Operation Freedom Bird

Operation Freedom Bird, is a non-profit, therapeutic program aimed at helping combat veterans, from all wars, continue the process to heal from their symptoms of PTSD and unresolved grief/loss. 

“It’s O-Dark-Thirty and I’m freaking out of my mind. My head is screaming ‘You don’t deserve to go. You didn’t do anything worthy of you going. There are other people who deserve this and need this.’ I get up and called the number for the Woman who was in charge. I explain that I won’t be going but wanted to thank her for the thought. This however did not go over well with this complete stranger. Sure my wife and I met her once or twice before and spoken to her a handful of times on the phone, but aside from that I don’t know this person. I don’t know her I don’t know this program forget it I’m not going!!! 

These are all thought racing through my head. I knew what I was doing was throwing off the balance that this lady’s program was supposed to have. I wasn’t trying to be mean or rude or ungrateful. As much as I didn’t want to admit it that there was more than just not feeling undeserving, as much as I refused to admit it I was scared. I was scared and pissed off. I was mad that I was selected. I didn’t do anything to go. 


The next half hour or so, I go through my head again. ‘Strange place, strange people, airports, people, my son is less than a month old. I can’t go. Too much I’m safer here anyway. I don’t want to get arrested in DC or the airport. Too many people. I hate people. They don’t care about me so I’m don’t take their crap. Is this a good idea? Therapy sessions. Maybe I am crazy do I need this? 

I could have gone on forever, however the headlights of a little white care snapped my head back to reality. The car stops and Ms. Annette gets out throws my bag in the truck says get in and that was the point of no return. We were leaving this was happening. Please God let this time be better than the last time.”

This was the night I started my healing journey with Operation Freedom Bird. The next few days surprised me. I was mean hardened and paranoid. There were so many things I hadn’t been ready and some that I am still not ready to face. However that’s ok. After being through this emotional rollercoaster that I didn’t believe existed and seeing what others are dealing with, I finally FINALLY saw I was able to relate to other human beings without the urge to destroy everything I saw. I learned that there are people out there that actually do care about us and see are struggles and genuinely do care. Not the “smile and nod but are focused elsewhere,” but the “genuine deep down ‘’ shut the hell up and let me help you before I slap you” way. 

Before this journey, I had a lot of issues. I still have a lot of issues. Ms. Annette and this program completely shattered through some of my bigger issues which in turn has allowed me to continue to work on the issues I denied for so long. I have become a better father and husband because of this. My wife is happier and more supportive of ever because of everything this program has to offer.  I was able to be involved for a second year and was able to see the program from eyes not blocked by the issues. With that experience I was able to see exactly WHY this program works. 

Combined with the experts and the complete staff genuinely loving being a part of this, this program absolutely works. It changed my life. I have seen it change other lives as well. I truly feel blessed that I was selected to take part is this incredible healing journey. This has been a God send and I can’t wait to see how many more people this program helps 

                                Adam Kavern USA Retired