American Soldier Network
In 2004 Annie Nelson was searching for a way to give back to our troops, not knowing how and raised in the Midwest without much knowledge of military life or how to “give back” to our troops, she began pen pal relationships with 3 deployed Marines in Iraq. One of them was Corporal Jesse Schertz who was hit by a suicide bomber on December 22nd of 2004,Corporal Schertz was one of Annie’s first pen pals They became close and Corporal Schertz asked Annie to visit him at BAMC ,Brooks Army Medical Center and Annie went. Their journey began as pen pals and grew to dear friends, sharing tears, fears, tragedies and triumphs. This was the faith and friendship of two strangers brought togetherby war and has proudly grown into the American Soldier Network.
The American Soldier Network, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, based in Orange County California with a national outreach is truly one of a kind. They don’t have any paid staff and are entirely run by volunteers. Their main focus is changing the way our heroes are portrayed via the television medium. “We are sick and tired of seeing the media only covering stories of our heroes deploying, shooting guns and coming homes messed up.” Annie added that “ Our amazing men and women deserve more and do so much.” She further stated that ”American Soldiers Network has come a long way and is doing a pretty good job for our visibly wounded heroes from the past ten years of war and when it comes to the invisible wounds of war and homeless veterans issues, we have got a long way to go.”
American Soldiers Network wants to create shows that honor, celebrate, thank and welcome home America’s heroes from all era`s by igniting patriotism across the nation.. America is blessed with amazing Veterans who give back after their years in the military. True American heroes are real role models for the youth of today. The Junior Patriots of American Soldiers Network understand the significance of a Medal of Honor.
This organization goes into schools with their patriotic pups Eddy & Hazel, Annie Nelson’s four year old Rhodesian Ridgebacks. They discuss the price of freedom, the animals that serve and simply share their message of giving back to our heroes. At the conclusion of their visits, they kick off card campaigns encouraging the children to make handmade cards for heroes that are later delivered to combat wounded. This is usually done during the holidays of Christmas, Valentines, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day etc.
American Soldier Network also does an annual Holiday Drive joining forces with donors and corporate sponsors preparing Christmas bags for combat wounded at the Naval Hospital of San Diego and the Wounded Warrior Battalion West Camp Pendleton. They do outreach projects throughout the year for homeless veterans, Vietnam Veterans, Veteran’s hospitals, etc. They do all things that support Veterans. They truly believe in order to be a “Voice for our Heroes” they need to keep a pulse on the current needs they face. Annie Nelson is public speaker and columnist. She has become the civilian embedded all things Veteran!
American Soldiers Network is a non-profit that is collaborative. It’s about making a real difference and working with others in the process. Annie and American Soldier Network believes that all Americans should be giving back to our Veterans in some way. When people see their shows, or Annie in the community, hopefully it will remind them to get off their couch and get involved in whatever tugs at their heart strings whether it is helping wounded warriors, Vietnam veterans, children of the fallen, homeless veterans, or those suffering from the invisible wounds of war. There are so many ways to give back. It is just that simple. Annie and the American Soldiers Network will never forget those who serve our nation