31640 U.S. Hwy 19 N. Suite #2 Palm Harbor, FL 34684

(727) 781-HERO (4376)

Blog

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.

  • Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login Login form

Recent blog posts

Homeless Vet Piano Prodigy Gets Second Chance

 



Streets in Sarasota, Fl take part in an interactive public arts project and line the sides of downtown streets with pianos.  They invite those who pass by to sit down, relax and play a tune.  

 

Daniel Gould, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was homeless and living in Sarasota, Fl.  His incredible piano abilities were discovered last year and captured on video as he played a piano set out on the street.  The video taken by a stranger walking by was uploaded and had hits over 500,000 within days.  The beautiful music streaming from the instrument and disheveled, shaggy Daniel would become an internet sensation. To date, a video of his playing the piano on youtube has over 22 million views. 

Local news outlets covered the story with glee, he was given a makeover and new clothes.  His story unfolded to a dramatic tale.  He struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, he lost his wife in 1998 to a drug overdose, he lost custody of his son aged 3 and hadn’t seen him in 15 years.     Video of his son, at the age of 18, watching his homeless father play beautiful music and speaking his plea to find his son is heartwrenching.  Gould entered rehab after a video reunion with his son

 

But, where is he now?  Daniel is set to record an album soon. He even asked Jimmy Fallon to perform a duet with him. He has played the National Anthem for a NFL game and has a Facebook page with over 17,000 friends. Donald’s incredible talent has introduced him to another chance.


 

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

 

New Viral Internet Challenge #22KILL

                

Internet challenges have been very successful in engaging the nation through social media networks, driving attention, money and effort toward their causes.  The ALS ice bucket challenge, started in 2014, has seen more than 17 million uploaded videos of willing participants.

 

Today, the challenge set forth by an organization called 22kill invites all to honor those who serve in the military.  By uploading a video of themselves performing 22 push ups (in reference to the 22 veterans who die each day in suicide) and then challenge friends to do the same.  The goal of 22kill is to raise awareness of the high suicide rate among U.S. veterans.  And the push up challenge hopes to reach 22 million uploaded videos. The 22kill Facebook can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/22PushupChallenge/ 

 

Groups nationwide are participating.  Dana Blickley, the Property Appraiser of Brevard County, Fl, organized a ‘Brevard Mission 22 Pushup Challenge’ which involved the whole community, Brad Vernon, a Navy Veteran in attendence from Melbourne said that he wanted to do what he could to raise awareness of the struggle faced by many veterans.  

“We use them for years for their purposefulness.  Once they come back and get back into the community we forget about them.”  Vernon commented. 

As to the person attributed with the original challenge he or she remains a mystery according to Marine Veteran Jimmy Mac, a program manager for the nonprofit 22kill which introduced the hashtag.  

 

“We’d been using the hashtag since 2013 to help raise awareness, but we’re not even sure who actually started the pushup challenge.  All we know is that sometime late last year.”  Mac explained, “I wish we knew who that first person was because I’d like to buy them dinner and give them a big hug.”  

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

Harvard Equine Therapy Program Helps Save Veterans

Army veteran Mitchell Hedund admits that before he visited BraveHearts, he was actually quite scared of horses. However this week Hedund and nine other veterans will attempt to tame a pack of wild mustangs.

These newly inspired veterans are putting their new skills to the test out at Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming.

BraveHearts was created by Marge Tautkus Gunnar. Gunnar was inspired to create BraveHearts when she shared a touching moment with Lipizzan stallion Max while she was battling ovarian cancer. During one of her routine visits, Max for the very first time placed his head on Gunnar's shoulder almost as if he was giving her a hug. Once Gunnar was in remission she created BraveHearts so countless others could have similar healing experiences.

Today BraveHearts has locations in Harvard and Poplar Grove and has a total of 48 therapy horses. BraveHearts is able to provide therapeutic equine services to a diverse community of individuals and is most widely known for its specific services to veterans. Their services range from therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, and many others.

BraveHearts was also officially named the single largest veteran equine program available in the United States.

“In my case, I was isolating myself, basically living in my recliner in the garage,” Air Force veteran Ron Hathaway said. “So I went into the inpatient program and started getting connected with horses and people, and it literally saved my life.”

Paddy McKevitt is BraveHeart's Director of Operations and has noticed significant changes in the veterans that BraveHearts has served. McKevitt admits that the process is different for every individual however he has noted that drastic improvements have been made in veterans's ability to communicate and trust.

“I would be part of the 22 vets a day, that was guaranteed, without BraveHearts,” Hedlund said. “BraveHearts really gave me back my life. It gave me not just my old life, but a new life. It gave my kids a father, it gave my mother a son.”

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

FVC Helps Veteran Create His Local Produce and Egg Business

 

Chris Palmberg served as a combat medic in Iraq and upon coming home took on a strong interest in farming. When Palmberg returned home after serving his transition, like so many other veterans, was difficult. However a sense of purpose was quickly restored as he began growing vegetables and herbs as well raising chickens and ducks for fresh eggs.

Palmberg quickly concluded that creating produce and eggs was a valuable service to his community, just as his time in service was.

“Well, I was an Army Reservist for 10 years and I was out in December of 2001,” Palmberg explained. “But after 9/11, I signed up for active duty in April of 2003.”

Palmberg spent not one, but a total of two tours in Iraq when he was deployed as a platoon medic for the 3rd Cavalry Engineer Company.

“I was a medic for 35 guys, and I followed them everywhere,” he said with a smile.

Palmberg's mother and father were both EMTs when he was young. His parents inspired him to go after a career that he could easily transfer to the civilian world upon returning home.

“Which, it didn’t do,” he said. “I had to repeat my training to meet civilian requirements.”

Palmberg worked a string of odd jobs before taking on an economic development director position in Ness County, Kansas.

It was during this position that Palmberg was able to visit a local business called TLB Farm Greenhouse and Market. During his visit he was able to see how a simple and small business owner could generate a proud income as well as help out their local community.  

“Right now I have 35 laying hens, about 40 meat breeds and eight ducks,” he said.

His garden is also producing lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, and countless other veggies. he is currently selling his eggs and produce at his local farmers market.

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

 

Woman’s Selfless Act for a Vietnam Veteran In Need Goes Viral

 

Earlier this week, Kimberly Schintzius was out and about playing the brand new hit game "Pokémon Go". As she went on her way to catch various rare Pokémon, she encountered a Vietnam veteran. In a post she later blasted on Facebook, Schintzius, recalls being approached by a "frail looking older man on a worn out bicycle". The veteran had seen Schintzius looking so intensely on her phone and asked if she was lost or perhaps needed help getting somewhere.

Schintzius was happy to explain the game she was playing to the veteran and even showed him how to play it.

Schintzius wrote,

“He smiled and laughed and chatted with me about how he was wondering what all these young people walking around with their phones, doing funny things, were doing".

As they continued to chat, the veteran introduced himself as Daniel Wise.

Schintzius's post continued to say that Wise,

“thanked me for being so kind and walking and talking with him instead of pretending he doesn’t exist".

Although he didn't want to appear to be begging, Wise did admit that he was more than hungry.

Schintzius immediately bought him an entire meal.

Her selfless act caused Wise to break down in tears.

“From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you for the kindness you showed me today and letting me see that there are still young people like you out there who do selfless things like this in a world that often turns its back on old men like me and pretends we don’t exist,” Wise told her.

Since then Schintzius's facebook post has gone viral.

Schintzius had recently told a local news station that she is determined to get Wise in touch with the veterans assistance programs of Atlanta as they had contacted her recently with lots of information on how to help him.

 

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

Army Veteran Uses Bowling To Battle PTSD

 

PTSD affects 7-8% of all Americans at some point in their life.
But, it affects veterans of military experiences with much more frequency than civilians.  It is
estimated that 22% of returning soldiers suffer from Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome or Traumatic Brain Injuriess (TBIs) or a combination of both.
The severity of the disorder ranges by individual but the results can be
completely debilitating.

                Many therapies have been developed to aid with the healing
of PTSD and TBIs ranging the gamit from:  Service Dogs, Meditation, music,
art therapies, equine therapies as well as various medications to other
cognitive therapies.

                Army veteran Donald Pinnacle is using bowling as his cure
and coping mechanism while dealing with PTSD. Upon coming home from his service, Pinnacle sought help from Ralph H. Johnson VA Center to treat his symptoms involved in PTSD  as well as to treat other injuries. During his initial visit, Pinnacle admitted that he had absolutely no idea he would eventually be using bowling as a way to battle his severe PTSD.

          However once Pinnacle started playing, he was overcome with a renewed sense of calm and focus. A sensations he hadn't been able to feel since before he left home to serve. Pinnacle quickly made bowling a weekly hobby and eventually became an absolute expert. His confidence in his abilities grew and he eventually ended up entering and competing in the National Veterans Golden Age Games. Even though he had put in countless hours practicing and honing in his skills, Pinnacle was still absolutely surprised when he won the gold medal in the National Veterans Golden Age Games. To ease his symptoms, Pinnacle still keeps up with bowling today and is very thankful he was able to find a therapy that was absolutely perfect for him.

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

WEST POINT GRADUATE’S PHOTO GOES VIRAL

"I woke up this morning and found my face all over Facebook and with it myriad of amazing comments about my accomplishments," Idrache wrote Tuesday on Facebook. "I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth."

Tears drip down Idrache’s cheeks as he stands in formation, along with fellow graduates, his hand tightly gripped in his hands.  Alix was born in Haiti and immigrated to the U.S.  earning his citizenship.  He then began his education at the extremely respected Academy at West Point.  His tears were not without precedent but the reasons for them are special.  

Graduating from the prestigious and long established Military Academy at West Point is a incredible honor and a feat of dedication and determination.  It is no wonder the soldiers may become emotional in such a moment.  But, the photo of 2ndLt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache touched tens of thousands of people as it became viral on social media outlets.

                                In a response to his photo being showcased on an Instagram feed he commented,  "Three things came to mind and led to those tears," he wrote. "The first is where I started. I am from Haiti and never did I imagine that such honor would be one day bestowed on me. The second is where I am. Men and women who have preserved the very essence of the human condition stood in that position and took the same oath... The third is my future. Shortly after leave, I will report to FT. Rucker [Fort Rucker, Alabama] to start flight school. Knowing that one day I will be a pilot is humbling beyond words."  

                Idrache gave praise and recognition to Capt. Kristen Griest, 1st Lt. Shay Haver and Maj. Lisa Jaster, who last year, were the first female graduates from the Army’s Ranger School.  "I could not help but be flooded with emotions knowing that I will be leading these men and women who are willing to give their all to preserve what we value as the American way of life," Idrache wrote. "To me, that is the greatest honor."  

 

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

Prisoners Paint Mural To Honor Deceased Veteran

The Cybulski Community Reintegration Center prison was amazed as the giant white cloth fell and revealed a mural that was painted in honor of Darrell D. Stark.

The mural pictures a proud American bald eagle surrounded by mountains and a prominent sunrise with the words, "Darrell D. Stark Veteran Services Unit", proudly brandished on the top.

There are about 110 male inmates of the formerly named Veteran Services Unit, which currently houses military veterans. A ceremony was held on Tuesday in honor of Stark. Stark was a World War II veteran who had been at one time during his service a prisoner of war. Upon returning home he became a Department of Correction official. Stark's passing took place on February 17. Stark died at the age of 98 after he suffered from pneumonia as well as a heart attack.

Ten members from Stark's family attended the ceremony. After the mural's unveiling, the ceremony proceeded with a speech, a musical performance from a select number of inmates as well as a military flag presentation.  

During the speech dedicated to Stark his various awards, including a purple heart, were mentioned along with his amazing ability to overcome any hardship.

During his time in service, Stark was held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war for three and a half years. He even survived the horrifying Bataan Death March in 1942. Upon coming home he proceeded to serve for the Department of Correction for just over 17 years and retired as captain.

"When asked how he managed to let go of all the evil that he had experienced in order to live the life that he did, he summed it up by saying, 'I am not a religious man; what I believe in is one word,' " the inmate said. " 'Love.' "

 

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

Art Therapies Used to Heal PTSD & TBIs

     

   Art has been an outlet of expression for thousands of years.  And now, it is being used by doctors at the  National Intrepid Center of Excellence, a directorate of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to treat service members who have returned from war suffering from PTSD and/or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). Doctors across disciplines have been utilizing art & music therapies for decades.  Neurologists have found it can aid in difficulties sleeping or to ease the frequency and severity of migraines.  Family practitioners use it to assist patients with various physical maladies.

          Melissa Walker, a registered art therapist & healing arts coordinator at NICoE teaches groups by having them make masks. She says the masks provide,  “a visual voice to their invisible pain or their invisible wounds", and that most students jump right in and fight the experience very soothing. 

          A satellite clinic of the NICoE based in Virginia is also utilizing art therapy to help heal injured soldiers.  Jackie Biggs explains,  “For service members who might already have trouble expressing themselves and are now experiencing the challenges of TBI, art therapy gives them a chance to use free expression, allowing whatever needs to bubble up from below the surface to be seen and evaluated.” 

Biggs went on to explain how it all works.  That the art therapies make changes on the cellular level within the brain, ”  restoring connections that might have been damaged during a traumatic event, whether it was the explosion of a roadside bomb in Afghanistan or a sports injury on a friendly softball field back home.

  Restoring to the brain that neuroplasticity, the changes in neural pathways and synapses that end up affecting behavior, helps to reveal the “invisible wounds of war.” Biggs said understanding what really underlies the TBI patients' anger and frustrations also helps the patients with their home and family life and gets them on the path to healing. “When they have an understanding of that, it's easier for them to gain control over their symptoms, and in turn, develop stronger relationships with their loved ones, because after creating their art, they’re better able to explain at home what’s going on inside them.”   

 

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

Army Vet & Single Mom Gifted With New Car

   

    Melissa Nurse, a U.S. Army Reserves Veteran and single mother of two small children got the surprise of her life when she was handed the keys to a new car by the non-profit ‘Cars 4 Heroes’ . Melissa had served her country in the Reserves and then fell on hard times when she returned to civilian life.  Finding it difficult to get to jobs and bring her children to daycare so she could work, a car has changed her life.

                "My past employment has always been centered around the bus line. It's been hard to get to and from work. This means I have access to all parts of the city, so this is a wonderful thing. It's a blessing," said Melissa.  Living downtown, close to the bus line so she could reach her destinations Nurse says she can now use her new car to find work all throughout the city, not being limited to the locations directly on the busline. 

                Having become homeless two years ago, Melissa struggled to find work she could get to and daycare she could afford to watch her children so she could work.  Pulling up from such hard times, Melissa keeps a positive attitude throughout her daily life.  She said that as she gets back on her feet she would like to become more involved with assisting other veterans who are fighting the challenges of life.

  Nurse thought she was simply attending a Golf Event which would honor her military service.  Little did she know that she would receive such an important and generous gift.  "I didn't know until I got the keys, until Ed says, well, we have a car for you," Nurse said. "It was really unexpected. I'm still in shock, so I'm pretty excited."  Nurse has been taking classes to become a certified welder to better her future for her family.  

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

National Charity

31640 U.S. Hwy 19 N. Suite #2 Palm Harbor, FL 34684

by phone: (727) 781-HERO (4376) - Local

by e-mail: info@healingheroes.org

or fill in the form on our contact page

Flickr Widget

Newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter for the latest and greatest information from Healing Heroes Network!