U R B A N A U N I V E R S I T Y
Pathways for Veterans is proud to partner with Urbana University and local strategic partners to bring our services to area veterans. Lucia Ober and her team are passionate about their work with veterans (read Lucia’s story below), Pathways for Veterans would not have a presence in Urbana without their commitment to our shared vision. Through our combined efforts, we provide support to veterans and their families as they create a new life after military service.
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Lucia discovered Pathways for Veterans while caring for her father, who was in the Navy during the Vietnam War. It was during this difficult time that she realized the impact that military service had on her family through the generations.
My father and I had very little contact before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was unable to have intimate relationships with his children, grandchildren, even friends, because of his drug dependence and severe depression. Shortly after his diagnosis, he was unable to care for himself so he moved into my home. He was only here for a couple of months, but during that time we were really able to talk.
He told me about his own father, who had been a prisoner of war. His father came home from the war emotionally scarred and was never able to fully heal. Unfortunately, his wounded heart kept him from being the loving father that my father needed. My father suffered as a result. When he left the nest he became a sailor. My father was carrying his own emotional baggage when he went off to Vietnam.
My father was injured on the way to Vietnam. He never even made it over there. He was eventually declared disabled. He had a physical disability caused by his service in the Navy, but that paled in comparison to the emotional disability he suffered.
He carried a tremendous burden of guilt. When friends and family went to Vietnam and didn’t come back, or came back shell-shocked or physically damaged, a part of him felt like it should have been him in their place. He felt that his buddies who went into combat were heroes and that he was nothing compared to that.
He never got over feeling that way, and when he went to medical professionals to ask for help for his depression he was given a bottle of pills. He felt that depression, guilt, and shame were simply things he had to live with and he got lost in a pattern of self-medicating. That habit isolated him from everyone who cared for him.
Unfortunately, I found Pathways for Veterans too late for my father. Pathways would have given him the chance to understand himself, so that he could have corrected his own behavior. I can’t imagine how different his life, and my life, would have been if someone had given him a light to help him find his way, rather than stumbling blindly through life the way he did.
My dad passed away in my home in May of 2013. I am thankful that I got the opportunity to know him a little. I am also thankful that the information he shared about himself showed me how important it is to get the message of Pathways for Veterans out there so that other families can be healed.
Linda Locke is beginning her twentieth year as an Elementary Principal, with the past 15 years working in Urbana, Ohio. She is completing her doctoral work in Educational Leadership through Concordia University. Linda has three children: Liesl and her husband Nick live in Cincinnati, Ohio and have blessed her with a beautiful granddaughter, Parker. Her son Nathan and his fiance Julie are both attorneys with law practices in Colorado. Her son Sam just graduated from Urbana High School and will be a freshman at the University of Cincinnati where he will be majoring in Chemical Engineering. Linda is engaged to Jon Cordas, a board member and Director of Curriculum Development with Pathways for Veterans.
In addition to her busy schedule as a school administrator and full-time doctoral student, Linda has a heart for serving the Lord through music and is a praise and worship leader at First Baptist Church in Urbana. For Linda, ministry is about building positive relationships, and she provides much encouragement and support for the work of Pathways for Veterans.