Our Successes

20141005_1D49653HwebIan Anderson and the Best of Jethro Tull Helping the Heroes. On October 5, 2015 progressive rock legend and founder of the band Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson donated his time and talents in a concert at The National Theater in Richmond, Virginia to honor active duty, military, first responders, and raise funds for programs to help them and their families. The show opened with a guest performance by the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Commanders under the direction of Colonel John Brodie. 

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The show opened with a guest performance by the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Commanders under the direction of Colonel John Brodie.  The VMI “Commanders” were first formed in 1917, and since then they have provided music for dances and social events at VMI and throughout Virginia.. Most recently the band has played in Paris, France [March 2006], at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence and at the Ecole Polytechnique.

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Review the full program and view images and videos from this amazing event HERE

Art ExhibitBri Web featuring works by our recovering Heroes. As part of its program to help veterans heal from the invisible wounds of war by expressing themselves through the arts, and in cooperation with renown artist Jos Biviano), Army Veteran Brian Rock had the unique opportunity to formally show his art at the historic National Theater in Richmond, Virginia.

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Brian served in the US Army from 2001-2013 taking part in Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Joint Guardian. He left the Army after achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant (E6) and has been painting ever since as therapy to deal with his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Brian uses mixed media in his Abstract Expressionist work that incorporates his memories of growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland with his military experiences in order to “bring the images from the inside into the present”. As a result of his participation in this program, Brian is currently being mentored to turn his art into a sustainable livelihood. 

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Review the full program information and view samples of the art HERE.

IMG_1892Dinner in the Dark for blind veterans. Dining in the Dark is a unique sensory awareness experience that gives guests a first-hand glimpse into the lives of those who are completely blind. This is a one-of-a kind experience and a culinary encounter of heightened senses.

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During the dinner guests are challenged to navigate a meal without sight in an experience that many of the almost 198,000+ vision impaired wounded veterans and active duty endure daily. Food and wine for the meal is specially selected for its flavor and aroma to enhance the unique sensory awareness experience. Servers trained especially for the dinner deliver the food and help guests navigate the meal in their personal pitch blackness. They also serve as sighted guides as they would for any blind person should guest need to move or require other assistance during the meal. This begins with guiding guests to their seats and continues throughout the meal to include any requirement for guests to leave for the restrooms or other reasons during the dinner.  Vision impaired speakers and guests participating in the event share their own stories and experiences of living with low to no vision.

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Review the full program, images from our latest event, videos and learn how you can Dine in the Dark HERE

Global Campaign against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). IEDs are the number one cause of injuries and fatalities to military members and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Over 84% of all injuries to servicemembers in Afghanistan and Iraq resulted from IEDs while these devices are the cause of the top four injuries including: hearing loss, vision loss, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. With over 500 IED incidents monthly around the world excluding Iraq and Afghanistan, the IED has become a very effective weapon for those who advance their cause through terror and violence. If you exclude Iraq and Afghanistan, there are on average, three IED incidents each day in the remainder of the world. Where explosive weapons were used in populated areas 91% of the casualties were reported to be civilians- most of the explosive devices were IEDs. We are working to reduce the use of IEDs and provide needed aid to IED victims, especially veterans.

IEDs are not just a threat to our veterans, they are a growing danger connecting to school violence and effecting our children and first responders.

For More information on our work against IEDs and related school violence, visit our Global Campaign against IEDs project page HERE

Community Based Veterans and Public Safety Sector Projects. In 2012 our community programs began expanding to partner with with local fire, police, Emergency Medical Services, and Veterans groups to support their local charity programs as well as raise awareness. The supported events help engage the community on the issues of IEDs, school violence, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Vision loss and other injuries that not only effect active duty and veterans but members of the public safety sector. Some 72 events were conducted in 16 States across the country. 

Learn about the full program HERE

Awareness Video: Wootton Bassett Town – Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull). Through the generosity of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and contributions of art from veterans recovering from TBI, PTSD, and other IED injuries through art therapy, a powerful and moving music video addresses the global threat from IEDs. The music is from Ian Anderson’s song Wootten Bassett Town. Wootton Bassett Town is the community in England where military personnel killed in the line of duty are repatriated.  The story of this town’s actions in honoring the fallen sets an example for us all.

Watch this powerful and informative video HERE.

U.S. House Letter on Veteran and Military Suicide. On March 4, 2013 fifty-three members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Hagel and Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs Shinseki calling for them to share blast-trauma related research and add important areas of inquiry to the National Mortality Study on veterans to investigate the linkages from blast-trauma, low level traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other IED effects on suicides. The letter is in response to the increasing number of active duty and veteran suicides despite numerous programs implemented by the military services and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to the most recent data, active duty personnel committed suicide at a rate of almost one every day in 2012. The statistics are higher for veterans with 18 to 22 veterans estimated to have committed suicide every day that same year.

Read the letter and learn about this important program by visiting our Global Campaign against IEDS site HERE.