Stand & Salute American Heroes, writes cards and letters to all VA Hospitals during holidays with phone cards enclosed. We do fundraisers, and accept donations so that we are able to do this and more for our Heroes.
I got involved with Veteran Organizations to honor my husband. Stand & Salute American Heroes honors combat wounded veterans from all wars to include invisible wounds such as PTS and TBI. In the past year I have been able to spread my wings so that we could honor more veterans. Originally we only honored veterans at major sporting events such as Major League Baseball and NHL Hockey Games. But we felt there were so many out there that we were missing that might never get the chance of being honored.
I am fortunate to be able to work with Kelly Luisi who is Co-Founder/CFO and Family Assistance Coordinator for Our Fallen Soldier and National Director of Our Heroes Journey. I started exploring regular nursing homes in the area that I live in which is the Chicago area. What I found was that there are so many veterans in these nursing homes. Some of them have no family anymore. So we began scheduling events in these nursing homes. I have had as few as 15 veterans to honor and as many as 60 *or* more veteran. I bring gifts in according to what holiday it might be. We play the piano and sing songs from their time which seems to be from WWII but we have our fair share of Korean and Vietnam Veterans too. To see the smiles on their faces brings tears to my eyes as I sit here right now and write this. We have been fortunate enough to even have some Cadet Nurses and Nurses that worked in the Mash Units during Korea and Vietnam.
We feel that no veteran *or* hero should ever be alone. We believe that we should be with them at the start of their Journey and that is what Our Heroes Journey does and more, and until the very end which would be VA Hospices. I am in touch with the VA Hospitals across the country that have Palliative/Hospice for our Veterans. We send everything from stuffed animals to blankets that have been prayed over. I have been told that some of these Veterans are buried with these items.
I suffer from Parkinson’s, but have managed to turn it into a positive experience. Being able to do this for Stand & Salute American Heroes has brought more joy and purpose into my life. From my father I got his determination and strength to never give up no matter what your situation is. I wake up every day and thank God for what He has put before me. I can’t envision myself doing anything else in my life but to honor our heroes of this Country. I’m a survivor just like these heroes. It is in my blood. I’m a survivor.