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General Active Heroes Questions
- Is Active Heroes affiliated with the VA?
While the VA has wonderful resources, Active Heroes is not affiliated with them, we are a separate organization. We also appreciate the local VA allowing us to leave materials with them for veterans to learn about our organization and how to utilize our services.
- How did Active Heroes get started?
Active Heroes was formed by our president, Troy Yocum. Troy came up with a plan to raise awareness and funds to help military families by hiking across America, after coping with loss by suicide of his battle buddies, as well as his grandfather. He began the 17-month journey, dubbed the “Hike for Heroes”, on April 17, 2010 and finished more than 7,800 miles across 37 states on September 3rd, 2011. Troy became the first veteran to ever walk the length of 3 times across America and was awarded the Citizen Honors Medal by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. The hike garnered national attention for veteran suicide awareness, raised $1.3 million for military families, and helped to create Active Heroes to continue a mission to end veteran suicide.
- How do you verify my service record?
Upon use of our services or facilities, for the first time, we ask you bring with you some form of government issued ID that proves you are a veteran or a current service member. This could be your military ID, your VA card, a driver’s license with veteran status, or a copy of your DD214. For your family members, we ask that they have proof of their relationship to you, via military ID, driver’s license with the same last name and address, birth certificate, or marriage license. It is necessary for the veteran’s status to be verified if the family member is not providing proof of relationship through a military ID.
- Do you have veterans on staff?
Our president, and founder, Troy Yocum is a veteran that understands the impact of suicide due to personal experiences with family and friends. Because of that, Troy has made vast efforts to ensure the Active Heroes staff has the same passion for serving veterans and military families, whether they are a veteran, military family member, or a civilian that shares an appreciation of those that serve our country.
- Is Active Heroes similar to/affiliated with Wounded Warrior?
Active Heroes is not affiliated with the Wounded Warrior in any way. We are similar in the fact that we want to improve the lives of those that have served our country, but we have different missions. Active Heroes’ mission is to support all U.S. military service members, veterans and their families through physical, educational, and emotional programs in an effort to eliminate suicide.
- Do you partner with other non-profit organizations?
In general, Active Heroes operates separately from most non-profit organizations. We are open to the possibility of partnering with organizations and groups that compliment our mission statement. However, any partnerships are determined by the executive staff and Board of Directors, after diligent research, and decisions are only made in the best interest of those we serve.
- Does Active Heroes have a counselor on staff/ provide mental health services?
Active Heroes is not a licensed medical mental health provider with licensed mental health professionals on staff. While our focus is on suicide prevention, we do that through programs that encourage controlled integration, camaraderie among peers, suicide prevention training in addition to stress and trigger point reducing services.
If you are in need of a mental health facility, we recommend searching for the nearest “Patriot Support Program.” Learn more at: http://patriotsupportprogram.com/locations/
In addition, you may also find veteranscrisisline.net to be a beneficial source when searching for support facilities. Go to veteranscrisisline.net. Click “I am a Veteran” > Resource Locator > Enter Zip Code.
Veteran Suicide Questions
- Are 22 veterans still committing suicide every day?
The latest statistic released by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs concluded that an average of 20 veterans commit suicide daily. The previous statistic claimed an average of 22 veterans committed suicide daily. We understand that this statistic is most likely higher, but we strive to significantly decrease this issue that has plagued our community. We do know that many veterans’ lives have been saved due to our efforts and we will never give up our fight.
What Services or Programs Does Active Heroes Provide?
- What does AH do? OR What services do you provide?
At Active Heroes, our goal is to eliminate veteran suicide. We believe that can be done in a variety of ways. We have a retreat center, located in Shepherdsville, KY, that provides many therapeutic and relaxation opportunities to veterans, current service members, and their families. At our community center, we have programs such as acupuncture, massage therapy and reiki, yoga, music lessons, and family events. Everything we offer is completely free to use, providing stress-free opportunities at no cost to the veteran, current service member or their family. Our Active Challenges held throughout the nation and overseas helps to provide camaraderie and focuses on preventing suicide among our veterans and current service members.
- Can Active Heroes help me file for VA benefits?
Unfortunately, we do not have any affiliation with the VA, nor do we have the ability to assist in filing with them. We recommend contacting your local DAV chapter, as they are better equipped and familiar with the process. Find the nearest DAV chapter: https://www.dav.org/membership/local-chapters/
- Do you provide legal services?
While we do not provide legal services out of our offices, we do have resources available that we would be happy to share with you. The Legal Aid Society is an organization of lawyers that provide free services for those in poverty. They often provide free legal advice for veterans as well. We recommend searching for the nearest “Legal Aid Society” in your state.
- Do you provide Financial Assistance
Active Heroes does not provide financial assistance. Instead we focus on healing activities, our retreat center and community centers. If you are in need of financial assistance, please research financial assistance or emergency financial aid charities online in your local area.
- Do you provide Home repairs
Active Heroes only provides a few home repairs each year through a TV contest with Raycom Media stations. Military Families must check with their local Raycom Media station to see if they are hosting the contest and apply only with them. Active Heroes doesn’t have the financial capabilities to donate home repairs outside of these contests since the TV stations are handling the donations.
- What events/teams are in my area?
Active Heroes only has physical locations in the Louisville, KY area though our presence is nationwide through various events and teams. One of our most well-known national Active Challenge event called Carry the Fallen, has roughly 100 teams across the United States. We also have additional Active Challenge events, that are exercise-based which allows you to participate independently in your home or gym. Your gym can also register with us so all members have the opportunity to partake in the event(s). Would you like for me to provide you with additional information regarding these opportunities?
You can also utilize our National Resource Map and Events Calendar via activeheroes.org for an up-to-date list of all current events and resources in your area.
Now you can schedule a speaker from Active Heroes for your next event by simply filling out the form below. Speaking engagements in Kentucky require at least a $1000 donation to Active Heroes or $2500 donation for all other states including travel accommodations. Once you fill out the form below you will be contacted by a speaker to set up details and availability.
Speaker for Active Heroes:
- Citizen Honors Medal Recipient, Troy Yocum