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VIDEO (2019 Heroes at Home & VSAP): Community Action Documentary by Sanai Abell

The Veteran Support Network (VSN) was established in 2013 to provide a network of support for Veterans, service members, and their families / caregivers. To celebrate our hometown heroes and to remember the service & sacrifices of our military brothers & sisters, the VSN hosts an annual “Heroes @ Home” on ARMED FORCES DAY (3rd Saturday in May) which includes free food, live music, a resource fair, and a silent auction in partnership with the

Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP) run, walk and/or RUCK!

2024 Photo Album

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HEROES @ HOME & VSAP: Video


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HEROES @ HOME & VSAP: Flyer & Donation request letter

Experience the VSN at the Heroes @ Home & VSAP


MAY 18, 2024 ~ 11th Annual Heroes @ Home BBQ and 8th Annual Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP)

Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, 2975 General Foster Ave. (BLDG T-316), Fort Missoula

2024 FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/396630959488025

  • 0900 VSP / VOB / VFE SET UP ~ See "TABLING" below (Montana Honor Guard raising American Flag early)

  • 0900 VSAP Check In ~ If you were unable to pick up your race bag Friday at the Vet Center, it will be at the event (between the race start & military museum).

  • 1000 OPENING CEREMONY ~ Colors presented by the American Legion Color Guard, welcome & announcements by VSN Leadership; Prayer by Rob Ellis; National Anthem by Trisa; Reading of Names by VSN Leadership (Our brothers & sisters who lost the battle to suicide); 3 Round Volley by VFW Honor Guard 

  • 1030 Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP) Run / Walk / RUCK - Registration, DONATE, MAP: https://runsignup.com/vsap

  • 1100 FREE FOOD while supplies last ~ THANK YOU, HOLIDAY INN DOWNTOWN (DONATED dogs, buns, and all the fixins), PEPSI CO OF MISSOULA (donated pop & water) AND Nestle (donated cakes, Nesquik & water). There are limited picnic tables at the event, so don’t forget your chairs or blankets!

  • 1100 - 1500ish

    • LIVE MUSIC: Mike Johnston and Jaden Decker

    • 1200: Monte appearance
    • Activities for the KIDDOS: Face painting, corn hole, cotton candy machine, bubble art, and more!

    • Resource Fair & Silent Auction (SEE DONATIONS below) ~ Veteran Service Providers (VSP), Veteran Friendly Employers (VFE) & Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB) will be set up around the perimeter and you're welcome into the OPEN HOUSE at Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History (indoor restroom closed - porta potties available outside).

  • 1400-1500 VSAP Awards

5/15 VSAP PREP PIZZA Party ~ We did NOT have a speaker at the VSN's Monthly Veteran Service Provider (VSP) Meeting (VFW Post 209, 245 W. Main St., Missoula) filled VSAP RACE BAGS! If you're a service provider, and you’d like your brochures or swag added to the race bags, please order enough for 300 racers, and drop the items off at the Vet Center on Brooks (or the VFW)   

5/17 VSAP PICK UP (EARLY CHECK IN) ~ Friday, May 17th: Package pick-up will be at the Missoula Vet Center from 1000 to 1800. Please pick-up event package (T-Shirt, Swag) on this date to ensure smooth participant flow the morning of the VSAP Event.

TABLING - Veteran Service Providers (VSP), Veteran Friendly Employers (VFE), or Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB) are invited to table for FREE! (MUST bring own canopy, table, and chairs) RSVP to Shannon, snoble@mt.gov

Set up is at 9am ~ YOU ARE welcome to PULL UP TO THE MUSEUM TO UNLOAD; however, please park away from the museum afterwards because we need room for the Mobile Vet Center & disabled parking. PLEASE DO NOT set up in the lawn of the military museum (this area is reserved for the bands, attendees/picnic tables, silent auction, and the entire lawn by the tank is reserved for the kid’s activities). Set up around the perimeter (by the trees at RMMMH) or in the grass in front of the CCC Warehouse, Building T-312 (the long building right next to RMMMH).

UPDATED 5/21/24:

  • 988 Suicide Prevention ~ Western Montana Mental Health Ctr

  • American Financial Network, Inc.

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) & Missoula Out of the Darkness Walk 

  • American Legion

  • American Red Cross of Montana

  • Art and Movement Summer Camp ~ Crafts for kiddos & Camp Discount for American Legion Members!

  • Be SMART

  • Bitterroot Valley Military Program

  • Canine Companions

  • East Missoula Rural Fire Department ~ Fire Engine!

  • Farmer Veteran Coalition of Montana

  • Greater Good Health

  • House District 97 ~ Republican Candidate (Veteran)

  • HydroLogistics Montana ~ Wheelchair Accessible Willie Boat

  • The Learning Center at Red Willow ~ Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program

  • Marine Corps League

  • Medicare Advocates

  • Military OneSource

  • Missoula Housing Authority

  • Missoula Public Health & Project Tomorrow MT / United Way of Missoula County

  • Mobile Vet Center

  • Montana Army National Guard

  • Montana Army National Guard Resilience & Risk Reduction

  • Montana Department of Corrections

  • Montana Honor Guard ~ Flags & POW/MIA Table (Chuck is also the Pacific NW Ambassador for PGA HOPE)

  • Montana VA Health Care ~ Behavioral Health Recovery Program, Congressional Liaison, Eligibility & Enrollment, HUD VASH, M2VA, MHV, Patient Advocate (Veterans Experience Office), Peer Support, Public Affairs, Social Worker, Travel Benefits, and Whole Health.  

  • Montana Veteran Affairs Division (MVAD)

  • Montana Veterans Association (MVA) / United States of Hope (USOH) & Gideon Land and Center for Warriors

  • Montana Voc Rehab and Blind Services

  • NW Montana Veterans Food Pantry & Camp Ponderosa

  • Patriot Pin Up

  • Penta Verve ~ Veteran Owned Business

  • Poverello Center ~ Veteran Services Team

  • Ravalli County Veterans Service Center

  • Tamarack Grief Resource Center (TGRC)

  • U.S. Army Reserve Unit - 672nd Engineer Utilities Detachment

  • U.S. Senator Daines Office ~ Deputy Director of Constituent Services, Missoula Area Field Representative (No table / walked around)

  • U.S. Senator Jon Tester's Veterans Liaison (No table / walking around)

  • Veterans Inc.

  • Veterans Victory Alliance (VVA)

  • Volunteers of America Northern Rockies

  • Walmart Supercenter
  • Wounded Warrior Project ~ Montana Wounded Warriors
  • Xsports4Vets

DONATE, VOLUNTEER / QUESTIONS:

  • Event Site: Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History (MAIL to P.O. Box 7263, Missoula, MT 59807 https://lnkd.in/dedhkwq) If you enjoy our exhibits and programs as much as we enjoy bringing them to you, we would welcome you to the ranks of our sustaining members. Questions: Tate (406) 239-7738,  militarymuseu45@hotmail.com

  • Heroes at Home BBQ ~ Check donations - Make out to "VFW Post 209" and note "Heroes at Home" - Drop off or mail to 245 W Main St, Missoula, MT 59802. Questions: Tom - GM & Event Gatekeeper, currant1973@gmail.com

  • Logistics / Media Contact: Anton - Xsports4Vets (406) 396-8390 OR Mobile Vet Center, Anton.Johnson@va.gov

  • Silent Auction Donors ~ Please contact Rebecca for questions and/or to coordinate donation pick up (406) 549-4113, ext. 106, Cell (406) 241-3542,  rstancil@missoulahousing.org; SA Donors as of 5/9/24:

    • ALPS ~ Gift Basket (Fishing)

    • AM Scott, Author ~ Veteran's Book Series

    • Art and Movement Summer Camp ~ Gift Basket & Tuition

    • Aveda ~ Boom Swagger

    • Barb Vandercook ~ Quilt, runners and place mats

    • Becky Pederson ~ Gift Basket (Spirits)

    • Cindi Laukes ~ Gift Basket (Camping Gear)

    • Complete Dental Care (Kellogg) & The Mercado Family ~ Dental Basket

    • Creative & Celtic ~ Woodwork

    • Holl Doll Creations ~ Warmers

    • Imagination Station ~ Toy Basket

    • Jen Guerrero ~ Artwork

    • John Goosman ~ Wood & Steel Art (Hot Rod on Saw)

    • Kelly Palmer ~ Guided Fishing Trip

    • Kate, "My Boozy Nutz

    • Keely Zimmerman ~ Print (Vintage Aircraft)

    • Papa Murphy's

    • Penta Verve ~ Bracelet, Candle Box & Tumbler

    • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) ~ Large Welded Flag & Pull Saw (wall displays)

    • Rocky Mountain School of Photography (RMSP $150 GC)

    • Skin Chic

    • Stacked Stone Photography ~ Louis Matteau Print

    • Star Shower Designs ~ Earrings by Rella Lembke

    • Twigs ~ Megan Parker Haircut

    • UM Golf Course ~ 18 holes with cart for 2 people

    • Wear Your Roots ~ Apparel (Zootown SEO / My Montana Roots)

    • Wildfire Ceramics

  • VSAP VOLUNTEERS (Check in, water table, food service, road guards, medical, etc. - Must be between 10-100 yrs old): https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/MT/FtMissoula/VSAPVeteranSuicideawarenessandprevention

  • VSAP Donors / Medical Tents & Water Tables:

    • Hills (HUD VASH / Missoula Therapy, PLLC)

    • Life Chiropractic

    • Montana VA Health Care ~ 988 RACE BAGS

    • Out of the Darkness Walk (AFSP)

    • Project Tomorrow Montana

    • Target

  • VSAP - ONLINE donations (THANK YOU, MONTANA VA FOR PROVIDING THE 988 RACE BAGS): https://lnkd.in/dqa45EY; Questions: Erick - VSAP Coordinator, kahilaem@gmail.com

  • Xsports4Vets - ONLINE donations: http://xsports4vets.org; Questions: Anton (406) 396-8390

5/29/24 Certificate of Appreciation sent ~ THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU (We can’t say it enough 😊) to Xsports4Vets, Montana VA Health Care, Holiday Inn Catering, Nestle, Pepsi of Missoula, AND ALL OF OUR OTHER DONORS, musicians, ALL of the VSP/VFE/VOB, VSAP participants / BBQ attendees, and volunteers WHO HELPED MAKE OUR EVENT A SUCCESS! Events like these take a community effort, so it would not happen if there was not support from people like YOU!

Also, thank you to everyone that has shared their pictures – we’ve combined them into the 2024 Heroes at Home & VSAP album - Check ‘em out (IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ADD MORE, SO PLEASE SHARE YOURS): https://www.facebook.com/veteransupportnetwork/photos_albums

A couple of early comments (Thank you for the kind words):

❤ Our family had a wonderful time and it was all for a great cause! Thank you for putting this on and everyone’s times was certainly appreciated. Thank you!

❤ Another great one! The best veterans event in Missoula. Has a lil bit of everything for everyone!

5/13/24 UPDATE - Tom, "Steve Smith manages a program that allows folks in wheelchairs to access boats. He reached out and was wondering if he could bring one of those boats" (He'll be in the field between RMMMH & the VSAP start)

  • TATE / RMMMH - Water is scheduled for turn on; Tim from Heritage Center will mow lawn prior to Saturday; Rex will repair benches prior to Saturday.

  • Stan Cohen will head up RMMMH front desk Saturday from 9 on (phpc@montana.com); Restroom access is restricted / Barricade and signs up.

5/2/24 RMMMH Meeting - Tate will be out of town but will be available via cell; Erick will have key; Opening Ceremony details finalized (updated above); T-shirts & safes ordered; Poteet done (cones); Stage & VA 988 Race bags confirmed; Finalizing food w/Holiday Inn (if not, going w/JJ's?); 5/15 filling race bags 2pm; 5/16 Costco run; 5/17 Early check in at Vet Center.

4/29/24 UPDATE - Nancie, "There are 60 GOAT Guns on the way to Missoula!"

4/17/24 Meeting:

  • Anton & Erick confirmed Opening Ceremony details (prayer, 3 round volley, etc.) 

  • VTS will be transporting Veterans from the Valor House

  • Xsports4Vets are donating additional kids’ activities (bowling, hula hoops, etc.)

  • Simkins-Hallin Lumber’s banner is done (Erick’s sister is an annual donor)

  • Chuck will also be providing an iPod with all the "Bugle Calls" (to do with National Anthem), and he’s thinking about setting up a net and letting folks hit golf balls!

4/12/24 Meeting at RMMMH:

  • Skyler (VOA and owner of “The Pasture” event planning) had quite the update on kids’ activities for the BBQ! Her and Jackie would like to provide face painting, corn hole, a cotton candy machine, squirt guns, Pink Grizzly fun, Cabela’s bow & arrow, and more! Does anyone have extra canopies they can provide for the kids’ activities section? (ASK in VSN update / listserv 4/16/24) If so, please let her know: skyler.shauvin@voanr.org

  • The men tested out a large canopy for the silent auction; Anton confirmed Sweet Pea & Holiday Inn Catering (probably burgers & brats); Tate’s going to get the Civil War Re-enactors; Erick confirmed the t-shirts will be Air Force blue this year; Shannon confirmed Monte’s appearance 12-1pm.

3/27/24 UPDATE - We talked to John from the fire department, and he’s going to try and bring the fire engine w/his dalmatian, so the large parking area in front of RMMMH will be reserved for him and Anton – Mobile Vet Center (and handicapped parking ONLY).

  • 3/25/24 UPDATE - Jerry confirmed PEPSI products & water will be donated "Luke will be in touch with you to line up everything you need for the BBQ."

3/20/24 Meeting:

  • Erick confirmed Mike Johnston and our beloved Jaden Decker will be playing again! (Clint will be setting up, and we’ll make sure there’s not a long pause between) He also has medical tents (Jen – GGH & Chiropractor) and 4 water tables confirmed: Target, Project Tomorrow MT, Team Rubicon (Paul confirmed 3/21).

  • Anton is working on BBQ (possible burgers & brats) and scheduling time to be on Newstalk KGVO. Clayton confirmed Tish is promoting our event in the Run Wild Missoula newsletter.

  • Nancie confirmed Goat Guns will be donating again, but we’re not sure how many.

  • Jackie & Skyler volunteered to take over the kids activities, and we discussed having face painting, games, Your Fairy Godmothers, and more.

  • Daryl (UM Military & Veteran Services Office) would like to table as his Veteran Owned Business, and we discussed possibly having a Veteran-Owned vendor section in the future. In the past, Veteran owned vendors were allowed if they donated a silent auction item and/or a percentage of their profits. Daryl said he’d be willing to manage the area if we decide to do it next year.

2/20/24 Meeting:

  • Permitting is complete and VSAP registration is open: https://runsignup.com/vsap . Erick also confirmed 30+ people registered for VSAP already (in line w/last year’s numbers). Run Wild Missoula will be advertising for us, and MYCA confirmed they'll be providing volunteers again. Erick also contacted Veterans Matter (musicians) - We’re SEEKING different bands, and Skyler (VOA) provided Erick with some ideas (Wild Prairie Smoke).

  • We’ll have alternative payment methods for the silent auction utilizing Xsports4Vets (Venmo, square, etc.), and Jeni’s working on getting excursions for the silent auction (Timmy also contacted Kelly Palmer for a fishing trip).

VSAP Update - Dr. Austin Davis, Life Chiropractic, "We just wanted to reach out and introduce ourselves. We noticed you have the Veteran Suicide Awareness Run coming up in May and would appreciate the opportunity to volunteer chiropractic services, free of charge. We specialize in athletes (and people of all types) and would love to provide care before and/or after the race!"

1/17/24 Meeting:

  • Erick got the permit for the VSAP run/walk/RUCK route & updated the reg page (minor increase in walk price $10 to $15). Erick’s also going to investigate possible VA 988 race bags. Anton & Erick discussed prizes (safe for 1st place and SCHEELS gift cards for other prizes).

  • Service providers that want to donate swag for the race bags should order enough for 400 racers and have the items to the Vet Center on Brooks by 5/10.

  • We need someone to take over the kids’ activities, and Bre has agreed to announce VSAP awards.

  • Dr. Deakins would like to provide a medical tent (Jen from GGH may also have one).

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TAKE A LOOK BACK....

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LINKS TO ALL PHOTO ALBUMS (2014 - 2023):

2014 Heroes @ Home BBQ & Music Festival

2015 Heroes @ Home BBQ & Music Festival

2016 Heroes @ Home BBQ & Music Festival

2017 Heroes @ Home & VSAP

​2018 Heroes @ Home & VSAP

2019 Heroes @ Home & VSAP

2020 Heroes @ Home & Military Appreciation OPEN HOUSE

2021 Heroes @ Home & VSAP

2022 Heroes @ Home & VSAP

2023 Heroes @ Home BBQ & VSAP

2024 Heroes @ Home BBQ & VSAP

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Sincerely, VSN Leadership Team ~ Anton, Erick, Rebecca, Shannon, Tate & Tom

HEROES @ HOME & VSAP: Schedule of Events & Supporters
HEROES @ HOME & VSAP: What We Do
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Sponsor ~ Heroes at Home BBQ

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