As I watched the veteran residents of Orange County Rescue Mission’s Tustin Veterans Outpost, carrying the luggage into their apartments, I could not help but smile. It gives me hope to know that these veterans moving into Tustin Veterans Outpost are just the beginning. These are receiving the hand up that they need to regain their stability and self-sufficiency as civilians, and there will be many more veterans that follow in their footsteps. It is my prayer that each and every homeless veteran in Orange County takes this opportunity: to receive the support and resources they need to do the hard work of being restored to a healthy civilian life.
At Orange County Rescue Mission we value relationships. Restoration happens in the context of relationship. Veterans tend to disconnect when they are transitioning back to becoming a civilian; that tendency needs to be counteracted in order to change. As with all of our programs, relationship is integrated into the services we offer veterans. Several of the staff positions of Tustin Veterans Outpost are filled by veterans who are ready to help their comrades.
Douglas Marquis is the Resident Advisor at Tustin Veterans Outpost. He provides on-site availability to support the veterans, is a positive role model and mentor for veterans and assists with facility maintenance. Douglas served ten years as an Active Duty Marine, and shares, “I have served in the FSSG, MLG, Air Wing, and best of all 1st Marine Division. I have traveled the world in peace keeping and combat operations. My career had a lot of ups and downs, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It is a rare and unique opportunity to serve (other) veterans, and give back to Orange County Rescue Mission.”
Thank you again to the many donors, volunteers and supporters of Tustin Veterans Outpost. This project was inspired and led by God, and accomplished through the hard work, commitment and generosity of many.