To A Grateful Nation: Col David W. Sutherland, US Army (Ret.)
To A Grateful Nation:
In my former position as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Warrior and Family Support at the Pentagon, I met with Betsy Reed Schultz on March 20, 2012 at the suggestion of Admiral Michael Mullen. Betsy compassionately presented the vision and mission of the Captain Joseph House Foundation (CJHF) from the perspective of a Gold Star family.
Betsy is a Gold Star Mom and the Founder and Executive Director of the CJHF, a unique 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation provides respite and educational support to the families by extending the continuum of care available through other military, religious, private and non-profit organizations.
CJHF creates intimate, healing respites and retreats for families who have lost a member in the service of our country. These environments serve Gold Star Families looking for an opportunity to meet in a home-away-from-home location with no more than two other families, where new friendships can take root and strength can be drawn from their common experiences.
Although Betsy’s immediate goal is to refurbish and operate the first House in Port Angeles, Washington she envisions opening four more Houses across the country to serve nearly 7,000 families who have lost loved ones in the post-9/11 conflicts.
The mission, and the promise of CJHF, is to ensure that our Families of the Fallen will not be forgotten. I both support and endorse this mission to care for the Gold Star Families of the Fallen and to help them honor, respect and remember their loved one as they resume their lives. While we recognize the loss, we must provide life-changing opportunities that will bridge them to their new future.
Others support and endorsement for this House and the Gold Star Families who will respite at it will be reflected as an understanding that fellow citizens, be they military or civilians, gratefully acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice a loved one made for our country.
Colonel David W Sutherland
US Army (Retired)