I want to start out with saying that I was incredibly impressed with what you were able to accomplish in a very short time. The 1st annual Hero Reward event was an incredible success. Starting with the incredible support you received from the community, but with your ability to bring in a celebrity aspect and a local political figure, displayed great awareness on your part and added to the success of the event. I spoke with many of the service members and staff, each and every one of them enjoyed the entire day. Many of the family members mentioned that this was the first time that their warriors had been out at something that large or was the first time they were away from the homes or comfort zones. As I drove up to the event, I noticed the countryside and thought to myself that it was the exact environment that I looked for when planning WWP’s mental health program, Project Odyssey. When I took a tour of the lodging facility, I knew that in the future, I wanted to work with the Hero Reward Program to bring warriors and their families that are struggling with PTSD related issues to the facility. The lodge and all it has to offer is exactly what I look for in a place that would be a therapeutic environment for struggling warriors. I believe you have the idea location to offer warriors unique outdoor opportunities and also serve as a healing opportunity. I was very impressed with your ability to put on an event with 400 plus people in such a short time. I look forward to seeing what you arrange for the second annual event and seeing how WWP can support your efforts in the future.
EVP, Warrior Relations Wounded Warrior Project
My kids and I participated in your 1st Annual Warrior’s Reward Event on the 27th of Oct 2012. Since my return from Afghanistan, in the beginning of 2011, I have been reluctant to participate in community based activities. I originally signed up for the activities but was hesitant as the event became closer. This was a result of combat injuries/experiences that accumulated in my reluctance to be around crowds, noise etc. However, as the day arrived my son remained excited and my daughter wanted to go also at the last minute. We loaded up the truck and brought Max – my service dog. It turned out to be a very positive outing for us all. It is the 1st time since returning that we have all gone out and engaged in such family fun. My kids did not want to leave and truly had a blast being kids with their dad. So, thank you for the event, your board should know their efforts did not go to waste. Your sponsors also should be aware their kindness brightened a Warrior and his kid’s day. Thanks…
CPT John Sgroi LISW-S, BCD
1 INF DIV, 3 BCT Embedded Behavioral Health Team
Ft Knox, Kentucky
I can’t thank you enough for the fabulous event you put on for our Wounded Warriors and their families. The whole event was first class from the moment of arrival, just as it should have been for this special group of Heroes and their Families. I also wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to make the Heroes and their Families aware of scholarship opportunities available to their children. Unfortunately, few veterans are aware off this excellent benefit reserved for them and your program allowed me to share this. I feel honored to have played a small part in this. If there is more I can do, I hope you will call on me. In the meantime, I only hope we can make an even greater SECOND Annual Warrior Reward available to MORE Heroes next year or sooner!
Charles R. Eckart
Colonel USA (Ret)
9th District Congressional Coordinator, United States Military Academy
My name is Thad Holton and I am the owner of the Local Beef O Brady’s restaurant located in Corydon, IN. My partners and I are owners of 3 Beef O Brady’s in the Kentuckiana area and were one of the main sponsors of the 1st Annual Warriors Reward. I have a lot of things come across my desk and can not just open the check book up for all organizations. When Brad Emerine came to me and explained the Hero Reward program to me I did not hesitate in becoming a sponsor. To be able to be a part of something that is giving back to our troops and Wounded Warriors in our area is just awesome to me. I believe that I would not be able to be doing what I am now if it was not for our military and the Heroes who have made this country safe and free. Just the fact of giving back to these Heroes, was a great honor to be a part of. I attended the 1st Annual Warrior Reward and was amazed by how many people were there and how everyone was having such a great time. What I have been impressed by the most by looking at it from a business stand point is that everyone involved is there for the Heroes, Wounded Warriors and their families. It’s not about any individual or the Board of Directors. It’s about our real life American Heroes. Everyone involved is in it for the right reason and that is to give back to our Heroes. I am impressed with the Hero Reward program and can’t wait to see everyone else team up with them. Hero Reward is huge for the Kentuckiana area and I look forward to being apart of the Hero Reward program for a very long time.
Owner (Beef O Brady’s)
My husband Clay and I attended the 1st Annual Warriors Reward event this past Saturday. We would like to express our sincere thanks for a wonderful day! You all just went above and beyond for all of us. Clay has been fighting PTSD for several years, going to treatment, etc. All along, there has never been anything for ME to get involved in. Honestly, that was the reason I was so anxious to go…..to meet other spouses/significant others who were going through the same journey as me. Believe it or not, just the fishing part alone was awesome. We love to fish, but it has been probably two years since we have even done that. That was so therapeutic!! You cannot even imagine how much. The food was wonderful, and the entertainment was fun, as well. So many people did so much to make this event happen. You all did a wonderful job. We did not stay to hear the band, unfortunately. We were tired, lol. Truthfully, the day had been so full of activities, maybe the expense of a band wasn’t even really needed. I, for one, was content with just the opportunity to socialize with others. Again, please convey our sincere thanks to all involved with making this event such a huge success. We had a great time, and are looking forward to sharing future events with you all in the future, if we are to be so lucky to be invited! God bless you all for what you are doing for “US”!!
LPN, Gutermuth Elementary School
“A volunteer is unpaid not because he is worthless, but because he is priceless”.
We were invited to attend the First Annual Warrior Reward Event a mere two weeks before it occurred. It was short notice, a new event, a new venue, and an unfamiliar group. We had absolutely no idea what to expect or what our day would hold. From the directions, to the teens who greeted us, the quality of the event was fabulous! My equipment was whisked from the car and an adult parked it for me. Before I could even take pictures, discussion ensued regarding the optimum placement for the comfort of the visitors and us and our tent, table and chairs were neatly set up. I was oriented to the event schedule, the facilities, and introduced to the key organizers of the event. The attention to detail, comfort of guests and volunteers, and schedule was invaluable and impressive! We felt comfortable and prepared to volunteer! When our “Heroes” and families began arriving for the celebration, everything was in place! Food was cooking and smelled wonderful. Fishing was available. Bounce houses were available. Corn hole, face painting and balloon animals were up and running. We were amazed at the variety of activities in such a beautiful setting. Hero Reward staff checked in regularly to insure that we were comfortable and to see if there was anything we needed. When it came time to eat, the food was not only abundant, it was five star quality! We stayed two hours beyond our planned departure time. The guests appeared to have a wonderful time at this wonderful, well planned event! The people are outstanding and we hope to continue to support them in future endeavors!
Lesley & Bella Newfie
As the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County, I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of services Hero Reward is able to offer U.S. Service men and women, police officers, and firefighters that have suffered traumatizing mental and physical events. The grounds, facilities and various outdoor sportsmen programs offered are one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that truly recognize and honor the sacrifices of those served that far exceeded the call of duty.
Hero Reward Director, Rodney Bruce, has engaged the entire community in providing services to these men, women and their families who so deserve a holistic healing retreat. Hero Reward provides a great sense of community pride not only in their organization but for those who so selflessly serve our communities, states and our Nation.
MSM, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County
Thank you again for the support that your Organization has shown the WTB here at Fort Knox. Your help with the Myers family for Christmas time was above and beyond and words can’t say enough for what you have done. The Myers Family definitely needed to have the family connection back with being deployed and injured and your organization provided that and then some to the family during Christmas by inviting them up to the cabin and providing Christmas for the family as well as Family Events (horseback riding, fishing).
We are looking forward to sending more soldiers and families to your organization. Thank you again for your outstanding contributions and dedicated support that significantly improved the quality of service to the Warriors of Warrior Transition Battalion-Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Warrior Transition Battalion
Ft Knox, Kentucky
My husband came home from Afghanistan after a year deployment with an injury. Between doctors appointments and the Army we needed some family time. We heard about the Hero Reward Program and were offered a Christmas getaway which sounded like the perfect opportunity. Rodney and Karen were amazing, caring hosts to us for 4 wonderful much needed days. The trip gave us alone time to get reacquainted again and gave my husband time to get to know his daughters again. They had something to do for everyone and focused on everyone in the family. I took my very 1st hunting trip, which my husband has been trying to get me to do for 6 years. I had never shot a rifle before and yet was still successful with the help of our guide. They took my girls horseback riding, which they loved. They loved having their time and the focus on them for the day. My husband and I got date night, which was amazing to have alone time together, the first date in a year. All in all this trip was amazing and well worth it. We couldn’t have asked for better hosts or a more relaxing place. Truly a trip we will never forget.
Ryan, Stephanie, Madelyn, Hunter Myers
I would like to thank the Hero Reward Program for providing me and my grandpa with one of the best vacation and hunting experience I’ve had the privilege of being a part of. It is a great feeling to know that there are people like Mr. Bruce who provide these opportunities to our disabled veterans. This was a great opportunity for me to not only relax and forget the everyday struggles, but to also enjoy some quality time with my grandpa who has helped me tremendously throughout the years of rehabilitation. The Hero Reward Program is a great way to give back to those who have served our country.