MissionHeroes to Heroes Foundation, a non-denominational 501(c)(3) organization, provides a spiritual healing, suicide prevention, and peer support program for veterans who suffer from Moral Injury.
Who We ServeThe Heroes to Heroes Foundation serves all combat veterans, regardless of conflict. Veterans of Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq have all participated in our program. We welcome all who are having challenges with Moral Injury, or having challenges returning to civilian life after their time serving our country.
What We DoWe team up 15 veterans for each journey; 12 Americans and 3 Israelis. In addition, 2 Veteran Coaches accompany each team.
Our program is designed to help our participants develop social and emotional bonds with one another while exploring their spirituality and pushing themselves physically. Teams meet via Skype to get to know one another prior to the journey and stay together via Skype and social media upon their return to the United States.
In Israel, each person can connect to the healing process in many ways:
- Spiritually Visits to holy sites such as The Western Wall, Stations of the Cross, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the opportunity to be baptized in the River Jordan, offer soul-searching and inner peace regardless of belief.
- Emotionally Planting trees for friends and family who were lost and in honor of people still with us (an ancient Jewish tradition) and visiting sites including Masada, battlefields and memorials, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum), and the 9/11 Memorial in Jerusalem provide reflection and self-examination.
- Physically Cycling, swimming, sailing, kayaking, hiking, and keeping to an itinerary all push each participant physically and is an important part of the team-building experience.
- Socially Team meetings to conclude each day, visits to veterans’ organizations, and bonding with Israeli partners help to redevelop social skills that may be repressed due to PTS, trauma and depression.
What We ExpectHeroes to Heroes requires a one-year commitment to the team. Each team will meet via Skype a minimum of every six (6) weeks post-journey for one year. Each team member is expected to commit to his or her team to support one another and be there for one another to help with transitioning back to civilian life. This is an extremely emotional journey, and the processing post-journey is critical. Team members must work together.
The program is focused on healing and peer support. All participants are expected to refrain from alcohol and, of course, recreational drugs throughout the journey.
Heroes to Heroes participants are, in many ways, ambassadors for the United States, as well as their former branch of service and their families. Our teams are greeted by government officials and are welcomed by Israelis in general. Our participants leave a lasting impression on people they meet, so we ask that all participants honor Heroes to Heroes and the U.S. reputation as we travel.
The Heroes to Heroes Foundation provides health insurance for the time in Israel. We also require participants to be registered and under the care of their local Veterans Administration in order to take part.