Strength in Spirit

Nov 25, 2015 by Nicole Davis

Greenwood’s Loren Minnix and Warrior’s Hope offer support to veterans for 10 years and counting. How can you talk to someone when they haven’t experienced the
hardships you’ve faced? When you know they won’t understand? Loren Minnix said this is something he has seen with too many veterans that he has worked with throughout the years. They don’t seek help because they don’t feel anyone will understand.


"My relationship with Jesus Christ changed me completely. I quit chasing the wrong things and started chasing the right things.”

When he founded Warrior’s Hope 10 years ago, the goal was straightforward: offer hope to all military veterans, our warriors, who have returned home and are

struggling to integrate back into life as they knew it.

“Many just felt lost when they returned. Many have struggled in combat areas or have returned and their families are unstable. They needed some assistance, not
to give up. They needed some hope for the future. If we lose hope, we’re pretty helpless aren’t we? That’s what we do is try to reestablish hope. We thought that
could be communicated through scriptural processes.”

“I saw a lot of things that were so out of bounds in the morality of life that I had been raised by. When I got out of the military, I just hitchhiked back and
forth across the country. I couldn’t settle down for a long time. My relationship with Jesus Christ changed me completely. I quit chasing the wrong things and
started chasing the right things.” Minnix said.

On Aug. 5, 2005, Warrior’s Hope held its first meeting. Minnix said for the first year, they tried to develop a retreat program, but it wasn’t a popular idea then.

So he shifted his focus on helping veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“PTSD is not terribly uncommon after battle or after unusual trauma enters our life, but when it begins to impact our thought process or our motions, that’s
when it becomes a disorder,” Minnix said. “One of the things I hear when will I get my life back? When will I be back to normal? This is normal for you. What
you’re experiencing would be normal for anyone that has been through what you’ve been through. However, how do you handle it? How do you cope with it?”

Based at 430 N. Madison Ave., Suite 2 in Greenwood, a group at Warrior’s Hope meets every Tuesday night.

“We people are made up of three things: mind, body and spirit,” said Judd Green, board member, of Greenwood, who has done tours in Vietnam and Iraq. “What war
does is damage your spirit. That’s what this group does is deal with healing your spirit and that’s what’s most important.”

Minnix said another goal when beginning the organization was to train facilitators who could manage the peer support groups, and there are at least
seven Warrior’s Hope groups that currently meet.

“I joined a couple of months ago. It’s more than I expected as far as biblical work and that makes me feel a lot better. We have one member that’s began to
unload. I haven’t done much but it makes me feel a little better.” said Freddy Clow, of Greenwood, who served in the Navy from 1952-56.

Minnix said his reward comes when he has people telling him they wish they had started earlier. Now they don’t want to miss a meeting. They say they’ve had
major struggles, but now that’s over.

“I walked in here two years ago and found a family. It’s the comradery that we have here. That’s why this group is helping me. They all made me feel at home. We
harass each other but when it comes down to the fight we’re all brothers and sisters. My wife sees a change in me.” said Jack Brown, of Perry Township, who served in the Army from 1967-87.

Establishing a trusting relationship is of first and foremost importance. Minnix said many people will come to meetings for six months to a year before they
decide to open up. But when they do, he says they get a newfound freedom for releasing something they’ve internalized for so long.

“I had a guy say I was in this lived hatred. All of a sudden it’s gone,” he said. I didn’t make that happen. But over the time and talking to the group, they come
to the realization that either it wasn’t worth it, or the problem is (him). That’s what we try to do is get people to feel their emotions are caused by their
own way of thinking. I can’t make you mad if you don’t want to be mad.”

“The human spirit is amazing what it can endure if it’s treated properly,” he said.

by Nicole Davis

Full article available at The Soutside Times