Point Man Ministries, an Outreach for Veterans
An ‘Outreach for Veterans’ which began in 1984 in Seattle, Washington, is available in our area. “Point Man Ministries is a Christian outreach for vets by vets,” said Frank Ritter of Montoursville, who served in the Vietnam War. “There are only six areas in Pennsylvania where the ministry is available,” according to Ritter.
The idea for helping veterans of all wars was born out of real experiences by Bill Landreth, a Seattle police officer who realized he was re-arresting the same people, most being Vietnam Vets. He began meeting with them regularly at coffee shops.
Unfortunately Landreth died but his work was continued by Chuck Dean, publisher of Reveille, a self help newspaper for veterans. Dean visualized the group which fosters mutual support and fellowship should be available across the U.S.
Helps are listed through brochures such as “Welcome Home,” Married to a Combat Vet,” and Post-Traumatic Stress.”
Ritter said, “Many vets don’t realize they have post-traumatic stress syndrome, it’s disregarded by government agencies. Sometimes it doesn’t appear until the soldier is older. It can be triggered by a word, deed, or sound. No one, not even families understand what soldiers have be through unless they’ve been there. As young men, many had seen and done things out of character in normal civilian life.”
Ritter also said, “Self medication doesn’t work, Jesus is the only true healer. Night mares may never leave but He will lessen them so we can live with it. He will help us carry our cross.”
In addition to offering brochures, Ritter assists court cases involving veterans hoping they go before a judge who might have been a veteran, or at the very least understands their situation so as to get them the help they need.
Getting the word out about the ministry has been a challenge. To have a booth at malls or fairs requires insurance coverage. “We’ve been fortunate to have spots on Christian radio stations such as WGRC, Lewisburg and WJSA in Jersey Shore,” Ritter said.
Having served in the 25th Medical Battalion, Ritter was assigned to a stationary Mash Unit near Dau Tieng for one year. A pharmacy specialist, Ritter joined the military at age 18. “In helping with the wounded and caring for the dead, I saw a lot. We did whatever we could to treat and return the men to base camp. We worked on any of the enemy who were brought in and every saved two dogs who’d set off trip wires,” the former soldier said.
Ritter is a Delaware County native. His mother is Sara Richey Ritter, and because most of her relatives are here is part of the reason they returned to the area.
To learn more about the 501-C3 organization go to pmin.org. Ritter can be contacted by phoning 546-4937.