Thoughts from Our Veterans

July 14, 2019

We’re getting ready for the 9th Annual CCF Golf Classic, held this year on Monday, October 14, 2019, at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, CA. The tournament honors our Veterans and their families, with proceeds from the fundraiser going directly toward helping wounded Veterans returning home from service through our Signature Programs such as Carrington House.

We recently asked Veterans who have been helped by Carrington Charitable Foundation how the CCF programs – particularly Carrington House – have made a difference in their lives. Here’s what they told us:

“Here is what home means to my family: On the other side of the front door we quickly become five unique individuals. Prompted by different priorities, we travel at different speeds along divergent paths. The burdens we encounter along our paths are often unshared and the triumphs are celebrated alone. Yet as different as our paths may be, the destination is always the same. The Carrington House hasn’t impacted my life; it has allowed me to live my life.” – Ben Holmes, First Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

“So, if you asked me how my new home impacts my life, I would have to tell you, it has given me a chance to really live.” – Jesse Clingman, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

“CCF’s Mission of Mobility, Stability, Purpose, and Prosperity means that CCF cares to help this country’s injured men and women by giving them a stable home to live in, one that is easy for them to get around in. By giving such a gift, it allows Veterans to focus on their life’s purpose, setting goals to move forward, and to become contributing citizens to their communities once again.” – Travis Mills, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army

“We’re most excited to have a fresh start with our new life in Arizona, in a home where we were able to select all the details. My daughter will be allowed to have friends visit and we can create new memories, such as holiday family traditions, by hosting our family and friends.” – Holly Katke, Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy

“I see the updates to our home as providing freedom and the ability to move forward past my injuries. For a long time, the required renovations had held me hostage, reminding me of what I could not do. I was supposed to be able to fix the house for my family and I couldn’t physically do it. Now the tasks are complete and I have peace of mind knowing that our home is prepared for my future needs, as well.” – Ward Taft, Senior Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy

“Being invited into the Carrington Home Program was like a weight had been lifted. We’ll finally experience being a family without others around. I knew a home for us would be a long time coming, so getting the news made me unbelievably happy.” – Aubrey Hand, Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force

“There is no limit to what the American war fighters and their families are capable of accomplishing. So it makes sense, too, that the mission of CCF doesn’t have an endpoint. It’s impact for life! CCF pours compassion into severely wounded service members’ lives in a time of need and, by focusing on Mobility, Stability, Purpose and Prosperity, ensures that our feet, should you have them, are firmly planted on the path to success.” – Johnnie Yellock, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force

With the support of CCF, what are some of your future goals and aspirations?

“My current goal in life is to be the light for those who are in a dark place. I hope to continue to inspire others with my personal conquest of adapting to what life after war has become. I may have lost my eyes and much more, but I refuse to lose my spirit. I want to remind people that life gives us circumstances, but those circumstances do not define us.” – Michael Jernigan, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps

“Servicemen and women come from a highly rigid, structured environment, and when they leave the service, they leave all that structure behind. It becomes easy to fall into the cracks of the system and get lost. Mobility, Stability, Purpose and Prosperity give Veterans like me direction, a purpose and an end goal to strive for, so we can better our lives and then help others do the same. One word: Hope.” – Brian Kolfage, Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force

“I have a number of goals. On the personal side, to strive to be a better father and husband every day. Professionally, to continue to grow my woodworking business, Riser Burn Woodcrafts, and get to a point where I am able to hire other Veterans and to build and grow a real estate investment portfolio.” – Andrew Smith, Sergeant, U.S. Army

“Our foundation, Honoring the Sacrifice, helps Veterans and their families by providing for direct and immediate needs that they currently have, whether it’s housing modifications, helping with home builds, providing adaptive equipment or financial assistance where needed. We want to provide an environment where the Veteran can thrive and focus on moving forward with their next step in life.” – Andrew Smith, Sergeant, U.S. Army

What memories will you take away from taking part in CCF events like the annual Golf Classic?

“We have tons of great memories from past CCF events, but just being able to watch our kids have so much fun with the Carrington staff and families on a daily basis is really what makes this event so memorable.” – Brian Kolfage, Senior Airman, U.S. Air Force

“Every time we are with CCF, we know we are surrounded by people who care, people who are willing to do their best work in order to make sure everything is set up to make your life better, not just physically, but emotionally.” – John Masson, Master Sergeant, U.S. Army