Herb Hammerstaedt paying tribute to Medal of Honor recipients.

Veterans Healing Camp grateful for local community support

“It was amazing…seemed like people came out of nowhere…It reminded me of the song, ‘You are the Wind Beneath My Wings,’ the way the community came together.” – Shahla Fadaie, founder, Veterans Healing Camp A heartwarming celebration of Nowruz, the traditional Persian New Year, brought the Northern Nevada community together to support the local non-profit veterans support organization Veterans Healing Camp.

Nowruz is the ancient Persian “New Year” celebrated since 1700 B.C. that occurs on the first day of spring at the vernal equinox. Nowruz is the time to get together with friends and family to eat, drink, and celebrate life together. It is also the time to leave the past year behind and embrace a new beginning with the renewal of spring.

The event was hosted March 27 in the Grand Ballroom at Casino Fandango in Carson City. It featured a dinner banquet, an honor guard, guest speakers, live music, and a silent auction – all highlighted by a traditional Nowruz fire jump. VHC’s Veterans Outreach Coordinator and U.S. Army veteran Forest Ladd served as emcee. Pastor Mark Wagner from The Way of Silver Springs spoke of his mission to minister to veterans. U.S. Air Force veteran and Lyon County commissioner Ken Gray extended heartfelt thanks to our local first responders and front-line workers. VHC Treasurer and Air Force veteran Herb Hammerstaedt told the story of a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from each branch of the armed services as local bagpipe artist Sean Cummings played the official song for each.

Wendy Madison of Healthy Community Coalitions shared how the Silver Stage Food Pantry found welcome and a new home at the VHC property. Finally, Veterans Healing Camp founder Shahla Fadaie spoke from her heart about how she became inspired to form the organization and of her sacred personal vow never to turn her back on any veteran who comes across her path. The traditional Nowruz fire jump, followed by live music from local Carson City band Southbound Train rounded out the highlights of the evening. It was a wonderful celebration of support for our veterans and solidarity with our first responders and front-line workers. Veterans Healing Camp wants to extend its utmost heartfelt gratitude to the local community for coming together to support the mission to always be there to honor and support our veterans.

VHC especially wants to recognize the following people/organizations for their donations, assistance, and contributions: Walmart in Fernley; Raley’s in Fallon; John with PetSmart in Carson City; Shelly Durham and Aimee Smith of Shelter Insurance, Carson City; Lisa Huffman, Joie de V Jewelry; Patty Bean; Debbie Hays-Vaughn and Theresa Dennington; Diane Sword; Mary Snyder; Merry Sue Rillston; and Colleen Guard.

Additional thanks to: Wendy Madison and everyone at Healthy Community Coalitions; Mark Wagner, The Way of Silver Springs; VFW and the American Legion Honor Guard; Herb and Mary Hammerstaedt; Alisha Davidson; Karen Donais and all the VHC volunteers; Sean Cummings; Kitty Colbert and Southbound Train; and Wesley Smith.

Special thanks to Court Cardinal and the employees of Casino Fandango for their hard work and their ongoing support of VHC.

A very special thanks to everyone who attended and all of the supporters of Veterans Healing Camp.

Veterans Healing Camp is a local nonprofit located in the heart of Silver Springs dedicated to helping our local veterans make a successful transition from military to civilian life. The mission is to provide a safe place for fun, activities, and fellowship for our veteran community. The goal is to help educate veterans to overcome fear and anxiety to live a healthy and productive life.

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