Home of the Brave: A Small Town, Its Veterans And The Community They Built Together
Donna’s new book Home of the Brave was released Jan. 26 by Chronos Books.
In this book Donna recounts how Melanie Kline, a Montrose, Colorado jeweler who has no military experience or ties, started the project now called the Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans. She was inspired after watching a 2011 CBS Sunday Morning segment on wounded vets learning to kayak. Melanie became determined to do something to help a population facing high rates of suicide, divorce, homelessness and unemployment.
In just a few years, Welcome Home attracted the support of others in the town of 20,000. Welcome Home hosts a biannual outdoors festival that brings vets from across the country to hunt, fish and kayak. It helped the town and surrounding county develop a white water river park they hope will boost local tourism. It organized internships that offered young wounded vets a chance to consider what they would do with the rest of their lives. At its volunteer-run drop-in center, vets can get a cup of coffee along with counseling and advice on jobs and training.
Melanie built a partnership between civilians and veterans that has energized an entire town and could be a model for other communities across the U.S.
Donna was inspired by Montrose’s resilience and sense of community. We hope readers feel the same.