SOURCE: Help Hospitalized Veterans

Help Hospitalized Veterans

November 16, 2010 16:22 ET

25 Million to 1; A Mother's Love Stretches Across the Miles Delivering Hope to a Hospitalized Veteran

WINCHESTER, CA--(Marketwire - November 16, 2010) - This is a story about an amazing connection between a veteran of the War on Terror, Howard Blevins, and his mother. Blevins, an Army sergeant and specialist, served in the U.S. Army from 1993 to 2008. In 2003 while in Iraq, Blevins suffered injury upon detonation of an IED (improvised explosive devise).

To this day, Blevins is unable to speak about his war experiences. The battle within lingers, however, and he found the new enemy's name is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While hospitalized at the VA in Mountain Home, Tennessee, Blevins was encouraged to complete a therapeutic arts & crafts kit donated by Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV).

"Each kit contains the name and address of an individual who donated towards its purchase. There's also prepaid donor postcards attached, which in most cases are completed by the veteran patients then mailed to the donors," said HHV President & CEO, Mike Lynch.

So imagine the emotion Blevins felt when he selected a kit, turned it over and, to his great surprise, saw that the donor was his own mother! "I was shocked. It was like my mom was reaching out for me, right there in the hospital room!"

Blevins has since completed many more arts & crafts. He was even recently awarded a gold medal for his work on a custom model car at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival held in San Antonio, Texas. "My favorites are the models and leather works. I never keep my work because it makes me feel good to give it away as gifts," Blevins said. "The kits have helped a lot in calming my nerves. When I find myself getting frustrated and angry, I get a kit. Working on it takes me to a place in my mind that's peaceful," he added.

Blevins feels that it's important to get the word out to other veterans who are battling PTSD so that they may also find relief through the arts as he did. Of course there is one special kit that Blevins will always remember the most -- the one which reminded him that a mother's love is always nearby.

Help Hospitalized Veterans is the nation's primary supplier of free therapeutic arts & crafts to VA and military hospital facilities worldwide. Since its inception in 1971, over 25 million craft kits have been delivered. For more information about HHV and its programs & services for veterans visit www.hhv.org or call 888-567-VETS.

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