Alaska's Healing Hearts, The name says it all.
The Moments I share are just a glimpse of the good, done with this group:
There are many more, and more team members with similar memories.
We have served meals to families in the hospital when all odds were against their loved one.
We have sat bedside and prayed with a wife holding her infant, as her spouse struggled to live. We arranged paperwork for the children, in the hospital so she did not have to leave his side,we help navigate a broken system of benefits, and we helped the warrior come home. We moved his furniture and watched his children so they could go to doctor appointments. - We are great full to be a part of his recovery.
A family lost their mom, we helped dad with food and meals, clothing and any other resources we could get together. We pulled into the drive way late at night on the ice and snow, incomplete darkness, at -19 temps to deliver the family food. I put on my ice cleats and gloves and got the job done. I sat and listened to him for hours. Unsure of anything to say to bring him the least bit of comfort. I braided hair of a little girl that lost her mom. I read the kids a book and said their prayers with them. I went home, with a little more appreciation for the problems I had. This summer we crossed paths and he gave me the biggest hug and wiped away tears, as he tried to say thank you.
What we do matters, the people we help along the way will never forget that kindness.
I started helping a Veteran care for his farm, I promised him I would be there twice a day as long as it took so he could get better. I showed up one day and rushed him to the hospital, he has not been home since. After months in ICU with our Sunday visits, His wishes were to see his horse before he was moved into a long term care facility out of state. I told him if they let me. "I will bring the babies down" a few months latter one Monday morning, I get a call from a social worker, that tells me he will be moved in 2 hours out of state. He wanted to see his Dog, ( That was his best friend) and he Wanted to See the Horse before he left. When I arrived, they came out and told me to hurry, " Hurry we only have a few minutes " When the hospital staff came out with the bed and he was able to see his horse and lay with his dog, time stood still. It was the first time they have seen each other in 5 months.
I sat his dog on his bed, and I handed him the lead rope to his gentle giant.
The absolute peaceful smile was a perfect moment.
As the transport team came out side, everyone stopped, nothing was done the entire staff wept; and kinda stood back.
He laid there with his Horse, wind blowing his silver hair in the breeze, tears in his blue eyes and he was able to say goodbye to his best friends. When it was time to go he went into the back of an ambulance headed to the airport with a smile. As they closed the door he gave me a thumbs up and smiled.
His Dog and horse, are members of my family. She sleeps at the foot of my bed, and the horse sings a good morning song every day. - I will never forget that day, or how this impacted my life.
My first snow machine ride ever, was with AHH.
I tagged along with another pro-staff volunteer Mike Page to take a group of active duty and Veterans out to lunch in Alaska's Extreme FROZEN back country. 50 miles or so..lol
Needless to say, I instantly gained respect for the Iron Dog and the snow machine sports.
When we arrived at our destination, we are all dressed in snow gear with ice on our gloves and one of our Veterans had a hard time getting his boots off. I watched Mike, our team member, instantly get on his knees in the snow and pull the boots off. No hesitation what so ever. That will always have my respect.
After we warmed up (Thawed out) it was time to head back and Mike helped our Vet, put his shoes back on, Zipped his coat and started his machine for him.
That is one of the amazing team members we have!
We also facilitate some awesome community projects;
We have the Wall of Honor at Wal-Mart where we display pictures of those who served our great nation. We cook dinner at the Fisher house monthly giving back to those in need of housing while their families recover or get medical care. The team we work with is always amazing and willing to lend a hand wherever the need might arise.
The stories you hear are probably true, the more impossible they seem the more likely it is to have happened. I honestly feel that there is nothing this team can not accomplish. We have very diverse skill sets of operators that have common bond of giving back to those that have given their service to the greatest military in the world.
Thank you all for everything you do!
- Michelle Sturgeon
Alaska's Healing Hearts is a national organization offering year-round outdoor recreational opportunities for America’s brave wounded warriors and their families. Rehabilitation activities include fishing, hunting, skiing, rodeo, dog sledding tours and various other outdoor pursuits. We work to provide new and challenging options and experiences in an effort to contribute to social reintegration necessary for our nation’s heroes. We strive to reach beyond the clinical rehabilitation offered to injured military personnel and provide hope for warriors to continue to live active and productive lives.
Alaska’s Healing Hearts witness first-hand how our various programs and events genuinely help bolster confidence and self esteem. Our goal is to continue to provide opportunities to discover the new normal for every Warrior and their loved ones.
Alaska's Healing Hearts is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt #27-4036000, non-profit organization.