Founder's Vision

Veterans Patrol started as a calling of Brother Jim Lanning, a Vietnam veteran.  The following is a letter he wrote explaining his background and his mission.

Dear Fellow Veteran,

I am a Christian and a veteran---both are deeply woven into my journey.  In 2018 at a gathering of my old infantry outfit, I was overwhelmed by both the joy and pain experienced over 50 years ago in Viet Nam; but many had no peace.  Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV) says "But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help him up"

Veterans serving in other times are just as likely to bring home challenges that family and friends can't understand.  Veterans share a camaraderie and feel the warmth of brotherhood when they meet.  I always say, "I know your heart", due to our unique military experiences.

An outreach movement outside of the traditional church has resulted in 'a breath of fresh air' with ministries created for specific focus groups.  For example, there are cowboy churches, biker churches, country churches for fisherman, hunters, skeet enthusiasts, as well as long-time established 'chapels for truckers' at truck stops.  Question:  Why not have a focus group for veterans?  There are over 20 million veterans in the United States; top is California with two million followed by Texas and Florida with 1.6 million each.

In San Marcos, Texas at a Noonday Lions Club Meeting, Gene Hooper, local representative for the Military Veterans Peer Network, was the speaker.  His presentation was about "challenges for veterans".  Gene and I visited and the need for a "Veterans Chruch" emerged.  Then God gave me a two-year stay in upstate New York that provided time and a crucible to formulate and test a pilot ministry called Veterans Patrol.  My desire was to eliminate the traditional barriers that hinder veterans from finding peace and faith.

After some "start up" challenges, "The Patrol" in New York had its first meeting on 19 March 2019.

Challenges were addressed with scripture: John  21 applied—-“I started to fish on the opposite side of the boat. Confirmation came.”

Upon my return to Texas in the summer of 2019, Jeff (Doc) Lang, The original subject matter expert, became the leader of the New York group. The first meeting of The Patrol in San Marcos was on 19 November 2019 at Abundant Life Christian Church.  Addition adjustment in leadership, size of facilities, and response to pandemic has resulted in improvements.

Finding nothing in the literature that met our vision, we acted like a "recon patrol" to find our WAY and at every meeting God showed us another directive.  Adding to the concepts of 'service to the nation'; camaraderie, and the 'I've got your back story' God led us to a model that was flexible and inclusive; with the directive to 'bring peace'.  We distilled a mission statement: