Army Vet Markham Anderson started with us a volunteer and was such a quick learner that we invited him onto our staff. Raised by his grandmother in Wichita, Kansas, Markham says, “I brought home strays.” He means animals and people. No matter whom he brought, his grandmother set a place at the table for them. Country breakfast or country dinner, it didn’t matter. Markham met Shad in 1984 through James “Sneaky” White and Geronimo Pratt, both decorated Vietnam combat Veterans. Markham’s gentle manner on the phones communicates a message of care at a time when it’s needed.
Kathleen Reilly, who’s from Venice, CA (really, she says), also came to us as a volunteer. She saw us in action on an Outreach mission and asked about volunteering. She fills a unique position in our outreach to Women Veterans who are often more willing to talk to another woman. A mother of two, she’s from a military family. Her brother was a Marine Veteran. Kathleen answers the Lifeline from home or the office. “Human to human. I love to be a listening ear. I feel so much more than an information services representative.” When she’s not working, she’s writing music and singing. She once auditioned for “the Voice.” She quotes Ram Dass, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.