Healing the Heroes (HtH) is a small but growing 501C3 by started by Oklahoma outdoorsmen who wanted to give something back to veterans who have sacrificed for our country. The organization takes wounded and disabled veterans hunting and fishing to provide an opportunity for healing in the camaraderie of interaction with other vets and the outdoors. Their events include spouses and families whenever possible.
In September, NVF President & Founder Shad Meshad was invited to be the keynote speaker to 71 decorated combat vets from OEF and OIF, all 100% disabled from their service. Shad spoke to the heart of the message that Gianni Giannandrea, who served as an officer in 1st Ranger Battalion in Iraq and Afghanistan and is also HtH’s Chairman, wants to resonate with the veterans who are guests: Pull yourself up, make something of your life, this is not the end. HtH wants to help those who sacrificed, those who gave selflessly, to resume their lives as proud, productive and happy citizens of the great nation they once served.
HtH and the NVF were brought together by HtH volunteer Carey Perry. Perry met Shad in the 80’s through Shad’s Vietnam buddy and lifelong friend, Bob Franco. Because of them Carey, now a Gulf War veteran, decided to join the Navy, where he served as a rescue swimmer aboard the USS Haleakala.
Meshad said it was a very profound experience to stand before so many 100% disabled combat vets.
“They are the embodiment of strength, courage and spirit,” he said.
Healing The Heroes is a grass roots, total volunteer, non-profit organization that believes in the power of therapeutical healing of our wounded veterans through the Great American Outdoors.