COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SPECIALISTS
Pittsburgh has been home to Jaime for the last 35 years, where she and her husband have raised their four children. Her son, Jarret, served seven years in the Army as a Drone pilot with two deployments to Afghanistan. He is now an instructor and pilot serving in Iraq as a contractor. As a military mom, Jaime’s own need to connect with other military families served as a catalyst for starting a military/veteran outreach at Memorial Park Church. She served as their small groups coordinator while developing Community Care for Military in 2011. Her passion for helping people develop a supportive community in own their lives fits well with our belief that authentic community is essential in our ability to grow and thrive. Whether it is “operational stress” or the everyday stress of life, we all need people who know and care about us and committed to coming alongside one another, through the hills and valleys.
In 2013, Community Care for Military, led by Jaime Dean, hosted Field of Flags A traveling war memorial for OIF and OEF fallen military. A ceremony of remembrance was attended by many members of the community drawn to it, Gold Star families and veterans who had survived their service and wanted to honor friends and brothers they had lost. The month long presence of 6600+ flags, visible on a busy corner was a powerful reminder of the sacrifices so many families have made and make every day through death or service to our country, so that, we can go about our day. Coming alongside that level of grief and sacrifice help direct Jaime’s resolve to mobilize communities into action. Unless, one’s family has experienced the sacrifice and operational stress of military life it is not on most people’s radar to have an outward focus and intentionally sharing the communal burden we should all bear to lessen theirs.
CCM regularly hosts veteran/civilian breakfast in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club, where veterans share their stories and everyone (military and civilian) learns and grows as a result.
Jaime has served and worked part-time in faith ministry and community outreach organizations through The Pittsburgh Project on the North Side and Memorial Park Church in the north hills of Pittsburgh for the last 25 years. She has a passion for drawing people to desire of to live life in authentic community, knowing that life is hard, but it is easier when we have a community of support, love and encouragement. Faith and community groups are natural groups to reach out and come alongside veterans and active military families, in their midst. In 2014, Jaime served as a Field Instructor for Seton Hill College supervising the field work for an MSW student wanting to focus on serving veterans. She recently left her position there to start a military themed coffee truck to help expand her territory, helping to bridge the military civilian gap.