November 17th, 2022, started out with a beautiful sunrise to welcome in over 700 community members, civic leaders, and elected officials on their drive to the Broadmoor International Center. The Colorado community gathered to learn more about the mission and purpose of Home Front Military Network (HFMN) and how everyone could make a difference in the lives of veterans, service members, and their families at the 6th Annual Honoring the Brave Breakfast.
Upon arriving, Home Front Military Network volunteers welcomed guests to the breakfast with coffee, pastries, and resource tables hosted by some of HFMN’s partner agencies. At 7:30 AM the program began with a presentation of the colors from USAFA’s Cadet Honor Guard, and the National Anthem performed by the 8th grade advanced choir of Discovery Canyon Middle School, The Thunder Tones. The Thunder Tones did a wonderful job under the leadership of their choir director, Anna Saks. Pastor Jeff Anderson delivered a thoughtful invocation to complete the opening of the breakfast. Scott Kilbury, of Fox 21 news emceed the 6th Annual Honoring the Brave Breakfast, and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers kicked things off with his welcoming remarks.
The impeccable catering staff of The Broadmoor delivered a delicious breakfast while guests learned more about HFMN’s impact from Executive Director Kate Hatten. Kate shared that since 2020, Home Front Military Network’s call volume has more than tripled and increased an additional 25% in 2021. HFMN provided nearly $242,000 in emergency financial assistance in 2021, keeping 160 vulnerable veteran families from becoming homeless or without other basic necessities. These services create a ripple effect that uplifts the entire community. Due to the tremendous effort of HFMN case managers to follow up with clients, 84% of the financial assistance cases reported their situation remained improved six months after assistance, 100% remined stably housed, and 100% indicated lower stress and anxiety levels. Things have not slowed down in 2022; year to date, HFMN has provided over $270,000 in direct financial assistance. Additionally, the case managers have provided navigation assistance and information for over 4,400 service members, veterans, and family members. All of this could not be done without the wonderful support of donors and sponsors of the Honoring the Brave Breakfast. It is people like you, who change lives in our military and veteran community every day.
Home Front Military recognized those making an impact in the lives of our military community by presenting the Joe Henjum Honoring the Brave℠ Award and the Bob Carlone Community Service Award. HFMN presented these awards to an individual and a community organization that consistently support our military members and their families of all services to include active duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Veterans. The Joe Henjum Honoring the Brave℠ Award was presented to Erin Fowler, a Clinical Therapist at the UCCS Veterans Health and Trauma Clinic, and the Bob Carlone Community Service Award was presented to Rocky Mountain Human Services-Homes for All Veterans. RMHS-Homes for All Veterans is a trusted partner of Home Front Military Network and is dedicated to ending veteran homelessness by providing housing assistance and case management services for homeless/at-risk veterans in our community.
Guest speaker Sally Crawford Darrow and her son Michael Crawford-Lucas captivated the audience with their story. Michael, a US Army Veteran illustrated the impact this organization had on their lives as they spoke about the challenges Michael faced returning home to Colorado Springs from Iraq. Michael developed a substance use disorder to cope with the invisible wounds he brought back with him from his time overseas. His mother, Sally, living in Michigan at the time, was expecting to receive a phone call that Michael was dead. Desperately, Sally got in touch with HFMN, who was able to find Michael, give him the help and resources he needed, as well as provide Sally with support for what she was going through. Sally shared about the profound impact this organization had on her family. Michael, who is now married with a beautiful family, in school, and starting a business said, “it is worth the one”. Michael’s life was one life that was saved, and his one life created a ripple effect that saved and impacted countless others. This is what Home Front Military Network does- it gives those who gave everything for us a second chance and a hand-up out of desperate situations.
The Breakfast closed out with a powerful rendition of “In Flanders Field” by The Thunder Tones, and HFMN event committee member, Kathleen Owings, invited guests to join in on the great work Home Front Military Network is doing by donating. Kathleen encouraged guests to follow in her footsteps by doubling their donations from last year. So far, from sponsorships and individual pledges HFMN have exceeded $185,000! It is not too late to donate! All you have to do is text “THRIVE22” to 44-321, click the link below, or send a check to HFMN’s office at 1120 N. Circle Drive, Suite #230 80909. All donations will go directly into HFMN’s programs and services—giving back to the military and veteran families who have served our nation. With these funds, HFMN can continue to serve our clients and expand access to services across the whole state of Colorado.
HFMN would not be able to do this great work without the faithful crew of donors, volunteers, sponsors, Committee and Board members, staff, and partner agencies who believe in this organization. Thank you for Honoring the Brave with us.