Sunday, September 1, 2013

Have We Learned From Our Mistakes-My Thoughts on Syria

The images are shocking. High school students burned over 80% of their bodies among other civilians in Syria. In a recent genocide against their own people, the Syrian government has used chemical weapons creating a political crisis for the leading countries of the world. To the credit of President Obama, he has delayed any military force until a vote of confidence takes place by our Congress.  I ask, have we learned from our mistakes over the last ten years since the attacks on 9/11? In two wars, there have been mistakes and brave decisions,  thousands of American troops lives taken in combat, countless veterans returning with many physical and mental challenges and the many military families left behind to find a way forward without their loved ones sent off to war.

Our country has been war weary and detached from the Iraq War and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.  Recent pictures of the suffering Syrians, creates an emotional sense of urgency as it did shortly after 9/11. When were the last time a pictures of an IED exploding an American tank, a flag draped casket being unloaded at Dover Delaware Air force Base and the actual crashing of aircrafts into the Twin Towers shown on the evening news?  Yet again we are presented graphic images of the horrific acts in Syria.

A line in the sand has been crossed. The question we face as Americans is do we continue to be the police power of the world at what cost to our own people.  We have the opportunity as citizens to have a voice in this decision by contacting our Senators and Congressman to express our concerns and views of another military attack. Why not economic sanctions and diplomacy first?  War only brings more death and destruction and should only be used as a last resort. I remember President Reagan challenging Russian President Gorbachev to tear down that wall. Then one night I watched in disbelief as the wall came down. Without a single shot the Cold War was over. We fight new and old enemies and I ask are we prepared for yet another engagement that could potentially ignite a new outbreak of wars throughout the Middle East? Let us learn from our mistakes of the past and make intentional, purposeful, well thought out decisions before we rush to war.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Recueing Horses - Finding Trust

Well it has been since mid April that Annie's Hope, Courage and Heath Bar were rescued by Solid Rock Therapeutic Riding Services. 

As you may remember, our family had been looking for projects to help surviving families and returning veterans who suffer from PTSD as a result of the the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

We looked into equine therapy as it appeared to be very successful for veterans with PTSD and Melissa and I have thought it might be a benefit for surviving families from these enduring wars.  Over the last several months, Melissa and I have been in training with Shannon from the ranch.

To start, you have to understand, I am petrified of horses. They are big and intimidating. What I have learned so far is this is an adventure in finding trust. It is about me learning to trust them as the horses are learning to trust me. Trust is a hard thing to find when you are broken by life whether you are a broken horse or  person.

Th good news is that I am learning to trust these big, 1,500 lb beauties and they are learning to trust me. The last couple of times, I have been grooming Heath Bar. The first time I entered his stall  when he first arrived at Solid Rock, I was jumping out of it as soon as I entered as he pinned his ears back and came at me and was going to bite my hiney.

We have come a long way since that time. I can groom him and I attempt to pick his hooves. That is a challenge, but I am making progress. They reality is I find peace when I am there. I see why this is a good thing for hurting people and I am blessed to be part of this adventure. I hope others will find this experience as well in the future as the horses progress in their healing and learn to find trust as well.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thank you for Team Pvt. Warner and Register Now Online for the Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Run!

Dear Friends,

It has been a very exciting time for Team Warner as we prepare for the Sixth Annual Pvt. Heath Warner  4 and 2 Mile Run. Last evening Melissa and I went out to the new course starting at Jackson High School. As we looked from the starting line out to where you our racers would be staging we were filled with anticipation and sensed what a great event the race will be in 2013

The time to register is now! Please register at or

Let me share our partners who have invested in this year’s race!

Host Sponsors
The S. N. Warner Family Association
Jackson Township Rotary 

Blue Star Sponsors
Buehlers Fresh Foods
Canton Chair Rental
Classico Landscaping
Heitger Funeral Services
John Trapani Big Band
Marvin Fete Attorney at Law
Sam’s Club
Second Sole
Stars-N-Stripes Flags and Military
Summit Memorial
U.S. Army
Vasco Asphalt Company 

Friends of Heath
American Legion Post 166
ABC Seamless of Northeast Ohio
American Legion Massillon Post 221
American Legion Massillon Post 548
Fenton Bros. Electric Company
Giant Eagle
Lawrence Hudson and Family
W.L. Logan Trucking Co.
McKinley Detachment Marine Corps League
Vietnam Veterans of America Canton Chapter 199 

Also we extend special thanks to the Jackson Township Trustees, Chamber of Commerce, Park, and Safety forces for your support. 

See you on Saturday, May 25, 2013 on race day. 

Scott and Melissa Warner
Race Directors and Gold Star Parents of Pvt. Heath D. Warner

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Run Celebrates Sixth Event with Exciting New Changes

Registration Now Open for Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Run – Running to Remember


Canton, OH – May 6, 2013 – The S. N. Warner Family Association is proud to announce registration is open for the Pvt. Heath D. Warner Memorial Run – Running to Remember. This is the sixth year anniversary for this special event. The race was founded in honor of their son, Pvt. Heath D. Warner, who was killed on November 22, 2006, in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.  

We have many new changes to this year’s race to honor our fallen heroes over Memorial Day Weekend. This year’s race will be partnering with the Jackson Township Rotary’s Field of Heroes and Field of Honor which will be held from Friday, May 24, 2013 through Memorial Day, Monday Day, May 27, 2013. This is a spectacular visual display of 1,500 American Flags which will be displayed across from Jackson Township Safety Center on Wales Road. These 3' x 5' flags will stand 8 feet tall in perfect rows and columns across a field of green. Mr. Warner states, “It is an honor to partner with the Jackson Rotary for such an amazing opportunity for the greater Stark County area community to remember those who have sacrificed so much for freedom and to honor these true heroes.” 

Race Facts: 

Date:   Saturday, May 25, 2013, Memorial Day Weekend

Registration:    6:30 AM

Opening:         7:30 AM

Time:               8:00 AM

4 Mile and 2 Mile Races:

            Starting Point:             Jackson High School

            Finishing Point:           Jackson Community Park by Safety Center  

Open registration is through Friday, May 24, 2013 at 5 PM and the fee is $25 (same day race registration is available for $35). 

Other important notes. 

The S. N. Warner is pleased to announce the addition of Navy Lt. Jason Manse’s banner to the Boulevard of Heroes located at the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. The Boulevard of Heroes is a project funded by the Private Heath Warner Memorial Fund. This project was started three years ago. A banner honoring the fallen from Stark County from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars are hung on the light post along the boulevard in front of the McKinley Monument. Last year, we added our first Vietnam Veteran Army Ist. Lt. Sharon Lane. Flags on the light poles and the banners are donated courtesy of the Warner family through the Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Fund are displayed from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

In addition, in keeping with the S. N. Warner Family Association mission of By Living Deeply and Caring Generously We Will Changes Lives One at a Time, we have partnered with the Solid Rock Therapeutic Riding Center to provide equine therapeutic services for surviving military families and returning veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Warner family stated, “It is important we provide services to help the families and veterans who have suffered so much through these enduring wars. Enduring wars create enduring pain and we believe the unconditional love from these special horses bring healing that can change lives.” Recently, through the Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Fund, the family was able to rescue three horses from a kill sale for meat slaughter. “We would like to introduce Courage, Heath Bar and Annie’s Hope to the community. These three saddle bred beauties will be used exclusively for surviving military families and returning veterans.”


“Running to Remember” Is Theme of Race  

“We founded the race to remember the sacrifice of our son, Pvt. Heath Warner, and to honor all of the other fallen service men and women from Stark County,” said Scott Warner, father of Pvt. Heath Warner and race director.  “The race is a celebration of their lives and that they will never be forgotten.” 

“The race will focus on the community spirit in remembering all of the fallen heroes who have sacrificed their lives for freedom.  The theme of the race, “Running to Remember,” will allow all of our participants and supporters to honor and remember their special loved ones who selflessly served their country and are being remembered on Memorial Day.”     

Registration Now Open Online at  or at for the 4-Mile and 2-Mile Runs. The race and walk are open to the community. 

The race is an Elite Race of the Ohio Subway Challenge Series will be Chronotrack Systems timed.  Awards will be given to the 4 and 2 mile overall top three male and female winners and age group winners.  Participants are invited to stay after race for the Opening Ceremony for the Field of Heroes and Field of Honor which be at 10 AM in Jackson Senior High School.


For more information about the race, please contact Scott Warner at 330-280-6350, or by email at  


About Pvt. Heath D. Warner



Born on Jan. 2, 1987.  Parents are Scott and Melissa Warner and brothers are Chandler and Ashton Warner of Canton, Ohio.  Attended Worley Elementary, Canton Christian Academy and was a 2005 graduate of McKinley Senior High School.  Completed certificate in Drafting from Timken Vocational Campus.  Hobbies included break dancing, foreign language including German, Japanese and Arabic. Love of different cultures, foods and the martial arts.  Enjoyed reading, hanging out with his friends and family.  Enlisted in the delayed entrance program of the Marines in Fall 2004.  He joined the pool of the new recruits and began preparing to become a Marine. Heath joined the Marines for all the right of God, love of family and a love of country.  After graduating in 2005, Heath left for basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina.  He graduated on Nov. 18, 2005.  Once that training was completed, Heath received additional training for SOI (school of infantry training) at Camp Legune in North Carolina.  After successfully completing this training, Heath was stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, were he received his desert training to prepare for his deployment in Iraq.  Heath was deployed on September 11, 2006, for Iraq.  On Nov. 11, 2006, Heath was killed in action when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb.  He was 19 years old.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Resced Horses Update - One Week Down and Three Weeks to go from Quarantine

I can't believe I am turning into a farm boy. I learned new things like horses eat hay not straw and they lay in straw. I had many laughs over my first post. OK-the only thing about me that is even close to being a farmer is I have a Lands End Barn Coat, but then again many people would never know I have tats, so I am always full of fun surprises and stories.

I have spent many days out visiting with my new friends. Often, I just sit and journal and occasionally talking with them and feeding them treats. My goal is they will begin to trust me and we will become friends. Growing up I have been afraid of horses so this is all new to me.

Physically, the horses are already looking much better. They love hay, grain and water and I am sure they love being protected and in safe stalls. Their ribs are becoming less visible and I am starting to see  new hair growing back on their bodies.

Last night, Melissa and I went out to visit the horses together. I asked if I could go into the stalls and groom the horses. I started with my buddy, Courage. I loved coming his mane, brushing him down and trying to work on his tail. That poor tail is just a mess. It is a four foot dreadlocks. I am going to save that tail - strand by strand. Courage loves when I talk to him and will rest his head on my shoulder.

Hope is just beautiful. She is a classy lady and full of love. I groomed her next. She was more interested in " I want to groom Heath Bar since he has been watching me love on the other two."
She was "Scott just come over here and stand right here and I don't want you to move." She just wanted him to get used to me in his stall.  Well as I flipped my self over he came right and was gointg to bite my hind end...he wanted nothing to do with Needless to say there was no grooming for Heath Bar. All in due time.

What I can tell you is I an blessed to have these new friends, Courage, Hope and Heath Bar. They are just like broken people...our love will heal them back and their love will heal us. Can't wait to see what happens this upcoming week.

Pax Voscium (Peace Unto You),


Monday, April 22, 2013

Rescueing a Family of Horses

This past weekend was quite an amazing experience for the Warner family. We have been looking for projects to help surviving families and returning veterans who suffer from PTSD as  a result of the the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Equine Therapy has appeared to be very successful for veterans with PTSD and Melissa and I have thought it might be a benefit fot surviving families from these enduring wars. This past spring break we spent quite a large chunk of time at Solid Rock Therapuetic Riding Ranch in Uniontown Ohio. I have to admit I was taken back about how calming it was to love on a beautiful horse.

We had been speaking with Nikki Von Gutten, the executive director at SRTR about purchasing two horses to be used exclusively for military veterans and surviving families. Little did we know how quickly this dream would become a reality.

The S N Warner Family Association is pleased to share through the Private Heath Warner Memorial Fund we were able to rescue a family of horses - a mother and her two boys. They were literally hours away from being slaughtered when rescued. I have been taken back at the horrendous treatment of horses. These horse were owned by a dentist in Cambridge, Ohio. Apparently, tired of caring for these beautiful creatures he left them to fend for themselves in the fields  until selling them for slaughter. That is a different story for another day.

Let me introduce you to our special new family members, Courage, Heath Bar and Annies Hope.
I can't tell you how exciting and sad it was to meet them for the first time. Heath Bar came from the horse trailer first. He carried himself with such elegance; he appeared regal in fact. As he approached  I was surprised by his physical appearance...gaunt, scarred and unkept. He was followed by his brother Courage. He was so thin his ribs and flanks were visible. It was so sad. Lastly came their mother, Annies Hope. Again gaunt, ribs and scarmarks. All had their slaughter tags on their hind quarters - 240, 241 and 242.

I could not help but think of how mistreatment breaks spirits of not only horses but people. The amazing thing- the one thing that heals both is love. It is now our turn to love these horses back into physical and emotional health and in time they will heal so many through their unconditional love.
Today I spent my lunch visiting our new friends- feeding them carrots, straw and peppermint candies while speaking softly and slowly hoping to build trust. It was during this time I just sat and wrote this first of many blogs. I look so forward to sharing this journey with you.

As  I sat quietly I reflected on my son Heath. I am amazed how his life and legacy have touched so many people. In fact, I have come to think I am part of Heath's legacy. His death has created a new, authentic me. I chuckled to myself to think I am now turning into a farm boy. I was covered in straw as I left the barn and I loved it. Please join me on this journey. I will share photos as I can. These are pics of our new friends as they arrived at Solid Rock:)

Heath Bar


Annies Hope

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Have Faith. Keep Talking.

Recently I had the opportunity to interview a World War II Pearl Harbor survivor. Needless to say, it was an honor to share his story on the cable show I was hosting, The Military Connection. During the interview, I asked him what he would say to encourage our returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. I was caught off guard by his simple, yet poignant response, "Have Faith. Keep Talking."
His message inspired me to keep the faith and to keep talking. Over the last three years, I have been undergone experiences that silenced me and shook my faith.
Following the debacle at Arlington National Cemetery. Melissa and I filed a complaint against with the Inspector Generals Office of the Department of Defense. They passed it to the Inspector Generals Office of the Army. Can you imagine that, the Army investigating the Army since Arlington National Cemetery is under the perview of the Army. Picture it like this. Can you imagine Enron investigating Enron following their scandalous corporate corruption? Exactly. It does not make sense. Again the good thing is we allowed this information to become part of public information under the Freedom of Information Act. Yes, now anyone can review our family's allegations of corruption with the Army and Arlington National Cemetery.
Just like that World War II veteran said, Have Faith. Keep Talking  I once was not in a position to talk but I am now stronger and I am breaking this silence. Over the last two years, I have been recording my thoughts and these will now be released in a book, Gold Star Father. Honoring a Hero. Remembering a Son. Writing this book has been a hard and theraputic. It has also made me angry and brought me hope. I hope you will be inspired as I share my solemn journey over the last six years.
I am no longer going to be silent and will begin to post again in my blog.   I ask for your continued support and prayers as I move ever slowly forward.

Semper Fi,
Scott Warner
Gold Star Father