This Veterans Day, I would like to honor John Bickel, a man who bleeds red, white, and blue. A man throughout his entire life, has given so freely and selflessly to his country and all that know him. A man whom I am incredibly blessed and proud to call my father.
A year after graduating from West Point, at 23, my father was deployed to Vietnam. As he landed, his first thoughts were to God, “My life is in Your hands.” That gave him the peace to accept whatever came his way and the wisdom to lead his men out of harm’s way. God truly did bless my father as he did not have many casualties on his watch, nor did he sustain any major injuries, or come home with the heavy mental burdens that many of our brave soldiers so often do.
My father has never accepted the status quo. Instead, he always pushes the boundaries continually asking himself what is possible? It is with that same attitude that he envisioned creating the VRCC, a facility that will give hope to Veterans and their families to heal and, most importantly, positively move forward with their lives. Hearing the staggering statistic of 22 veterans committing suicide with another 75 attempting to take their lives EVERY SINGLE DAY, my father choose to do something about it. Due to his leadership, he has enlisted many, committed to the cause, giving whatever gifts they can to get the VRCC off of the ground.
Thank you, all, for your belief in the VRCC and in supporting my father and his dream to one day eliminate the awful 22/75 statistic by giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for us, yet ask for and expect nothing in return. Our pilot in October has given us hope that we are headed down the right path to succeed in delivering to Veterans what they so desperately need and deserve.
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Thank you & Happy Veterans Day.