CrossSwords Connection

"Serving Those Who Serve"

On November 25, 2015 we lost one of our personal heroes and the father of CrossSwords Connection's Executive Director, Don Malin. We offer our condolences and prayers for the Malin family in the passing of Donald Richard "Pug" Malin. Click here to read more about Pug.

Below is an article of reflection Don wrote just prior to his father's passing. If you have experienced, or are going through, a loss you may find it to be as meaningful a reflection as it was to Don as he wrote it.

Christmas Reflections
By Don Malin

I was driving down the street and listening to Christmas music. The music was cheery and bright. I felt anything but cheery and bright. I felt a strange mixture of melancholy and dread. The season has just started and I’m not looking forward to it! We recently moved my parents from their home in Florida to Dallas to be close to my sister, and at this writing we had to put my dad in hospice. Not a way to start the Christmas season.

As I think back over the year, many of you have gone through the same thing and lost loved ones. I’m anticipating loss, but you are already there on the other side trying to cope with the loss and a holiday that is supposed to be bright and cheery without them!

Maybe like me, you don’t want to do much or want to listen to music or be around a lot of people. You look back at the times with your loved ones and remember the Christmases past – the tree, the lights, the music, and of course, the presents. What fun! Great memories!

Years ago we had big Christmas parties. All of our family from Pennsylvania, my aunts and uncles and cousins, came to our house and brought presents, lots of presents. So many presents they filled the living room. We had to be careful walking around the room. Those days are gone but I am thankful that I have many fond memories. As I think about this it brings tears to my eyes.

Time is dwindling away…..but as I continue to think about it, I have to ask why do we celebrate Christmas? Why the cheerful music and lights and laughter? Why the presents and good cheer?

If we go beyond the glitter and family and good times the focus is a little baby. Not just any Baby, but Christ the Lord.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

This is what Christmas is all about. It is bringing our brokenness and sorrow and dread to the Gift who gives even when we feel most alone and vulnerable, when we are most unacceptable and ugly. It is looking forward to the bright future where every tear will be wiped away and we will be welcomed into His glorious Kingdom.

Remember, we celebrate Christmas ONLY because of the Resurrection. If Jesus did not rise from the dead there would be no Christmas. So when we are low, lonely, discouraged, depressed, sad, anxious, ashamed during the Holiday season let’s give thanks…Thanks to the One who by His birth and death and resurrection gives us new hope, peace and joy even in the midst of all the bad that happens!

Jesus is the Hope that keeps us moving forward. Jesus is the foundation that keeps us from sinking! Jesus is the friend who will always be there for us! JESUS!

May Jesus Comfort you during this season.


Click on the image below to watch a special Sneak Peek of this film.

Visit the film website:


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be devastating to those who return from service and their families. All too often it goes unrecognized or is ignored. CrossSwords in conjunction with Front Porch Media Group has completed a documentary to help Veterans and their families recognize PTSD and know how and where to get the help they need.

Our goal is to give every combat veterans and active service member a free copy of this film. If you are a veteran, or actively serving, or the family member of a combat veteran or service member, and would like a copy of this film, email Don Malin at for information on how to get your copy or click on the "Order DVD" tab.

If you would like to help us by supporting this project, CLICK HERE for more information.



If you have ever served in a combat situation you know that the conflict doesn't end when the tour of duty is over. Conflict often follows us home; not the military conflict we faced in battle, but the conflicts many now struggle with in their day to day living – trying to forget many of the experiences we went through  while pretending as if nothing happened, or the struggles of trying to put a family back together or returning to the civilian workforce.

We understand your conflict and want to help you connect with others who share your experience. Our Executive Director, Don Malin, has served alongside many of you and has shared many of the same struggles.

Visit some of the links on our site and then let us know your story. Help is closer than you think.

If you are a combat veteran and would like to help out by connecting with a buddy who is still hurting, contact us and let us know you want to be involved.