cities in recognizing the urgent needs of military families and responding with a heart of compassion. This call also provides an opportunity for national healing, through properly honoring our military service men and women and their families for their service, rather than allowing them to sink into lives of isolation, poverty, and public alienation. Regardless of one's outlook on this war and conflict in general, these families need our compassion. No one supporting the Katrina victims was "pro hurricane" - they were simply responding to the human needs. Houston Freedom Fest will partner with other like-minded individuals and organizations locally and nationally to execute its mission. It will enhance community cohesion by integrating many other existing groups that support military families, churches, and other ministries throughout Houston.

An Impact Houston and Military Ministry Initiative www.impacthouston.net www.militaryministry.org