Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Comments for a Cause - Team Red, White & Blue

Happy May Day everyone!  It is the first of the month and time to report my Comments for a Cause results for the previous month and announce the new month's cause!  So first thing, in the month of April I had 30 comments while equals a $15 contribution to the Wennerstrom Family Mission Trip to Honduras with Prairie Ridge Church.  I'm happy to support the Wennerstrom Family's Mission Trip and pray that they have a safe trip to Honduras and that each of their faiths is enriched by the experience.

Now onto May's cause!  I'm proud to be donating $0.50 for every comment during the month of May to Team Red, White and Blue.  I talked about Team RWB last Veteran's Day and wanted to continue increasing awareness and support for this great organization that helps new Veterans after they re-enter civilian life by creating a positive community.  I thought what better way for you all to learn about Team RWB from other than Des Moines's Team RWB Chapter Captain, Brandon Holtan.  Here is what Holtan shared about Team RWB:

Team Red White and Blue also known as Team RWB is a national non-profit organization which strives to enrich the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.  The team is in place for veterans returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan who are transitioning back to their lives at home.  However you do not need to be a veteran to be part of the team.  We rely on our community members to help bridge the gap between the military lifestyle and the civilian world.  Team RWB is building strong communities across the country.  Team RWB Des Moines and Team RWB Cedar Rapids / Iowa City are growing communities right here in Iowa.

Team RWB Des Moines at the Red Flannel Run - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids May Comments for a Cause
Members of Team RWB Des Moines at the Red Flannel Run this winter
Holtan is on the far left
We engage veterans and community members alike to workout together on a weekly basis.  We also encourage members to compete in local athletic events such as 5K's, mud runs, bike rides, Marathons, Triathlons, Crossfit games, GORUCK events, and several other challenging adventures.  The social aspect of Team RWB provides members with another opportunity to build strong relationships.  We meet up for BBQ's, tailgates, and we've started our own breakfast club to experience all that Des Moines' diners have to offer.  That's what we do, but the Eagle Ethos gives you an idea of why we do it.

Team RWB Des Moines running Living History Farms race - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids May Comments for a Cause
Members of Team RWB Des Moines
running the Living History Farms race in 2013
The Eagle Ethos was crafted using six words that uniquely characterize Team RWB and distinguish our organization from others. While there are certain principles that all nonprofits should adhere to, these are the things that make our Team special. The Eagle Ethos can be clearly captured in an instant with a single snapshot or demonstrated over time. It can be displayed outwardly or held inside as fuel for action. But it is pervasive throughout Team RWB and known intimately by each team member who puts on that red shirt. The Eagle Ethos is passion, people, positivity, commitment, camaraderie, and community…and Team RWB lives it in action every day.
+ Passion – we care more, we work harder, and we share our story
+ People – veterans and community drive everything we do
+ Positivity – we don’t ignore the challenges, we just stay positive and attack them
+ Commitment – we are dedicated to each other, our mission, and our communities
+ Camaraderie – we improve lives through genuine, personal relationships
+ Community – this is what we are building…at every level
Let me start with a little background about myself.  I enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating high school.  I was stationed 1,000 miles away from home for over 4 years and deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2008.  After returning from deployment in 2008 I married my high school sweetheart and made the transition from living in the barracks on base with a few hundred Marines to an apartment in West Des Moines with my wife.  One day I was wearing a uniform familiar with my daily routine and the next day I was driving half way across the country finding my way back home.

I connect with the camaraderie within Team RWB and the effort to assist veterans during their transition from active service to civilian life.  I had a strong support network of family and friends to rely on, but I was the only veteran in my circle of friends.  I lost touch with the camaraderie of the military lifestyle.  After finishing my degree and being in the workforce for 3 years I had finally come to know a few dozen veterans who had similar life experiences and who I felt most comfortable around.  

Team RWB Des Moines at their Bacon Sizzle social - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids May Comments for a Cause
Team RWB Des Moines members at their Bacon Sizzle social gathering
When I read about Team RWB in the Marine Corps Times I was inspired to build a community here in Des Moines.  I've reached out to everyone I know to spread the word about Team RWB and establish key relationships within supporting organizations.  We have a membership of approx 250 with about 150 veterans and 100 community members.  Des Moines has an awesome leadership team and we are taking steps to become a strong local resource for veterans.

For more information visit our website  If you want to join our team please visit and sign up or check out our Facebook page or

So lets be sure to Comment for a Cause a lot this month to support this growing organization helping so many veterans and communities across the United States!  I know how much this group means to my family members who are veterans.  Veterans are looking for this camaraderie and community when they return to civilian life and Team RWB is filling this need and a want to level that I don't think these veterans realized they needed and wanted.

Do you know a new Veteran looking for a community like this?  If so, share with them about Team RWB!


  1. Thank you so much! And I'm happy to comment to support this next month's cause! Love your heart Val! You are the BEST! :) God Bless!

    1. Your welcome Jantina. You are very kind and I can't wait to hear about your family's mission trip later this summer!

  2. What a GREAT idea! Here's to $.50 :)

  3. This is another great cause, Val! I have not heard of them before and thanks to you now I have another great cause to keep in mind for the future!! i am going to be more diligent in commenting over here. April got a bit complicated for some reason. I will do better in May!!!!

    1. Thanks Beth Ann! I need to do a better job of commenting over on your blog too!

  4. Great cause! Glad I found your blog!

    1. Thanks! Be sure to keep commenting for this great cause!

  5. This is such a great idea, and a wonderful cause!! I'm glad I stumbled across it, I might have to borrow your idea in the future ;)


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