This past year alone, the nonprofit Home Front Military Network helped over 5,000 military, veterans and families with more than $230,000 in emergency financial assistance. Calls have increased 300% since March 2020.
Those were just some of the numbers shared with a gathering of almost 700 supporters at the Dec. 1 Honoring the Brave breakfast at The Broadmoor International Center.
Keynote speaker Brandon Young, a retired Army Ranger leader who served four rotations in Afghanistan and was listening on satellite radio just as his close Ranger friend was killed, asked for support of programs like HFMN.
“Someone brought you to this room today,” he said. “Whether it was an old war buddy who never came home, one of the people at your table who is passionate about this organization, or some other reason — you came here for someone. So please, if you’re considering giving — give on behalf of them.”
Executive Director Kate Hatten said the case-managed assistance has included such help as keeping utilities on, helping connect families to child care, serving as the central source of information, emergency help with rent, “getting vulnerable clients into qualified behavioral and physical support groups and therapies,” and more.
By the end of the breakfast, attendees had raised $119,000 for this support of the community’s military to continue and grow.
It was explained that Home Front Military Network is a merger of two nonprofits, Peak Military Care Network and The Home Front Cares. The morning was a time for honors in the name of The Home Front Cares founders and veterans Bob Carlone and Joe Henjum. Awards were for individuals or community organizations that have made “an exceptional impact on our military members and their families of all services.”
The Joe Henjum “Honoring the Brave” Award recipient was Joe Lewis, founder and CEO of Angels of America’s Fallen, which supports the children of fallen military and first responders.
Receiving the Bob Carlone Community Service Award was Marshall Bosworth, El Paso County Veteran Services officer.
Music was by Army Infantry and Special Operations veteran Mark Addison Chandler, now a Nashville singer- songwriter whose single “Tin Soldier” was released in November. He told the audience that song and his “Kill a Man” are helping him heal from “unseen” war wounds.
Sponsors of the fifth annual Honoring the Brave Breakfast were Southern Colorado Medicine, The Broadmoor, 5Star Bank, Ascension Engineering Group, Jacobs and Vectrus.