We never shut down during the COVID crisis
but we slowed all we were doing.
We are on the move now and have very excitin
DEFENDERS OF FREEDOM FLORIDA
Sergeant Major (RET) Jaime Wells will be leading our new chapter in Milton, Florida. Jamie retired from the U.S. Army, as an Infantryman, in 2017, after serving for 24 years. Jamie served 4 tours in Iraq.
After his retirement Jamie moved to Florida and opened a Hawaiian ice business. He has struggled with finding purpose after having led Soldiers throughout his career. He told me, "I have no one to share my knowledge with" and he found himself withdrawing from society.
He struggled with the number of Veterans who are killing themselves and decided to take action. He reached out to me for some guidance about starting a Non Profit organization. As I always do, I tried to discourage him from starting another one but to find one to work with as a program or chapter. After more discussion he decided opening a chapter in Florida was a good fit.
He embraced starting a chapter of Defenders of Freedom.
They will focus on doing outdoor activities that are therapeutic, bringing Veterans together to experience healing through fun activities. Jamie has lined up a great group of Veterans and supporters all ready who are eager to help him get going! I look forward to seeing all the lives they will have a positive impact on. Welcome aboard!!
I met Jamie through one of my son's Army buddies, Ramsey Alquist.
Ramsey served under Jamie and had requested we send some care packages. I met Jamie at the DFW Airport when he came through on R&R in October of 2010. I felt like I was meeting an old friend. Jamie was high energy and had such a big smile on his face. He was vivacious and engaging, a proud Soldier. I remember he was looking out for his Soldiers, even as they all traveled home together. I could see the admiration all of them had for him as we all talked. We have stayed in touch through the years and I have the highest confidence that he is going to great things in Florida!!
Gemmy Industries donated these Santas to hand out to the Troops as they arrived home. We had a lot left over so I boxed them up and sent them to our deployed Troops. Jamie dressed up as Santa and delivered gifts in his "sleigh" to his Soldiers.
Rudolph made it to Iraq!