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Desert Warriors

Some folks ask, “Why another veteran’s club?” Well, the answer is quite simple: Not all veterans are alike. Yes, veterans are veterans, and all have given a part of themselves for this great Nation. However, each generation of veteran has its own alligator to wrestle. Each generation is unique, and in so being, craves the camaraderie of others who have lived through similar or same experiences. Whereas all veterans have an enormous amount in common with each other, there are significant differences that are truly unique enough to set each generation apart. Those veterans who have gone before us have been the role models that we have emulated; they trained us, mentored us, and passed the torch to us so that we can carry on our fight for freedom. They protected us when we returned, determined that we would be received as heroes, instead of viewed as criminals and miscreants as was my father’s generation. However, those generations will never fully understand what it is this generation experienced, any more than we can possibly understand the experiences of Operation Overlord at Normandy, fighting for terrain at the battles of Pork Chop Hill in Korea, or the surprise of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. No, this generation needs its own identity, and needs to be with veterans who understand EXACTLY what his brother has gone through, and more specifically, what alligators he wrestles.
Why Another Veterans Club
This question has been put to our club a number of times, and frankly, we find it humorous and annoying that people will attempt to become part of us, but then try to dictate their definitions of terms to us. Every year, we get some idiot who follows the same crash-and-burn cycle of trying to demand that his service makes him our brother. This really gets a bit old, so before you make yourself look foolish, read this. We have a motto: “Brothers in war. Brothers in peace. Desert Era Veterans for Desert Era Veterans.” We coined this motto for a reason, and it has a meaning to us. If you don’t like our meaning, we’re not particularly concerned - it only goes to prove one thing: YOU ARE NOT OUR BROTHER.
Who Is My Brother

Desert Warriors of the Red & Tan Nation

Too often, we hear veterans express how they miss the camaraderie and support they had when they were in the military. They don’t identify with the civilian world, and often find themselves resenting the take-it-for-granted, poor-me mentality they encounter outside of the military service. Veterans have an entirely different sense of humor, a take-charge attitude, and an objective approach to life that places results above feelings; this makes them strange to their civilian counterparts. Most of all, in their loneliest of times, veterans wrestle with alligators that civilians will never see, much less, understand. Veterans need veterans.

The Desert Warriors are here to provide that missing camaraderie and support. While the Desert Warriors have an inward focus to support their fellow Desert Warriors, they are unique within the Red & Tan Nation in that they also have an outward focus to reach those veterans who struggle with adjusting to life off the battlefield. And, we have a plan: we believe there are four focus points and two tools to help our veterans.


Four Focus Points

As an organization, the Desert Warriors will focus on the following four issues:

  1. Veteran homelessness
  2. Veteran employment
  3. Veteran suicide
  4. Veteran PTSD / TBI issues

Each Desert Warrior chapter will identify local, state, and federal resources for each of these issues, will maintain a list of providers and servicing organizations, and will link veterans with the assistance they need. However, the Desert Warriors won’t just give the veteran the contact information and be done with the veteran – we’ll work with the veteran to contact whatever service the veteran needs and continue working with that veteran until the service is provided. The goal of the Desert Warriors is to become the go-to organization for veterans’ needs.

The Desert Warriors are here to provide camaraderie and a support network for those who qualify and wish to become Desert Warriors. We remain ready to assist all veterans, regardless of affiliation, wherever they may be. We are our brother’s keeper.


Two Tools

The two main tools the Desert Warriors will utilize are:

  1. Veteran’s treatment courts
  2. Operating as a Veteran Service Organization (VSO)

Veterans Treatment Courts: The Desert Warriors will be involved in local veterans courts by providing mentors for participating veterans and assisting the courts any way we can. If there is no local veterans court, the Desert Warriors will work to establish one. Also, much of the veterans court funding is based upon drug treatment models, and while we recognize the importance of helping veterans work through substance abuse issues, we also recognize that many veterans find themselves in the court system because of PTSD/TBI-related behavior. Without addressing the underlying cause of veterans’ reactive behavior and some of the substance abuse related behavior, the current model of the veterans courts is treating a symptom rather than the cause.

In addition, the Desert Warriors believe the veterans courts should be staffed and managed by veterans. While it may not be possible in all locations, we believe that unless the presiding judge, the prosecuting attorney, the public defender, and the probation officer are veterans themselves, then they are unable to understand how to most effectively reach our veterans in need. In all cases, the Desert Warriors will work to advise and influence decision-makers in determining the most appropriate support to the veterans courts.

Desert Warriors as a Veteran Service Organization: The Desert Warriors are working to get established as a Veteran Administration-recognized Veteran Service Organization with as many Desert Warriors certified as Veteran Service Representatives (VSR) as can pass the certification exam. Our VSRs will not only help veterans through the difficult and confusing process of filing and appealing Veteran Administration claims, they will stay connected with the veteran through the entire process. Once a Desert Warrior has worked with a veteran, unless that veteran requests a new Veteran Service Representative, that veteran will remain linked with his assisting Desert Warrior. We plan on remaining connected with our veterans for the long haul.