Military combat veterans, American heroes who bore witness to the horrors of war, often have lost all faith and hope seeing no other way out of their pain than through suicide!
Thus the tragic statistic that 20 military veterans take their lives, each and every day!
As many who read this blog know I serve as volunteer Board Chair for the Heroes To Heroes Foundation, a non-denominational combat veterans 501(c)(3).
Through a program based in spirituality, HTH successfully helps vets who have either attempted suicide or where it’s feared an attempt may be imminent.
The Department of Veterans Affairs statistic mentioned above, that 20 vets a day take their own life, is tragic and horrifying. Worse, veterans suffering with PTSD, moral injury and depression are often an underserved constituency as their wounds are invisible to the naked eye!
Heroes To Heroes accomplishes its incredible results (no HTH program participant has taken their life) through 10-day journey’s to Israel, the birthplace of many of the worlds major religions.
There, these American heroes find the strength to begin reconnecting with the faith they lost due to the horrors of war they have witnessed.
Approximately 85 cents of every dollar raised goes towards fulfilling our mission and, in addition, in 2018 we are expanding those we serve to include the nation’s police who have a similar issue with suicide! This program is called Heroes To Heroes Blue.
If you are moved by the personal story below told by a Heroes To Heroes program graduate and now coach, or by Harrison’s story in the video at the link below and want to learn about becoming involved in some way with the organization, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Haltman).
A Personal Story From A Heroes To Heroes Foundation Journey Participant
I’m so grateful for the opportunity H2H provided for me to be a guest in Israel. I say guest because throughout the 10 days, the Israelis we met were always welcoming us to their home. It was beautiful, enriching and soul stirring. Before going to Israel, I was lost. I was cynical about everything and walked around negatively labeling everyone and everything. I worked hard, but because it was hard to focus, I never got ahead. My husband was quickly becoming disinterested in my conversations. He said I was too negative and a bully. After pushing most of my friends away, and alienating myself from family, I would look in the mirror or stand in the shower and just shake my head at how much I hated being alone but didn’t want to dump all the ugliness on the people I loved. It was in their best interest that I push them away. I didn’t want people to think they could get closer to me so I’d become rude or overall mean to them. I simply didn’t want them to see the real me. Never mind that the me I shared was far more ugly now that I’ve awakened! I’d contemplated suicide and was immediately enrolled into a wonderful program that helped me understand the things I witnessed in Yemen/East Africa were not my fault. Still, I was angry and alienating. Something had to give.
Going to Israel I was doubtful. I was anxious, but I was also hopeful. Standing in the Sea of Galilee and planting a tree was moving. I hadn’t prayed since before I deployed in 2005! I was praying in Israel! The people were lovely and fun. Israel is vibrant and Jerusalem is GREEN! Lots of trees and even some grass! I saw beautiful homes in wonderful communities where European, African and Arab Jews live peacefully. I found open minded, happy people! I began to shed the cynicism by day 3! I was baptized in the river of Jordan! I mean the real River of Jordan that we read about and spoke of often in bible study!
Floating in the Dead Sea with mud all over me was delightful but more so it was the cherry on top of a full week with beautiful women Americans and Israelis! We shared, cried, laughed, hugged and kissed one another throughout. We are now dear friends!
When I got home, I was laughing and singing so much that my husband sat me down and asked me what was in my heart. I told him I saw God in all those people I met and wanted to experience more of that. I knew it had to begin with me if I wanted it to influence others in our family and friends. I’ve openly apologized to my family and one-on-one apologies were given as necessary. I have friends and family asking me about the changes. “Wow! You’re so different and it’s beautiful!” Today, after I returned from H2H coach training, I asked my husband to tell me what he saw in me since September. He said that “everything “ changed!
Thank you Judy, H2H and all the donors and volunteers! I love life!
Read Heroes To Heroes Founder Judy Schaffer’s story about why HTH came to be here.
Watch a short video about Heroes To Heroes here.
Watch the WPIX Channel 11/NY video of a soldiers story here.
See Harrison’s story in a WPIX11 New York video here.
And again, if you would like to learn about how you can become involved with this organization, please contact me at email@example.com.
Michael Haltman, President
Hallmark Abstract Service
Board Chair, Heroes To Heroes Foundation
Phone: Long Island – (516) 741-4723, Manhattan – (646) 741-6101