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!
Montana’s Veteran suicide rate is one of the highest in the nation. This event will help raise awareness about this epidemic. Bring the community together to memorialize those lost and most importantly let Veterans, their friends, and families know they are not alone. To memorialize the 20+ Veterans a day who are lost to suicide, many participants will ruck or carry a 20 Kilogram pack while hiking the 21.1K. The free awareness walk can be accomplished by running/walking as an individual or as a team. Complete as many laps as you wish!! Participants in the VSAP Half-Marathon and Ruck event will compete for medals and prizes.
****** SAVE the DATE ******
The VSN’s 10th annual Heroes at Home & 7th VSAP is May 20, 2023
LINKS TO PHOTO ALBUMS:
*** 2022 Photos by Keely Flatow Photography; Louis Matteau (Stacked Stone Photography); Montana Youth ChalleNGe Academy; Ashlee (Friend of Jen – Humana); Bob Mortenson (USN & VA Retired); Pam, Heather & McKenna (Braach Shepherds 4 Veterans); Lee (Veteran); Rebecca (MHA & VSN Leadership Team); Sam (USOH & MVA); Shannon (DVOP & VSN Leadership Team); Shonna (Elite OneSource); Dan & Laura (Homeward 4 Heroes) ~ Thank you all for sharing!
VSN Leadership TEAM & Events CMTE (See "Who We Are" for more info):
Anton - Logistics/Media (406) 396-8390, Anton.Johnson@va.gov
Erick - VSAP Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca - Silent Auction (406) 549-4113, ext. 106, email@example.com
Sandra - Kid's Activities, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon - TABLING. RSVP email@example.com
Tate - Event SITE (406) 239-7738, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen (Humana), Nancie (VOA) & Tom (Veteran "Gatekeeper" :)
Experience the VSN at the Heroes @ Home & VSAP
****** May 20, 2023 ~ Armed Forces Day! ******
10th Annual Heroes @ Home and 7th Annual Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP) Run / Walk / RUCK
Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, 2975 General Foster Ave. (BLDG T-316), Fort Missoula
2023 Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1303727460407573/
VSAP run, walk OR RUCK: https://runsignup.com/vsap
VOLUNTEER for VSAP (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
DONATIONS and/or Support for the VSN's annual Heroes at Home & VSAP May 20, 2023
We've started planning & VSAP registration is OPEN! VSN Evenets CMTE Meetings are the 4th Wednesday at 3pm (RMMMH) OR if you're not able to join the CMTE but want to help, here are our VSN Leadership organizations:
- 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, email@example.com
Heroes at Home BBQ (Since it's our 10th Annual, we’re looking into a pig roast or catering Montana Q w/a Luau theme): 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
SILENT AUCTION: Contact Rebecca - MHA for questions or pick up, firstname.lastname@example.org
TABLING (must bring own canopy, table, and chairs): If you'd like to show your support by tabling as a Veteran Service Provider (VSP), Veteran Friendly Employer (VFE), or Veteran Owned Business (VOB), please RSVP to Shannon - DVOP, email@example.com
Xsports4Vets - ONLINE donations: http://xsports4vets.org Questions: Anton (406) 396-8390
VSAP PICK UP ~ Friday, May 19th 2023 (Early Check IN) ~ 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 (Yes, if you’re unable to make it to the Vet Center on Friday, check in at the gazebo in the HMFM lawn after 9am Saturday).
2023 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS for May 20th:
0900 VSAP Check In ~ If you were unable to pick up your race bag Friday at the Vet Center, it will be at the gazebo at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula Saturday morning. Thank you to Run Wild Missoula for providing all the race equipment!
0900 SET UP - Service Providers/Employers/Veteran Owned Businesses (VSP/VFE/VOB listed below), YOU ARE welcome to PULL UP TO THE MUSEUM TO UNLOAD (please bring your own canopy, table & chairs) at the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History, 2975 General Foster Ave. (BLDG T-316); however, please park away from the museum afterwards because the Mobile Vet Center and firetruck will need room to park in front. PLEASE DO NOT set up in the lawn of the military museum (this area is reserved for the bands, attendees/picnic tables, 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), or in HMFM lawn (between the gazebo and the military museum).
1000 OPENING CEREMONY ~ Welcome & announcements by VSN Leadership; Prayer by Rob Ellis (VFW Chaplain) and National Anthem (TBD); 3 Round Volley by Honor Guard; VSAP Presentation (Reading of names).
1030 Veteran Suicide Awareness & Prevention (VSAP) Run / Walk / RUCK
1100 FREE FOOD while supplies last ~ There are limited picnic tables at the event, so don’t forget your chairs or blankets! Food Donors: TBD
1100 - 1500ish
LIVE MUSIC: TBD
Activities for the KIDDOS: Games, coloring sheets, Cabela's archery / bb gun range, and obstacle course! Also, our friends, Monte (to be scheduled) and Your Fairy Godmothers (TBD)
Silent Auction & Resource Fair: VSP/VFE/VOB will be set up around the perimeter (TBD) and OPEN HOUSE at Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History (indoor restroom closed - porta potties available outside).
1400-1500 VSAP Awards
VSN Events CMTE Meetings ~ Summary
Erick said the insurance is covered, Competitive Timing is locked in, and VSAP registration is OPEN - Since it’s the 10th annual Heroes at Home, Erick’s looking into silver / metallic shirts (VSAP logo of course) and is asking Elks to help with safes again. Clayton will contact Run Wild Missoula and work on getting a bigger stage
We discussed a pig roast (Shannon messaged her friend in Hot Springs / waiting to hear back). If they’re not available, Anton will contact Montana Q for BBQ catering – we’re thinking of having a Luau theme.
Erick said MYCA has already agreed to help again (Mike Weldon), and MAS volunteers are available (Shannon will complete the MAS form for 20 volunteers).
Tom is/will be in contact with Emily from Downtown Missoula and confirmed Jaden Decker would like to play, and Tom will contact Clint for Kyle Hunter. Since Kyle was cut off last year, we would prefer both musicians play just over an hour each 11-12:30 and 12:30-2pm
Rebecca would like to make the silent auction more visible, so we discussed moving it by the band or in the center of the lawn near the kid’s activities.
Shannon will reserve Monte and read Sandra’s email - We would LOVE to have water again - Thank you! Re: Cabela’s “I will request both the archery range and BB Gun range if that is what the committee decides on. I will also try to get games as I did last year. I know we donated water last year and I can ask again if that is something we would like.”
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT Heroes @ Home & VSAP 2022!!!
It was a GREAT day to celebrate, honor & remember our Hometown Heroes!!!
We want to express our gratitude to Missoula Elks Lodge ($1,500 for safes), Montana AARP ($1,000 for food), Humana (VSAP race bags), Albertson's (Cakes), Cabela's (Kid's activities), Pepsi of Missoula (Soda & Water), AND ALL OF OUR OTHER DONORS, VSP/VFE/VOB (listed below), participants, and volunteers WHO HELPED MAKE OUR EVENT A SUCCESS! Events like these take a community to hold, and it would not happen if there was not support from people like YOU!
****** 2022 DONORS & VSP/VFE/VOB ****** THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!
SILENT AUCTION DONORS ("Over $1,300 was raised through the Auction" which will be used for future events & to support Veteran Programs): AM Scott - Author "The Quantum Fold and Folding Space Series"; Becky, USMC Veteran ~ Gift Basket; Cabela's ~ Spinning Rod, reel, bag, lures, stickers; Cheerful Quilts (Maria) ~ Quilt; Cindi Laukes, MA, MFA ~ "Camping Necessities" Gift Basket (Spatula, cooking spices, Hurley clippers, Thule Crossover travel organizer, metal water bottle, scarf); Creative & Celtic ~ Wood Art; Keely Flatow Photography ~ Framed Print of Miss Montana & Professional photos: https://KeelyFlatow.pixieset.com/vsap2022/; Marjorie Coots Doyle & Mary Wachtel ~ 2 Quilts; Papa Murphy's Take & Bake Pizza ~ Gift Certificates; Rocky Mountain School of Photography ~ $150 Gift Certificate for Training; Skin Chic ~ Spa Bucks $25 on Services, Spongology Body Wash, Epionce Healthy Skin Discovert Set, Spongelle Sponge, and Epionce Body Cream; VSAP Race Bag Swag: AARP Montana; AFSP Missoula Out of the Darkness Walk; Albertson's (snacks); Dementia Friendly Missoula; Missoula Vet Center; Montana Veterans Affairs Division (MVAD); RMMMH / Buffalo Soldiers & Iron Riders; VSN Leadership (Program & VSN map).
More Donors & TABLES: Veteran Service Providers (VSP), "Veteran-Friendly" employers (VFE) & Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB) - Please BRING your own canopy, table & chairs (set up is at 9am)
TABLES ~ Our "Heroes at Home" and HEROES HELPING HEROES:
AARP Montana ~ Donor
Albertson's ~ Donor (2 cakes & VSAP snacks)
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Montana AFSP) ~ VSAP Water Table
American Legion Post 27 ~ Donor (stage, mic/speakers, podium, bell) & VSP
Bitterroot DAR ~ Daughters of the American Revolution
Braach Shepherds 4 Veterans ~ VSP
Cabela's ~ Donor (Silent Auction) & Kids Activities
Dog Tag Buddies ~ VSP
Elite One Source ~ VFE
Herd 2 Human @ Willowbend Farm ~ VSP
Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program (HTOP) ~ Learning Center at Red Willow (VSP)
Homeward For Heroes ~ VSP
HUD VASH ~ Donor (VSAP Coordinator)
Humana ~ Donor & VSP
Impact Montana ~ VSP
Keely Flatow ~ Donor & Photographer https://keelyflatow.mypixieset.com/
Marine Corps League ~ VSP
Missoula "Hell Gate" Elks Lodge 383 ~ Donor (Safes)
Missoula Housing Authority ~ VSP
Mobile Vet Center ~ VSP
Montana DLI - Registered Apprenticeship (VSP) & Job Service DVOP (Donor: Supplies, Toys)
Montana Vocational Rehab ~ VSP
Montana Youth ChalleNGe Academy (MYCA) ~ 10 VOLUNTEERS
My 365 Days With The Wolfhounds In Vietnam ~ John Quintrell, Author / book signing inside RMMMH
Pepsi-Cola of Missoula ~ Donor (Soda & Water)
Poverello Veterans Support Service Team ~ HMH & Valor House (VSP)
Resort at Paws Up ~ VFE
Simkins-Hallin Lumber ~ Donor
UM Military and Veteran Services Office (MVSO - VSP)
United States of Hope ~ Montana Vet Assoc. (VSP)
US Navy ~ VFE
US Senator Daines Office ~ Veteran & Family Services (VSP)
VA Montana ~ Local Recovery Coordinator, Mental Health & Peer Support (VSP)
VA Montana ~ Community Employment Coordinator / Homeless Veteran Recovery Program (VSP)
VFW Catering ~ Vendor
Veterans Inc. ~ VSP
Volunteers of America ~ VSP
Wounded Warrior Project ~ VSP
Xsports4Vets ~ Donor & VSP
Special Guest / Volunteer: Bob Mortenson (USN Retired) ~ VA Welcome Kits
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Sincerely, VSN Leadership Team ~ Anton, Erick, Rebecca, Shannon, Tate & Tom
Take a look back at 2021 DONORS ****** THANK YOU!!!
a2z Supply Corp ~ Silent Auction (Tactical Long Gun Light & Lock, Value $680); AARP Montana (1K for Jimmy John's); Albertson's (Trempers) ~ 3 CAKES! (2 white / 1 chocolate); Alpine Physical Therapy ~ $100 VSAP Donation; Cabela's ~ Archery Range; Cheerful Quilts ~ Silent Auction (“Sugar and Spice” quilt featured in Quilter's World! 67x67" valued $300 by Tavy Umhey); Humana ~ $500.00 sponsorship & VSAP race bags/swag; Keely Flatow, USAF Veteran & Photographer ~ Silent Auction (Large, framed print of Miss Montana); Lowe's ~ Silent Auction (GRILL2GO X200 + Utensils & Rub); Papa Murphy's (Russell) ~ $ Check donation + Enter to win prize at the Silent Auction table (family sized pizza a month for a year!); Pepsi-Cola of Missoula ~ Supplying all pop & water for the event; Rocky Mountain School of Photography ~ Enter to win at the Silent Auction table ($200 gift certificate good for any class at RMSP!); Run Wild Missoula ~ Race Equipment; Simkins-Hallin Lumber ~ $300 VSAP Donation; Sweet Pea Sewer & Septic ~ Discount; UM VETS Office ~ Silent Auction (Camp Gear: Head Lamp, Leatherman, etc.)
2021 Veteran Service Providers (VSP), Veteran Friendly Employers & Veteran Owned Businesses (VOB): American Legion Post 27; 2B's Carpentry ~ Employer; Dog Tag Buddies ~ 2 Trainers; Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) & Mobile Support Team; Easterseals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain Inc.; Humana; Impact Montana; Lowe's ~ Staffing; Missoula Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (VOB) + Mats; Missoula Housing Authority FSS Director; Missoula Vet Center / Mobile Vet Center; Missoula Veterans Court; Missoula Works / Missoula Interfaith Collaborative; Montana Army NG Family Programs ~ Military & Family Readiness Coordinator (LCSW, MAC, SAP); Montana DLI Job Service - Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) & Local Veterans Employment Rep (LVER); Montana DPHHS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor; Montana Vet Program (MVP) ~ Team Leader (Outdoor Program); Red Willow Learning Center, Inc. ~ Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program (HTOP); Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History (Board Members); Rocky Mountain School of Photography; United States of Hope (USOH / MVA); US Senator Daines Office ~ Veterans Casework Liaison; VA Vocational Readiness & Employment Office (VR&E); Veterans Inc., Universal Services Advocate-Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP); Veterans Upward Bound; VFW Catering; Volunteers of America Northern Rockies - SSVF & HVRP Employment Service Coordinators; Walmart (Mullan & Reserve) ~ People Lead; Western Montana Military Officer's Association (WMMOA); Willowbend Farm’s Herd 2 Human; XSports4Vets.
Sponsor ~ Heroes at Home BBQ