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Help Heal Veterans Holds #VigilForValor to Honor the Fallen Ahead of Memorial Day

The Nonprofit Organization to Host Community Craft Events and Virtual Campaign to Honor Veterans and Active Duty Lost to War and Suicide

We hope to give people the opportunity to connect with their community, while shining a light on the remarkable lives of their loved ones ahead of this solemn day.”
— Joe McClain, retired Navy Captain and Help Heal Veterans CEO

WINCHESTER, CALIF., U.S.A., May 9, 2022 / -- In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day, Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets) will conduct #VigilForValor, a series of local community craft events and a virtual campaign to honor service members who have fallen in battle or to suicide due to the invisible wounds of war.

The community craft events will be held in San Antonio and Temple, Texas; Maywood, Illinois; and Fresno, California, and will gather veterans, active duty military, and the surrounding community to remember their loved ones by crafting candleholders in their honor. In addition, Heal Vets is encouraging the public to participate by sharing both personal stories and stories from their community on social media using #VigilForValor. Help Heal Veterans will highlight stories of fallen service members on social media and on the organization’s website. #VigilForValor kicks off May 9 and concludes on May 30, Memorial Day.

“Over the last couple of years, as we’ve hosted #VigilForValor, it’s been both heart-rending and inspirational to hear the stories of those lost to war. And this year, we wanted to give veterans, active duty military, families and friends of the fallen, and their communities an opportunity to gather and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the days leading up to Memorial Day,” said Joe McClain, retired Navy Captain and Help Heal Veterans CEO. “We hope to give people the opportunity to connect with their community, while shining a light on the remarkable lives of their loved ones ahead of this solemn day. Our goal is to make Memorial Day more personal; the way it is for many veterans.”

Individuals attending #VigilForValor community craft events will create a customizable candleholder for the person they wish to honor with a photograph, drawing, patch or other personal item. Those who do not have someone in particular they wish to remember are encouraged to reach out in their community, school or church, or search local news to find someone to honor and learn their story.

#VigilForValor virtual campaign is available to anyone, whether they attend a community craft event or not. Anyone wishing to honor a fallen service member can participate by lighting a candle, either the one they made at a community event or any available candle. They can then share a photo of the individual they are remembering, along with their story and the candle they crafted, on social media using #VigilForValor and tagging @HHVets on Twitter and @healvets on Instagram.

Those who do not have social media are encouraged to send a photo of the individual they are remembering and their story to Heal Vets will then share the stories on its website and social media platforms.

“We’ve lost more than 100,000 military men and women to war since 1950, and in the last 10 years, we’ve lost more than 65,000 veterans to suicide. #VigilForValor is a small way that we honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice,” said McClain.


About Help Heal Veterans
For 50 years, Help Heal Veterans has made a real difference in the lives of America's veterans by helping them heal from the visible and invisible wounds of war through therapeutic crafts. Founded during the Vietnam War, Heal Vets supplies craft therapy kits free-of-charge to active duty military and veterans and is the nation’s leader in using craft therapy. The therapy kits often become an integral part of the patient's treatment plan for those recovering from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression or other wounds of war. Heal Vets has distributed more than 31 million kits from hundreds of craft categories. Heal Vets is one of the top veterans' organizations in the U.S. and is respected for using contributions wisely and effectively.

Jennifer Baskerville
Help Heal Veterans
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