Home Front – The Vanderpool Family – Operation Healing Forces

Home Front – The Vanderpool Family

For Josh Vanderpool, a critical skills operator with the United States Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), 2021 has been full of surprises. In March, he returned from a six month deployment in the Philippians, just in time to prepare for another adventure. In April, Josh and his wife Brianna attended a restorative OHF retreat in Big Sky, Montana for a long-overdue chance to rest and reconnect.

When the retreat ended, however, real life reemerged. Later that month, Josh and Brianna found themselves triaging multiple home and car repairs. “Our drain clogged, and our dishwasher stopped working. We felt like our house was, basically, falling apart,” says Josh. “On top of that, our car and truck needed repairs. It felt like everything was just imploding.”


That same week, Josh received an email from OHF SOAR Program Manager Stephanie DeZern. The friendly note welcomed new OHF couples and introduced the organization’s programs for alumni, including its Immediate Needs program offering swift, flexible support for SOF families. The message couldn’t have arrived at a better time, says Josh. “We wanted more information about possibly getting help with our daughter’s orthodontic bill, so I set up a call with Stephanie. She ended up telling me that OHF could help with the repair bills, too. I’m still just really floored.”

“The wives do so much in our organization, when we leave and when we come home. We don’t have our parents nearby, and we don’t ask for help. To have someone like Stephanie reach out with complete empathy, it’s obvious that this organization is run by people who understand military life,” he says. “We can’t say thank you enough.”

Josh Vanderpool


The Immediate Needs program lived up to its name: help was swift and seamless. “Stephanie said, ‘Tell your wife to stop worrying and send me the bills.’ They took care of our washer repair bill and the car and truck bills, and we’re in the process of getting help with the orthodontics bill,” says Josh.


Josh is grateful for the help—and even more grateful for the impact on Brianna’s stress level.