Our Story 

Tess Holtzapfel

Founder & President

CPAC 

Founding Date: March 2017

I've been blessed in my career to work closely with the medical community and the military health systems for the past 15 years as a community health liaison.  During this time I met many Veterans when they were experiencing a health crisis in their life.  I spent much of my time listening  to many of our warrior's stories while also trying to figure out their best plan of care.  I enjoyed their stories and was always touched by their bravery and loyalty to their mission but most of all it was their kindness that stayed with me. Their faces would light up as they shared many of their stories and I could tell each story was very special to them.  It was as if they were sharing a priceless old photograph they kept tucked in their heart as they relish the best and perhaps also the worst time in their life.  They shared many memories of hospitality, cultural experiences and unforgettable brotherhood.  It was inspiring that they chose to share stories about kindness during a war where they were tortured, injured, lost a limb, and many were still coping with losing their best friend. I've often wondered why with just one conversation it was as if we've known each other for a long time as we share stories about war, family, and everyday life.  Perhaps we have a God connection because quite often our conversations would lead to God and the bible.  Some sadly only had a few more weeks to live.  The Veterans Administration felt like my second home, I was there almost daily.  The VA waiting rooms sometimes felt like a family room as we wait and watch cooking shows and take notes on how Rachel Ray makes her famous pasta dishes and share stories and wait for the doctor. 

 

I feel truly blessed to get to know many heroes of our nation and through the years I discovered a huge need for our Veterans to have an outlet to express their stories.  An inspiration from God with His words from Isaiah 61:3 along with many meaningful conversations with Veterans led me to create CPAC.

Each day soldiers and first responders battle for righteousness.  They protect and save lives and unfortunately many come home with both physical and emotional pain. Our team offer Patriots an artistic outlet to help cope with stress and heal the wounds of emotional pain inflicted by war. Our goal is to help our military and Veterans express their creativity. We also believe personal interaction is healing and we encourage warriors to create and connect during our workshops. Reach for a paintbrush instead of your computer, paint a beautiful scene, sing at church, or perhaps take a day off and plant a garden with us. Come to our workshops and write a song and release your emotions through writing or express yourself with dance movements that can help bring healing to your soul.

Many of us have survived the cruelty of war, betrayals and seen the horror of life and have found healing when we use our gifts.  We also encourage our warriors to cultivate gifts of grace. We know it's difficult to forgive yourself and others when you have been betrayed over and over again. We encourage you to try and try again. Don't give up. Go to Jesus first and read the bible and discover how grace can renew your life and how you can begin to live with more peace. Pray and also find a pastor if you need to talk.  Or write a letter to Jesus. Connect with God and you will see how light can begin to take over the dark places of your mind and heart.  Have faith and trust that soon you will begin a journey to your purpose with lasting joy, peace and better health.