By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: November 2017
The Coffee Bunker Staff (l-r): Dr. Michael Horton/Executive Director, Nancy Goodman/Board Member, Mary Ligon/Founder, Scott Blackburn/Operations Manager and Joni Frank/Administration Coordinator.
Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, signed and ratified in Paris on November 11, 1918, thus ending the First World War. Veterans Day is observed on November 11 unless it falls on a Sunday and is then moved to Monday.
Brave men and women serve believing the cost of freedom is worth the sacrifice. We thank them for their incredible sacrifices and risking their lives so we can live in peace and security. We cherish our freedom and the American way of life, but know it is not free.
Coffee Bunker is a place for respite and rest; a place to regroup and prepare to reengage with civilian life. They are a 501(c)(3) organization serving veterans by providing a place to hang out and call home and to serve as a hub by providing help in dozens of areas including connecting veterans with other organizations providing specific services to assist in making the transition back into society.
“Coffee Bunker connects vets with other service organizations in our area, and other agencies are sending vets to us for help,” said Mary Ligon. Mary is a native Tulsan and earned Certification in Pastoral Counseling from St. John’s Anglican College in Nottingham, England.
She has received the Community Education Award from the Mental Health Association in Tulsa and the 2010 Annual Award from the Community Service Council in Tulsa. At their 75th Anniversary Celebration, the Community Service Council in Tulsa also awarded Mary the 2016 Award for Distinguished Service to our Veterans.
Mary has identified five areas of concern in which returning vets need help:
CONNECTION is an initial point of contact to meet other vets, many of whom have said, “We are isolated and have no place to go.”
HONOR, especially by the community as we come forward to assist vets, sometimes by simply making donations or helping provide meals.
SUPPORT may be in taking a midnight phone call from a distressed vet or family member needing to talk. It might be making a connection with a business willing to help, or providing food, clothing, a place to stay, legal advice, medical support, or a willing ear.
RESOURCES include providing information on housing, jobs, dental/medical services, food and more. “If we can’t help you, we’ll connect you with someone who can,” says Mary.
RENEWAL. “How can I learn to live in America again when half of me is dead in Iraq?” This comment was made by Cpl. Daniel Y. Ligon, USMC, to his mother shortly before his death. Many veteran soldiers feel they abandoned their comrades when they came home. “Renewal is deeper than just getting a house and a job,” said Mary. “It may also include spiritual renewal.” Many need support, and they are receiving it at Coffee Bunker in collaboration with other agencies in Tulsa.
Please contact Coffee Bunker for assistance in finding help for veterans. Visit the website for a calendar of provided services and events throughout the area. Financial assistance and volunteers are needed and always welcomed.
Army Veteran John Stewart
Army Veteran Robert Pearson
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
6365 E 41st St | Tulsa, OK 74135
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