Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, and the rest of the team at Resurrecting Lives Foundation hope that every one of our readers had a peaceful and loving Thanksgiving that was filled with family, food and friends. We welcome you to settle into the holiday season and join us in a successful month in review and a toast to the bright future ahead.
November was a month of celebration for many, as RLF hosted the first annual Think Different Awards aboard the USS Midway Museum. Following the award ceremony, attendees enjoyed a private screening of Resurrecting Lives Foundation new short film Brainstorms, directed by Julie Pacino of Tiny Apples Production.
If you’ve never been aboard the USS Midway Museum then you’re truly missing out on seeing the vintage Corsairs and Hollywood relics from aviation classics like, Top Gun that fill the ship below the flight deck above. The blue hue of the truss lights around the stage illuminate the flight deck making for a one of a kind experience and an evening you won’t soon forget.
The event was emceed by former West Point quarterback and Army Ranger Chad Jenkins and commenced with a prayer from CSM (Ret) Mike Hall. The first portion of the evening was dedicated to the first annual Think Different Awards. This year’s awardees included: Coach Lou Holtz, Dr. Heidi Squier Kraft, Longhorn the Comedian and Daniel Carcillo. The awards were followed by the private screening of Brainstorms, which gave the audience an introspective glimpse of what it is like to live with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Following the screening, artist Joe Pisano, Artist, Veterans Advocate and Reservist Navy Chief, led a visual discussion of his artworks, Invisibilia and Operation Zero. Both works focus on the far too common consequences of living as a veteran with an untreated TBI: homelessness and suicide.
I feel especially lucky to write this article, because I was fortunate to be a tiny part of the event, and in my tiny role, Dr. Gordon and RLF gave me a gift larger than the Midway itself. I’m Andrew Young, a medically retired Army Scout. I’m lucky enough to assist RLF on an upcoming project based in Central Ohio to establish a solution to fix the crisis in the crisis call centers. Doctor Gordon knew that the Midway weekend was the first time that I would ever meet my biological father in person, so she graciously ensured that all family members had a ticket to the private screening and the award ceremony that night, while also making sure that my dad had a room at the same hotel as me. While on stage, she gave me a thank you and allowed me to share with the audience what the experience was like.
As we roll into Christmas time, the crew will be laboring over our newest project to improve crisis call centers and find solutions to keep crisis lines open when they are most needed: the precious 60 hours over the weekend. The holidays are a time for us to reflect on the things that matter, and when the team at RLF reflects on the world as is, we’re reminded of Joe Pisano’s artwork of those who need help. We’re reminded to take the time to reach and out have the backs of our brothers and sisters as we embrace a new year full of endless potential and opportunity.