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HERO'S BRIDGE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

HELP OUR HEROES

Your donation will help Hero's Bridge continue its assistance to aging veterans in our region.
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F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M

A Note From Molly

OCTOBER UPDATE

Every day is Veterans Day at Hero's Bridge, however we are always grateful at this time of year when the nation takes time to recognize and honor all Veterans who have so honorably served. We will be spending special one-on-one time with many of our veterans that week and delivering care packages created by volunteers. We will also be attending the Hospital Hill Veterans Ceremony where you can view the latest Guardians of Freedom portraits. (weather permitting) 

In 2019, a young man from the United Kingdom was asked to put something together to be read at a small event for veterans. What he wrote in just 40 minutes went viral on social media as people everywhere were touched by his insightful words. I was moved by a vision of so many older veterans walking, singing, laughing side by side to a happier place. This is exactly what we strive for at Hero's Bridge every day. I am happy to share Joshua's poem with you.  

One Thousand Men Are Walking
One thousand men are walking
Walking side by side
Singing songs from home
The spirit as their guide
they walk toward the light milord
they walk towards the sun
they smoke and laugh and smile together
no foes to outrun
these men live on forever
in the hearts of those they saved
a nation truly grateful
for the path of peace they paved
they march as friends and comrades
but they do not march for war
step closer to salvation
a tranquil steady corps
the meadows lit with golden beams
a beacon for the brave
the emerald grass untrampled
a reward for what they gave
they dream of those they left behind
and know they dream of them
forever in those poppy fields
there walks one thousand men


Joshua Dyer - 2019 (aged 14)

Battle Buddy Program Highlights

Hero's Bridge Staff and Volunteers Help Veterans in Both Big and Small Ways
Over the past month, Hero's Bridge volunteers have:
  • Transported veterans to the grocery store and post office.
  • Transported veteran to doctor appointment.
  • Organized an outing and meeting for two veterans to spend the day together.
  • Set up veteran with TeleHero program to enable him to video chat with out-of-state friends and family.
  • Visited veterans and made calls to combat loneliness.
  • Assisted a veteran's family with contacting and filing with the VA

Home Front Program Highlights

Eagle Scout Takes on Veteran Home Repairs
Eagle Scout, Connor, poses with Vietnam Veteran Ray Dodson on his new front steps. 
The Story Behind the Brick
The recent passing of Mark Huffman's father serves as a reminder to him that moments are fleeting and once they are gone, you can't get them back. "I know that he served in the National Guard and was never called into action, but I don't know much beyond that," he says of his father's military experience.

Duane Huffman was born on June 1, 1936 in Culpeper, VA and joined the National Guard after high school. "My father was one of seven children. His mother died when he was just six months old. His father sent him to live on another farm with a couple who he worked for. When he was 13, his older sister found him and took him in to live with. He had a difficult childhood and shared stories about how he was raised, but never complained about it. He was just grateful for what he did have," says Mark.

Duane died on July 6, 2021 at the age of 85. For 33 years he worked as the Commissary Foreman for Vint Hill Farms Station and was responsible for keeping groceries stocked for the United States Army and National Security Agency facility. He earned an early retirement and in his mid-fifties he began a second career as a farmer.

His son Mark has chosen to commemorate his father's service in the National Guard, and has included his mother Jackie who worked for the Fairfax County Police Chief, as a tribute to the stories left untold with a brick that will be placed at the Veterans Village in an outdoor meeting place where others' stories may be shared.   

 
HONOR A VETERAN IN YOUR LIFE

Volunteer Spotlight 

Kim Beahm Finds a Purpose for Obsidian With Hero's Bridge
Kim Beahm and her husband and children have been breeding dogs in Fauquier County for over five years. "One time a woman came to meet a litter of puppies to see if any would make good therapy dogs. This prompted me to learn more about therapy dogs and see if it might be something we should pursue," said Kim who always wanted to give back to the community in some manner.

In 2017, Kim and her husband kept one dog that they named Obsidian or Sid for short (on far right in photo). "We don't often keep dogs because as a responsible breeder its hard enough to just break even, but there was something special about this dog.

Sid was just 11 weeks old when they met with Master Trainer Bryant who asked Kim to put Sid in "dog stay", walk away, and then call her over, never thinking that Sid would obey. Sid obeyed the commands.

With her focus now firmly on therapy dogs, Kim registered Sid for a dog-show to see how she managed the loud noises at the show. Kim had little expectation that Sid would win any awards, but in the end she left with three first place ribbons and a dog unfazed by a hectic and loud environment. Kim knew she had a special dog.

Over the next few years, Kim and Sid began working with Paws for Reading at schools and visiting nursing homes. When COVID hit, they offered relief to teachers and parents with children with special needs. For facilities they couldn't get back into, Kim sent cards with Sid's paw print stamped on them as a reminder that Sid hadn't forgotten them. 


Kim was introduced to Hero's Bridge through a dog therapy group called Waggin' Paws in Rappahannock County. The mission of the organization resonated with her and her close relationship with two aging veterans.

Since joining as a volunteer with Hero's Bridge, Kim and Sid have helped veterans with end of life comfort and through the passing of a spouse. They also make regular visits to veterans and residents at nursing homes. "Sid just seems to connect with people's emotions" said Kim.

Today Sid holds 11 AKC titles, but more importantly, she has brought great care and comfort to children and the elderly throughout the region. Hero's Bridge is grateful that Kim has elected to share her special dog and her heart with our aging veterans. 
Hero's Bridge Goes National
During the Memorial Day observance, Hero's Bridge was fortunate to have received national coverage in The Epoch Times. Reader response to this article that shared information about Hero's Bridge formation and services being provided to hundreds of veterans since 2016 was overwhelming. "We received emails from readers all over the United States and even overseas," says Brooks. "We couldn't ignore the people who were reaching out to us, both with needs and wanting to help," she continued.

In response to reader interest and needs, Brooks decided to expand the reach of Hero's Bridge programs. "While we will always remain hyper-focused on our local region, we realized during Covid that many of our services can be offered remotely and with little expense," said Brooks. Hero's Bridge now maintains a national list of volunteers that can be activated if a need arises in their area.

"When someone reaches out from another state, we can check the national list and see if we have a volunteer there who can help. We also are developing a Friendly Caller program. It was clear that many older veterans who called us didn't need anything but a friend." said Brooks. 

Hero's Bridge hopes to expand its list of national volunteers to bring its services to an even greater number of aging veterans. To have your name added to the list, email Shanna McCain at office@herosbridge.org.

Organization Highlights

Running for Heroes Follows Washington's Men
SUPPORT RUNNING FOR HEROES
Heads up to our friends and followers up in PA! Ricky and Bobby will be running the Bucks County Marathon on Nov 14 starting in Washington Crossing, PA.

The race kindly asks for NO spectators, so we can't invite you out to give us a wave, but you could support us by making a donation to our cause. 
https://tinyurl.com/93nyaxkm.

Historical Note: General George Washington hatched a plan to cross the Delaware River at this location under the cover of darkness, march to Trenton and attack Hessian outposts. The operation was slow and difficult due to the ice-choked river. The men fought their way through sleet and a blinding snowstorm. Against all odds, Washington and his men successfully completed the crossing, marched into Trenton, and achieved a victory over the Hessians giving new life to the American Revolution.

Hero's Bridge Mission

Hero’s Bridge is dedicated to serving elderly veterans, age 65 and older. We bridge our veterans to a better quality of life through our age specific and innovative programs. These services are available to our heroes wherever they call home, at no expense to them or their families. 

Do you know a Veteran that needs help? Please call us at 540-341-5378 or click below to contact us.

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