INDUSTRY FOCUS

A Voice for Veterans

Every interview I get for the magazine is enjoyable, and even entertaining. Every conversation is a story but once in a while I have a lead that I know will stick with me for quite a long time. Sometimes the story swings from the security industry to something more impactful and meaningful than securing a door, locking a window or surveilling a courtyard.

Donna Chapman has impacted my life, and when you read her story, it should impact your life as well. Donna works for ASSA ABLOY and is the director of Security Consultant Relations. More to the point, Donna is the president of a non-profit WILL Power for Veterans Fund Inc. and the mother of Sgt. William Davidson, a veteran of the Afghanistan War, who lost his willpower to go on due to emotional wounds from this horrendous conflict.

The fact is, somewhere between 22 and 30 veterans commit suicide every day. Consider that there are more than 18 million veterans in the United States. Donna is making a stand for her son. Her goal is to design and build a retreat where veterans can spend time with each other to heal from their physical and emotional wounds endured from serving our country and communities.

“When war is necessary, we need to make sure that those serving have the best training and preparation available,” Chapman told me. “Most importantly, we must do a much better job to support them through serving, injury and transition. We’re not doing that today.”

Soldiers are young, many naïve as to the narratives of war, and are not trained properly for what they will see and experience. After several months on the battlefield, a return home is not the experience they expected. A veteran is carrying untold and lifechanging baggage.

Certain that each of us have been impacted in one way or another because of this current conflict overseas, helping a veteran survive the return from the Middle East is imperative; it is a socially conscious thing to do. Our veterans that have been diagnosed with PTSD often become labeled with a disorder within the military and society, as if they are damaged goods. Supporting this non-profit is an opportunity to rally together, to implement needed changes to better care for our men and women serving our country. Because losing 22 a day, is not okay.

“My son’s death cannot be for nothing. We need to learn from this and do better,” Donna said. “We need to make sure that our men and women serving our country know that they are not alone and that all of America cares and wants to support them.”

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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