Dawn Heisler is a woman on a mission to leave her footprint on the heart of our community. I have had the privilege of working with her for our Vietnam Veteran Lunch & Learn series.
Tell our readers, what inspired you to create this outreach?
One of my kids was shipped out to Iraq and we had four other boys in our church that were also shipped out. We decided to ship them boxes. September, 2004 we shipped 11 boxes overseas and it just mushroomed from there.
What is your most memorable moment?
There have been many, but I remember this incident most of all.
I was at the post office shipping packages at the counter. A gentleman — probably from the Korean War — came up to me and said thank you for sending packages and he suddenly broke down on my shoulder. The whole post office, which was full of people, stopped and it was completely quiet. I realized then what an honor to do what we do, because there are still veterans out there that are hurting with memories.
Tell us about your personal family involvement with the military.
Beginning with my Dad, I have brothers and a grandson serving. All branches of service, so I can’t be partial! When you are around military, you are versed in the issues and what the needs are.
Tell us about your mission.
Heroes In Action Military Outreach is based out of Toledo, Ohio. We are committed to supporting our service members, veterans and their families.
The marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors, and coast guard have a mission: to PROTECT our country, our families and our children. Freedom is not free. We also have a mission: to SUPPORT, communicate, send care packages overseas and encourage the families here at home.
We want every man and woman serving our country to know they are not forgotten, that they are loved and that there are people who care.
The first care packages were shipped in December, 2004 and have been shipped every month since then. We have shipped thousands of boxes overseas as well as several in state to the wounded or those on special days who are without family. When a service member is added to our list, whether in or out of the states, they are supported by letters and/or a monthly care package. Our outreach has touched thousands of men and women serving our country.
Heroes in Action also is a support for the families with personal needs, housing and auto repairs, food baskets, newborn baskets, blankets for the wounded and whatever else we are able to do. We work with many other organizations to help educate, prepare and equip families with benefit information and emotional issues that may occur with service members. We do the unique. All we do and accomplish is done by HIA volunteers.
Heroes In Action is solely supported by monetary and snack and furniture donations. Heroes In Action is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Please visit their website or Facebook page to learn more or make a donation: www.heroesinaction.org.