Chad Monnin noticed how difficult it was to give direct aid and care to military veterans.

Monnin’s father served in Vietnam, and upon coming back from the war, struggled with his mental health. Like his father, Monnin served in the military, a reserve unit of the Army Special Forces and while deployed for training, was injured during parachute operations.

With many friends still in uniform, he knows first-hand the challenges veterans face due to the extended conflicts in modern warfare, often developing mental and physical wounds that permanently require health care.

“When these service members leave the military, they leave their network and their support community,” Monnin said. “That’s extremely difficult to replicate as a civilian considering the life changing experiences and profound respect the service members have for one another. I left the service nearly 20 years ago and I still miss the community, the friendships and the time shared together.”

As a result and all too often, veterans are left on their own to seek help. For veterans suffering from mental health issues, the lack of a supportive and understanding community can compound their problems.

The Military Medicine Program at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine provides the kind of services, support, and research that Monnin recognizes our veterans desperately need.

“We really need a new way to think about helping this country’s veterans,” Monnin said. “The VA system is overwhelmed and the average citizen has little to no visibility into this system, which can obscure the total cost of war, a cost the veteran often ends up paying themselves. The more opportunities we have to help our veterans is, to me, a wonderful thing.”

For Monnin, two giving funds stood out: The Suicide and Trauma Reduction Initiative for Veterans (STRIVE) fund and the Military Medicine Innovation Fund. These funds not only provide critical support to clinical research and innovation, but they also help to provide immediate health treatments for military personnel, veterans, and first responders. This means health outcomes can be strengthened immediately, creating better lives for patients and their families.

“There are amazingly talented people working in the Military Medicine Program,” Monnin said. “Many hands make light work. With the great research and services they can provide, I’m confident this is the best way to help the service members and veterans who need it most.”

For more information and ways to support these life-saving programs, contact Matthew Finkes at or 614-561-4703.


Chad Monnin and his Special Forces Training Team in the summer of 2001.

From left to right: John Cochran, Vernon Stuparich and Chad Monnin

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The Wexner Medical Center Development Office
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PO Box 710811
Columbus, OH 43271-0811