Operation Lift Hope began as a group of business and service providers voicing their opinions in an open forum. From there, the initiative grew to include discussions with the Navy Special War Operations group training in Fort Lauderdale.

The movement was joined by Admiral Vern Clark, who served as the 27th Chief of Naval Operations and led the Navy through the initial phases of the global war on terrorism in response to the September 11 attacks.

Also supporting the initiative is Master Chief Kaiser, who was a member of SEAL Team Two, 2nd Platoon, specializing in winter warfare, sniping and combat swimming. He took part in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips on the Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia. He earned the Silver Star for Valor during the Battle of Moga-dishu (Black Hawk Down). Kaiser now serves as Executive Director for the U.S. Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce.

This movement is unusual in the number and depth of quality organizations that agree with the direction and have committed their resources to help. The Special War Operation Group (Navy Seals), Broward Sheriff’s Department, City of Fort Lauderdale Police and Fire, and Homeland Security are only a few of the many who have come to stand strong with our team to make a difference.

It is a tragedy for a Veteran who has served our country to be left behind. Today in the Fort Lauderdale corridor we have close to 100 Veterans still living on the streets or in a shelter. Every day we lose 22 veterans to suicide. We have some very talented service agencies doing a great job. As they told us during our meetings, they can’t do it alone. Government can’t solve this issue alone.

It takes all of us together to solve this issue.