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A 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to the men and women of the armed forces injured in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan on or after 9/11/01.

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Mesa's Fight Against Chronic Veteran Homelessness

Tom Crowder is a 60-year-old veteran who served in the Army during his time in Vietnam. Crowder had joined the Army when he was only 18-years-old and freshly out of high school. It was in 2014, in Mesa, Arizona that Crowder was laid off from his engineering job. Even though he frantically struggled to find a replacement job as soon as possible, he quickly lost his home.

He was eventually forced to stay at a local homeless shelter. However he was quick to find that the homeless shelter wasn't his safest option as others repeatedly tried stealing from him.

“It was bad. It was the worst experience I ever had. ...Things would have to change,” Crowder said. “I was hoping to get permanent work so that I could get a place on my own, but I didn’t. … I had no contacts... nothing.”

It wasn't until he arrived at Paz de Cristo in Mesa that Crowder finally found the help he so desperately needed.

Paz de Cristo is the only East Valley organization that is able to serve free dinners to absolutely whoever needs it.

Crowder claims he owes his life to Paz de Cristo Director Arlen Westing. Crowder says that without him Crowder would have still been suffering on the streets. Crowder is proud to say that he was able to end his 10-month stretch of homelessness with the organization's help.

It has been reported that countless other homeless veterans have also been helped in Mesa ever since Mesa had joined a national effort to completely eradicate veteran homelessness throughout the city. Paz de Cristo as well as countless other local social-service organizations have come together in order to make this a reality.

Council member Chris Glover admits that it is difficult to have a solid statistic about the amount of homeless veterans in Mesa. However Westling shared that there are about 125 homeless veterans that visit Paz de Cristo every month.

 

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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Veteran Finally Reunited With Missing Service Dog!

Dave Dowell is like countless other veterans that unfortunately lost his service dog on the fourth of July. Dowell served in Iraq as a Navy veteran. When Dowell returned home after his time in service he was quickly diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. Simple daily tasks as little as going to the grocery store were nearly impossible for Dowell to accomplish by himself.

However Dowell's life completely changed when he got his mini Doberman named Milka. Like many with PTSD, Dowell suffers from terrible night terrors. However Milka is able to help Dowell, even with his night terrors, as she immediately licks his face to wake him up whenever he experiences one. If Dowell ever experiences an anxiety attack, Milka is there to lie on his chest in order to calm him down. Milka also encourages Dowell to take his medication on a daily basis.

Individuals, specifically veterans, who suffer from PTSD typically stay far away from firework festivities during our nation's day of independence. Many even put signs in their front yards in order to let neighbors know to be courteous with fireworks as they are a veteran who suffers from PTSD.

However this year was the very first year since Dowell's return to the states back in 2009, that he was ready to participate in the holiday's festivities. As Dowell brings Milka everywhere with him, he had no second thoughts about bringing her to the firework show. As Dowell enjoyed seeing fireworks for the first time in years, Milka became extremely frightened and took off.

Dowell, along with his friends and family searched endlessly to find Milka but with little luck.  It wasn't until just a few days ago that Dowell and Milka were finally reunited!

 

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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First Veteran PTSD Memorial Wall to Honor Fallen from Invisible Wounds

The village of Channahon in Illinois will house the first PTSD warrior memorial wall.  The memorial “will contain a monument honoring the five branches of the U.S. Military and will formally recognize the veterans who have passed away from a PTSD-related death/suicide and commemorate their service and forever remember them as casualties of war.” It is estimated that over 20% of returning U.S. war veterans suffer from PTSD.      

 

The Channahon Memorial is slated for completion by November 2016.  The memorial will cost roughly $80,000 and be comprised of granite.  The names will be etched on a volunteer basis as gaining access to the records from the VA would be a lengthy, costly process.  “How can we honor them for paying the ultimate price?” Tellerino said. “They come home with wounds you can’t see. People don’t understand how serious this is.”  K9s For Veteran Warriors CEO Michael Tellerino explained.  

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 20 veterans commit suicide each day. This was a recent decrease from the previous estimates of 22 a day.

 

Let us remember Brandon Ketchum, who took his own life only days after being turned away from the VA for treatment.

 

Across the nation, veterans and veteran’s groups are doing what they can to bring national awareness to the issue.

 

Over 3,500 miles from Texas to New York City, U.S. Special Operations Combat Veteran Josh Collins, paddled to raise awareness of the extremely high veterans suicide rates. 

 

Retired Army Sergeant George Eschwell is hiking the Appalachian Trail with other vets carrying the names of those fellow veterans who took their own lives, trying to bring awareness of the emergency facing veterans.  

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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Veteran Gets Help From Army Friend To Receive Treatment

Homero Gomez is a decorated Army veteran who served for more than 20 years. However like many other veterans, Gomez experienced health problems when returning back home. Gomez claimed that it was his kidneys that needed medical attention as soon as possible. Gomez quickly made an appointment with the veterans administration in order to see a kidney specialist.

However Gomez and his much needed treatment quickly got pushed around. At first Gomez went a total of six months with no firm appointments or hopes of treatment. Then six months quickly turned into a year. Gomez's kidney function continued to deteriorate at this time. Their functioning went from 38 percent to 26 percent.

“We need to get educated on how the system works. We have all this paperwork, all these claims,” said Gomez.

Desperate for help as his health continued to get worse, Gomez turned to Felix Rodriguez of Hidalgo County Veterans Services for help.

Rodriguez was quick to help Gomez and admits that Gomez's case is not uncommon.

“…You have a specific need that needs attention and go to a primary care physician at the VA clinic, and they can’t see you so they tell you we'll get you an appointment. The appointment is not going to be for another 30 days, but he needs care right away,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez made the claim that unfortunately the VA has a terribly bad reputation for not paying bills on time. For this reason alone partnering with reliable doctors and providers is more difficult.

“But I think the VA needs to take advantage of the health care we already have here in the Valley,” he said.

With Rodriguez's help, Gomez was able to get an appoint with a specialist and now happily admits that his kidney function is improving.

“Last time my lab work and I went back to Dr. Restrepo, he tells me my kidneys are up in the 40s. I know Felix has wings behind him, on his back. I've seen it he's an angel,” Gomez said.

 

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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Air Force Vet Riding Horses in Mongolian Derby to Honor Fellow Fallen

Riding for awareness of the ‘22 a day’ U.S. military veterans who commit suicide, U.S. Air Force Captain Tim Finley, has entered the Mongolian Derby,  a 300 mile, 10 day trek. The Mongolian Derby is the “longest, toughest horse race in the world”.  It recreates the “recreates Chinggis Khaan's legendary empire-busting postal system, with riders changing horse every 40km (25 miles), and living with herders or camping under the stars.”  

 

“It is. So I took it and made a campaign. I got sponsored by Nine Line Apparel and they've sent me several shirts that I can wear that have a big 22, representing the 22 veterans a day that are committing suicide, and what I intend to do is name each horse that I ride, all 25 horses, after 25 veterans that have taken their lives in the last two to three years. The idea is I want to take those men and women who did not have a solution to let them ride me with me on the ride — write their names on my shirt — and when I cross that finish line, hold it up, and say ‘Here's a solution, and you guys rode it with me.’”  

 

Finley, who dealt with thoughts of suicide after returning from his deployment in Iraq wanted to do something ‘tangible’ for himself and for others suffering from wounds of war.  “I’m most looking forward to crossing that finish line, falling off my horse, being broken and beaten and bloody and holding up that shirt and saying, ‘They rode it with me,’ ” he said.  

 

Finley wants to represent the Air Force veterans who suffered silently and ended their lives due to the depression they developed after their military service.   

 

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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Vets Carry Names of Over 1,200 Veterans Lost to Suicide on Appalachian Trek

Retired Army Sergeant George Eschelman had always loved hiking.  He and his friend Shannon, with whom he had served in Kuwait, would hike and heal from their wounds of war.  They had planned to hike the Appalachian trail together.  But, in 2015 Shannon committed suicide.

 

Devastated by the loss, George decided to carry her name with him as he hiked the trail.  When others heard of the trip, families sent him names of their loved ones.  He began hiking the Appalachian Trail carrying hundreds of name tags of veterans who have committed suicide.  

 

“I carry these everywhere I go, they’re kind of my security blanket now after they saved me on the Appalachian trail from taking my life,” he said. 

 

From Maine to Georgia, travelling 25-30 miles a day, strapped with a pound of name tags, retired Sergeant George Eschelman hikes the trail. Alongside him, fellow veterans carry even more names of those who will hike the trail only in spirit.  “We have over 1244 names… we have companies sponsoring 100 names at a time…  that pays for the framing and mailing of these names back to the families.”  George explains.  



The organization Eschelman helped to form, the Unified Warrior Foundation accepts sponsorships from businesses to help fund the trip.  All veterans are invited to join him on the trail and carry the names of fellow veterans who had taken their own lives. And families may private message on Facebook “Just send us the name you want taped up, and it will be carried by myself or another veteran on any outing we have,” he said.

 

 The journey honors the spirit of fallen fellow veterans but the organization seeks to create solutions to assist veterans suffering from PTSD, depression or debilitating psychological stress. The foundation organizes fishing, boating and various activities for vets to get together and “rekindle military brotherhood and sisterhood bonds”.

George is hiking to also bring awareness to the fact that veterans are not receiving the assistance they need, thus the high rate of suicide among combat veterans.  

 

"You've got to address the premise of the problem...no matter what a veteran takes his life for, they can always trace that back to PTSD, the separation from that family they had in service."    

Upon completion of the trail.  Eschelman will have the name tags each framed with the words, ‘Hiked the Appalachian Trail in Spirit’ and returned to their respective families.  

 

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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High School Choir Sings "Glory Hallelujah" As Remains Of Soldier Carried Off Plane

It was on a flight from Germany back home to the United States that a woman captured the heartwarming scene of a high school choir singing "Glory, glory hallelujah" as the remains of a WWII veteran were carried off the plane.

Diane Cupp, the woman who took the video of the choir singing and later posted it on Facebook, claimed that there was an Army private on the plane that was the individual who was escorting the remains of a WWII soldier back to his original home in Houston, Texas.

Cup shared with reporters that the pilot of the flight had announced to the passengers that the soldier would be exiting the plane first.

As the soldier got up to exit the plane, a large group of high school students who were part of a choir group from Iowa began to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic to him. The group was on their way back home to Iowa after a group tour in Europe. The high school students were members of a group that had about 350 musicians in it that were returning home after their three week tour.

 "Listen how beautiful!!" Cupp wrote on her Facebook page. "Will bring a tear to your eye."

Cupp admitted that after witnessing this very special scene, that it was certainly the most touching and respectful thing she had ever witnessed from a group of a high school students.

“It melted my heart,” Ms. Cupp told a local ABC News affiliate. “I was so proud of them for doing that. It was so heartfelt.”

The video that Cupp had shot and later posted on Facebook has since gone viral.

The high school group that sang "Glory, glory hallelujah" in Cupp's one minute video. The video has been viewed more than 123,000 times.

 

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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PASTOR HELPS FIND MISSING VETERAN SUFFERING FROM PTSD

Shane Zahn is a 26-year-old Army veteran who suffers from severe symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Zahn had recently been admitted to a hospital in Humble, Texas.

However his family and close friends were distraught to learn that shortly after being admitted to the hospital, Zahn had escaped. After he escaped from the hospital he did not make contact with his family or friends and was deemed missing. His family began the frantic search to find him before it was too late.

Danielle Urshell is Zahn's twin sister and shared with reporters that she had spent all weekend searching for her brother.

T.W.Stephens is the pastor of a local church known as Greater New Direction Church located in Cypress. It was on Tuesday evening that Stephens spotted a stranger that looked like he needed help.

Stephens quickly approached the pained- looking stranger that was sitting outside of a Wal-Mart in Cypress.

The stranger turned out to be Shane Zahn.

Stephens shared,

"I said 'how you doing,' he said. 'I'm alright, I'm alright,' I said, you don't look alright," Stephens said. "You look like you're in a lot of pain. And he said, 'I am."

At this point Stephens had no idea who Zahn was or any details about his escape. He simply felt deeply that something was wrong.

"I kept seeing that pain in his face, like, 'it's over," Stephens said. "It's a deep look, like, I can't explain it."

Stephens knew he had to help this lost and hurt young man.

"That's what I do," Stephens said. "I'm out on the streets ministering when I'm not in church."

After a brief exchange, Stephens convinced Zahn to come to his church with him and then go to a nearby hospital.

"He prayed with us for a long time," Ursell said. "There was something about this man that Shane could talk to him."

Zahn's family was quickly informed of his whereabouts and met up with the pair.

Zahn's family was absolutely overjoyed to see Zahn and was infinitely grateful for all of Stephen's help.

Zahn's twin sister told Stephens,

"You are an angel," Ursell said. "A God-sent angel."

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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Stiggy's Dogs Train Shelter Dogs To Become Service Dogs For Veterans

A nonprofit located in Detroit has just found a way to combine two worthy causes into one amazing mission. Among our soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, 1 in 8 of these brave individuals will have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At the same time in America there are millions of dogs that are currently sitting in shelters, many who will have to be euthanized.

The nonprofit known as Stiggy's Dogs is on a mission to rescue and train shelter dogs in order to be service dogs for any homecoming military veterans that are suffering from PTSD or a Traumatic Brain Injury.

Once these dogs are fully trained they are given to veterans in need at absolutely no cost.  In their extensive training, dogs learn how to wake veteran if they experience night terrors, how to turn on lights, how to pick up dropped items and also how to be an ever calming presence beside their veteran owner.

All of the rescue dogs must pass Stiggy's Dogs's Canine Good Citizen Certification test before they are properly paired with the perfect veteran.

As stated on Stiggy's Dogs's website,

"Studies have also shown that 82% of patients with PTSD who were assigned a service dog had a decrease in symptoms.  This includes a decreased need for medication in 40% of the patients studied".

Stiggy's Dogs are specifically trained as psychiatric service dogs. under the Americans with Disability Act, psychiatric service dogs are able to accompany their owners into most public places. Naturally these helpful fury friends do not cure all PTSD symptoms, however they certainly make a veteran's life far easier to lead.

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

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WWII Veteran Retires After 70 years of Service

This September, Anthony "Tony" Duno will officially be named the longest serving civilian in Air Force history. Duno will be finally retiring this September after over 70 years of service!

On July 22, Duno was honored at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. as Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James publically recognized Duno's countless accomplishments and good deeds during his service at a ceremony.

“Mr. Duno is just a remarkable, remarkable public servant,” James said. “Tony teaches all of us life is about hard work, it’s about service, but most importantly, it’s about the people. He truly epitomizes our core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all that you do.”

Duno was elated to be able to share his life story during the ceremony.

Duno shared that he was born into an Italian-American family. It was in 1944 that Duno was drafted at the mere age of 18. Duno would have never imagined that this giant step was the beginning of his lifelong career.

“I had no ability of going into the military,” Duno said. “I think I weighed 115 pounds, if that. I had no interest in the Army, but they said it didn't matter.”

Duno admitted that joining the military was by far his original life plan. However he was determined to hold his own during basic training and was surprised to find that the military lifestyle actually suited him perfectly.

“One incident I remember vividly was in West Virginia in the winter time (for training maneuvers),” he recalled. “They wanted us to complete a trek through the mountains. They handed me my rucksack, which was 60 or 70 pounds, which was way over my limit, but I made it work. I started quite the commotion because the other guys couldn’t complete the run and the leadership was yelling, ‘If the Yank can make it, why can’t you?’”

Healing Heroes Network (HHN) is a non-profit 501c3 charity which has provided needed programs and services to our veterans since 2008.  

 As a non-profit organization, HHN's primary focus is to provide the means for wounded warriors to get the treatment and therapies they deserve and need.

Along with sweepstakes advertised at Hero Giveaway, HHN solely relies on the graciousness of their followers on Facebook through donations, merchandise, and entries to HG's giveaways.

Thanks for your continued support for our troops. For more information, and to donate to the cause, click the link below!

b2ap3_thumbnail_unnamed_20160420-190806_1.png

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