Saturday, June 28, 2008


The first time I met Joe Bobrow was at an interfaith memorial service where he was the Buddhist representative. At that time, I thought: what a gentle person. It was somewhat of a generalized statement as my experience with the Buddhists in Korea had been quite extensive and always good. The Buddhist are a wonderfully "at peace" group that we would do well to emulate. Anyway, I lost contact with Joe until my wife met him at a gathering for organizations serving Iraqi and Afghanistan vets. Joe's organization, the Coming Home Project was and is doing fabulous and extraordinary work with Iraqi and Afghanistan vets.

The Coming Home Project seems to have zeroed in on how to grapple with the special needs of vets. With all the emphasis now, Joe's organization is already running retreats and providing therapy to hundreds of soldiers and families. I think it is poised to be the premier helping Provider for vets--no small thing. Too many organizations have great programs on paper but in actuality provide very little.

And, as we know, unfortunately, the bureaucratic processes often overshadows the care of the soldier. It always happens. Unless a soldier is unbelievably tenacious, he/she falls through the cracks. The Coming Home Project is a wonderful stopgap and advocate.

The Iraqi war will end at some time and it may simply be that we declare victory and come home. Who knows? Certainly not those in power. But, the war on terror will not end. Issues surrounding the soldier, especially the ones who have served multiple tours in Iraq, will be around for years even as Vietnam is still with us.

The Coming Home Project is absolutely essential to the future of our country and the volunteer soldiers who serve us. And, unfortunately, the VA, is looked too to provide the care for these warriors. Physically/medically they can and will but with the mental health issues, they are simple not equipped to do it. And, we should not expect them too. For now, we all should be thankful for Joe Bobrow and the Coming Home Project to fill the gap and serve the soldier.