Tag Archives: veterans

How Children of Veterans are Impacted by Parent’s Service

In today’s blog, Julian Omidi discusses how children of veterans are impacted upon their return from battle.

Our country is blessed to have men and women willing to fight for our freedoms. America’s veterans are courageous advocates of democracy. However, they also are victims to the traumas of combat. Many of these men and women are also parents. Upon their return, their children may endure psychological impact of war.

Veterans who serve their country are at risk for many possible injuries. Thirty percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are said to have suffered some form of injury. These include injuries both physical as well as psychological. In battle, they could lose an appendage or develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Some veterans even suffer brain damage. All of these take their toll in a significant way.

Losing an appendage could mean losing mobility, which could impact future employment as well as recreational activities. Suffering a brain injury can limit cognitive abilities. Living with PTSD can develop a myriad of conditions that affect the emotional stability of the victim. It is sad when any of these occur. It is more so saddening when it happens to a mother or a father.

Children of injured veterans are significantly impacted by their parent’s return. Their once upbeat and capable parent may become dependent. This could force the child to grow up at an earlier rate than their peers. More responsibility could be placed upon them to help their parent live their daily life.

What’s more, when a parent suffers an emotional disorder from combat, the child is forced to deal with the emotional instability. This can lead to them suffering silently. Children with parents who are injured vet can themselves develop anger issues or anxiety. This loss of childhood can negatively impact their self-esteem.

It is important for us to take care of our veterans but more importantly we keep an eye on their children. Through various organizations, such as the Veteran’s Families United Foundation, it is possible to help these families recover from their injuries. Do your part, if you know children of wounded vets, consider taking on a mentorship role.

Be good to each other,

Julian Omidi

Julian Omidi is a philanthropist that advocates for children throughout the country.

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In the Spotlight: Dan Wallrath – Founder of Operation Finally Home


Julian Omidi discusses the work of Dan Wallrath, founder of Operation Finally Home, an organization that builds and remodels homes for United States Service men and women.

United States armed forces men and women face unimaginable challenges every day of their services.  The stress and anxiety of performing their duties along with the terror of realizing that every new day might bring some circumstance that might forever change – or even end – their lives, is more than many of us could bear.  However, if a soldier finds himself seriously injured, he could face a series of difficulties for which he might not be prepared.  This is where Dan Wallrath comes in.[1]

For three decades, Mr. Wallrath build and remodeled the homes of wealthy clients.  When Mr. Wallrath met the father of a 20-year-old injured marine in 2005, he saw first hand the struggles of American veterans with coping with day-to-day realities.  The veteran had once been a large, hale, and hearty marine, but his injuries had depleted him to the point where he weighed approximately half of what he did when he enlisted.

The veteran’s father wanted to construct a wheelchair ramp and other amenities so that his son could access the family home more easily, but he didn’t have the money to do so.  Mr. Wallrath volunteered his services, and convinced several other contractors to contribute their resources to the effort.  After the project was finished, Mr. Wallrath decided that there were service men and women all over the country that could be facing the same thing, and Operation Finally Home was born.

To date, Operation Finally Home has built 44 homes for injured veterans.  The homes are mortgage-free, and the organization even pays the taxes and insurance fees for one year, while the veteran goes back to school, or establish new careers.  The time allows the veterans to become financially stable enough to take the reigns, and begin whole new lives.

In addition to the 44 homes already built, Operation Finally Home has 42 homes currently under construction.  The organization works with carpenters, plumbers, electricians and builders’ associations in 17 states.  The economic downturn has made the home building and remodeling services even more vital.

Mr. Wallrath has retired from his home building profession in order to devote all of his time and effort to his crusade.  According to Mr. Wallrath, “It really broke my heart to think (about) these young men and women.  It was like someone hit me upside the head with a 2×4. … I just felt like this is what God wants me to do.”

Mr. Wallrath’s contribution to these men and women is more than just material – it gives them the chance to give their lives a much-needed boost.  We at Civic Duty salute Mr. Wallrath and his organization, and we hope that his efforts continue to bring hope and stability to these men and women who couldn’t be more deserving.

By Julian Omidi

[1] Toner, Kathleen: Building Free Homes for Wounded Vets CNN.com 12/18/2013 http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/06/us/cnnheroes-wallrath-operation-finally-home/index.html

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In the Spotlight: The Heroes Project


Julian Omidi spotlights The Heroes Project, an organization that takes United States Armed Forces veterans – many of whom have suffered life-altering injuries – on mountain climbing expeditions in order to help them recover their sense of purpose and determination.

The world needs heroes – we also need to endeavor to deserve them.  The United States Armed Forces men and women perform heroic duties every day.  They put their lives on the line in inhospitable countries for our protection and freedom, and we must pay them back by doing everything we can to make their transition back to civilian life welcoming, harmonious and prosperous.

The Heroes Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving veterans the support they have earned throughout their difficult service.  It is a wonderful organization, and it was born out of a deep respect and admiration for every man and woman who has given him/herself over to dedicated, selfless service.

The Heroes Project was started by Tim Medvetz, a former Hell’s Angel who spent many years engaging in high-adrenaline sports and activities.  After he crashed his motorcycle in 2000 and spent years in physical therapy and recovery, he decided to challenge his physical and emotional limits by climbing Mt. Everest.  After 4 years of training and one aborted attempt, he reached his goal in May of 2007.  His experience recovering from his almost crippling injuries coupled with the purpose and thrill of achieving his goal led him to want to share it with the members of the community that he strongly felt deserved to have the feeling of vitality and determination restored to them: Injured U.S. veterans.

The Heroes Project has so far sponsored mountain climbing expeditions for several veterans – two in 2009 that were filmed in order to show other veterans what they are capable of.  The expeditions were up Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mt. Elbrus in Russia.

In addition to sponsoring, training and guiding veterans on climbing expeditions, The Heroes Project also acts as a lobbying and advocacy organization for veteran’s rights and services, including educational opportunities, empowerment programs and programs for military families.

Civic Duty is honored to sponsor the Heroes Project and its upcoming Everest Climb event.  The Everest Climb will take place in March of 2014.

We are truly blessed to have a group of people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for our safety and security.  We at Civic Duty cannot offer these men and women enough praise, and we hope that our support of The Heroes Project will help it to continue to offer these spectacular, life-changing opportunities for many years into the future.

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