Heroes to Heroes Foundation provides spiritual healing and peer support for American Combat Veterans who have attempted suicide or are on a path to self-destruction due to moral injury.
Harrison had just returned from driving his children to school and a visit to the VA. He had been given medication, but he was frustrated and ready to give up. He took most of his prescribed drugs with a long drink of whiskey and held a weapon to his head. He challenged God: “If you want me to live, give me a sign.” The phone rang, startling Harrison. It was Nick and Corey, two Veterans and Heroes to Heroes coaches. They told him that he had been selected to take part in a healing journey to Israel. He looked at the gun in his hand, shocked it was there. He put it down and went to find his passport.
Harrison has now coached eight Heroes to Heroes teams. He is an advocate for his fellow Veterans and is a valuable member of the Heroes to Heroes organization.
17 Veterans die by suicide every day in the United States.
Traditional programs are not working. The only consistent factor in combating suicide is faith. Those connected to their faith are four times less likely to die by suicide than those who have no connection. The Heroes to Heroes program was inspired by this fact.
The Heroes to Heroes Journey: A Year of Self-Renewal
The Heroes to Heroes program begins with a 10-day journey to Israel. Teams of 12 to 14 Veterans are led by two coaches (alumni of the program) and are joined by three Israeli counterparts.
Israel offers our Veterans a place where they can unashamedly experience their faith. By having the opportunity to visit sites such as Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the Via Dolorosa and Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the Galilee, our Veterans can physically experience their faith as part of a group that is nonjudgmental and has open hearts. Having the opportunity to be baptized in the River Jordan helps them start over, beginning a new life.
There is no other place in the world where our Veterans can experience this!
During their journey, our Veterans experience the following:
• Reconnection to their faith
• Peer-to-peer camaraderie
• Peacefulness and emotional relief
• The ability to finally come home
The Return Home
Upon their return home, teammates stay connected for a minimum of one-year. Activities include daily check-ins through technology, Zoom team meetings and 'family' sessions, and special programs featuring a speaker to reinforce lessons learned in Israel. Participants also take part in college campus visits to introduce the next generation to the challenges our veterans face and how the journey to Israel impacted their lives. Enduring contact with team members and their Israeli ‘brothers’ is encouraged during the year and beyond. Most of our alumni remain active for many years post-journey.
To date, over 200 veterans have taken the Heroes to Heroes journey.
How can you help?
2. Hold a parlor meeting (a Heroes to Heroes alumnus will speak)
3. Run a fundraising event
4. Join a local committee to support a team
5. Represent Heroes to Heroes at your Church or Synagogue
6. Take part in a Heroes to Heroes event (Golf Outings, Gala, Team Send-Offs)
7. Make Heroes to Heroes your birthday or bar/bat mitzvah project
8. Save a life: Recommend a Veteran to take part in our program