“Never forget where you came from. When you are down, you do not have to stay down. There are hands available to reach out and help you to your feet…if you are willing to take hold.”
These are the words of Rip I. Lemon III, this year’s recipient of the Battlefield Citation Award. Rip is someone who has been helped, and he wants to be there for others. In the words of others, he is a Veteran’s Veteran.
A native of Charleston, SC, Rip Lemon spent his childhood in the Boston area and graduated from high school in Reading. Immediately after dutifully serving as a Communications Specialist in the U.S. Army, Rip began a new chapter in his life as a professional musician. The transition from military life to civilian life proved to be challenging, and Rip found himself living on the streets of Boston.
Rip was the 1,036th Veteran to walk through the doors of 17 Court Street seeking to transform his life after living on the streets. With the help of the services and programs at the New England Center for and Home for Veterans, Rip was able to tap into an inner strength that guided him through the difficult process of recovery, and onto the pathway of success. Rip would then dedicate himself to God and his fellow Veterans. He joined the staff of the NECHV in 2001 as an Operations Security Officer, and expanded his involvement with other Veterans as an Operations Shift Supervisor, then as an Admissions/Discharge Coordinator. Throughout his employment at the Center he assisted thousands of Veterans with models of persistence and self-determination to stimulate self-healing and life restructuring.
Today, Rip is a Certified Peer Specialist who inspires hope, enthusiasm, drive, personal achievement and continued motivation for Veterans who have been newly housed in the community. Because of his skill and innate talent he is assigned to the Red Team at the Brockton Campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System which serves Veterans at high risk. Rip is also devoted to his volunteer work leading a Bible study group to Veterans at NECHV.
Rip’s first passion will always be God and Christ, and is committed to helping others who desire to understand the transforming power of Scripture, and endeavors to live peacefully and joyfully among Veterans and all people as best he can. Rip continues to immerse himself as an independent recording artist, writing, arranging, and producing professional quality gospel CD’s, and is halfway through completing his 3rd CD release, entitled “Clarion Seasons: Winter Rendition.” Rip has plans to complete his “Clarion Seasons” CD series with his final gospel CD release which will be entitled, “Clarion Seasons: Summer Ignition.” Two of his completed and published CD releases, “Clarion Seasons: Spring Edition” and “Clarion Seasons: Fall Commission” can be found under his name, Rip I. Lemon III online at www.cdbaby.com and www.cduniverse.com.