The LHF Veterans Initiative is an outgrowth of Leatherstocking Honor Flight created to enable us to conduct missions outside the scope of Honor Flight. Like LHF, the Initiative is a 501c3 corporation and an all-volunteer organization. LHF has been a member of the Honor Flight Network and a 501c3 since 2008.
Currently we are working on two missions we will be launching this summer: Combat Veterans Initiative and The Purple Heart Initiative.
Those of us who have never experienced the horrors of war can only begin to know the impact on those who have fought those battles in our name. We need to ask the question, "how can someone who goes into combat come out on the other side the same as they were prior to the experience"?
The answer is that they are not that same person. They are injured in ways that are not clearly visible like other wounds. To quote many a combat Veterans, "you never get your soul back".
These Veterans carry a heavy burden the rest of their lives often leading to many forms of dysfunction. We owe them some help.
We will be doing weekend retreats for these Veterans in the Southern Adirondacks. The retreats will consist of outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking or fishing and maybe a trip to the Adirondack Museum.
In addition to taking meals together, whatever activities we choose, they will help the Veterans bond with each other so that at a Saturday night Bar-B-Q and campfire they will be able to share their thoughts with each other. This bonding and sharing hopefully will lead to some healing.
This mission will be conducted under the professional guidance of Homeward Bound Adirondack. They have a track record of conducting these missions under the leadership of a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice specializing in PTSD and Veterans.
Our next events are scheduled for September 23rd - 25th, and October 14th - 19th.
For information about Homeward Bound Adirondacks and our next events, please visit:
This past June 10th, 11th and 12th we held our first Combat Veterans Retreat on beautiful Lake Pleasant in the southern Adirondacks. This event was done in conjunction with Homeward Bound Adirondacks, a great organization with a long history of conducting these events.
The event was a huge success. The Veterans had an awesome time and were extremely appreciative of our efforts.
We've scheduled two more retreats, one for the weekend of September 23rd through the 25th and one for October 14th through the 16th.
As with Honor Flight, this is a hugely important mission, and we hope to continue our relationship with Homeward bound for a long time.
If you are a combat Veteran and would like to join us at one of these events or know of a Veteran that would like to join us, please reach out to us via the contact page on the website.
We would love to hear from you.
Our first Purple Heart mission took place this past August 20th.
It started out with a wonderful breakfast compliments of the Zaloga American Legion Post in Albany after which we headed down to Washington's Headquarters and then to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor where Washington initiated the medal that later became the Purple Heart.
After that we took a scenic boat ride on the Hudson River and followed that with an exciting tour of West Point Military Academy and then a great dinner at the famous and historic Thayer Hotel.
The Veterans who took part in this event had a great time and were very appreciative.
For us, it was a huge honor to spend a day with such heroes.
We will be repeating this mission periodically so if you are a Purple Heart Recipient and would like to join us at one of these events or know of a Purple Heart Veteran that would like to join us, please reach out to us via the contact page on the website.
This event of course is free to all Purple Heart recipients who may be accompanied by a loved one also at no cost.
We would love to hear from you.