BARSTOW • Volunteers from the American Soldier Network paid a visit to the Veterans Home of California-Barstow on Monday, and they showed up with hundreds of bags of free stuff for the veterans there.
ASN founder Annie Nelson and her team of volunteers came to the Veterans Home for the program’s annual Hearts for Heroes Valentine’s Day Outreach. Nelson’s team brought 205 SWAG bags.
“SWAG for us stands for Showing Warriors America’s Gratitude,” Nelson said. “In the bags we have items of Valentine’s candy and handmade cards from children across California, as well as items donated by the organizations that support us.”
Nelson has spent the past 10 years traveling the country and raising awareness for U.S. veterans of all eras. For this year’s Hearts for Heroes event, ASN chose to visit the High Desert.
“The reason we chose the Barstow Veterans Home was we had a shoe drive for the American Soldier Network back in October, and the Barstow/Victorville area community raised over 5,000 pairs of used shoes to contribute to our shoe drive,” Nelson said. “This is our way of giving back to the Barstow/Victorville community, delivering our Valentine’s (gifts) to your Veterans Home.”
Veterans Home director Raymond Lau said he was impressed with the ASN event.
“It is really super good,” Lau said. “We have a lot of volunteers that come up here, and for the American Solider Network it’s the first time they came up here, and that’s about a three-hour drive for them. We’re simply amazed.”
November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013
The world will remember Mr. Winters for his Television, Film and Comedy. We at American Soldier Network will Salute and remember his service to the United States of America as a part of the Greatest Generation. Winters was a Marine in World War II. Later he battled mental health issues the rest of his life. A true American Hero! Semper Fi and Ooh Rah Devil Dog, we know heaven will be filled with belly laughs for your battle buddies.
On a beautiful Saturday evening in April at the amazing home of Actress/Artist/Author and Philanthropist Jane Seymour and husband James Keach, Director/Producer/Philanthropist and CEO PCH Films the couple hosted the 2nd annual Open Hearts Foundation Celebration. The evening kicked off with a lovely cocktail reception, silent auction and celebrity arrivals then moved up to the beautiful ball room setting under the stars for what was an inspirational evening emcee’d by CNN’s Christi Paul with musical performances by Glen Campbell, LP, Marc Coehn and Johnny Keach.
The Open Hearts Foundationcreated by Jane Seymour and husband James Keach, is a respected nonprofit charity established to bring the Open Heart Philosophy, which stands for selfless giving even in the face of adversity, into communities worldwide. The Foundation provides funds to charitable organizations in the areas of Health, Arts, Education, Sports, and honors individuals that exemplify the Open Heart Philosophy in their service to others.
The notable honorees receiving this year’s Open Heart Award, a limited-edition fine-art sculpture created by Jane Seymour depicting her original open heart icon design, will include individuals who live the Open Heart philosophy including:
- Glen and Kim Campbell: Legendary country singer and five-time Grammy winner Glen Campbell announced last year that he was living with Alzheimer’s disease (www.alz.org). Since his diagnosis, he and his wife have used their story as a platform to help raise awareness for the disease that affects an estimated 5.1 million people worldwide. Campbell is currently touring on his “Goodbye Tour,” and was recently honored at the 54th annual GRAMMY Awards, receiving the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
- John and Roxanna Green: John and Roxanna Green established The Christina-Taylor Green Foundation (www.christina-taylorgreen.org) in memory of their daughter, who was tragically killed in the January 8, 2011 Tucson shooting associated with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The Christina-Taylor Green Foundation is dedicated to honoring the life and memory of Christina-Taylor through charitable and educational projects that reflect and embody her interests, values and dreams.
- Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete: Actress Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, established the HollyRod Foundation (www.HollyRod.org) in honor of Holly’s late father Matt Robinson, who lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. The organization has since expanded its mission to raise awareness for autism, a developmental disorder their oldest son RJ was diagnosed with at the age of three. The HollyRod Foundation is dedicated to providing compassionate care to those living with Autism and Parkinson’s disease.
- Kristi Yamaguchi: Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion, Kristi Yamaguchi, is one of the most popular and successful figure skaters of our time. Along with her many awards and accomplishments, Kristi is a member of the US Figure Skating Hall of Fame, World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and the US Olympic Hall of Fame. In 1996, she founded the Always Dream Foundation dedicated to fundraising and supporting children’s charities. In 2008 Kristi became a Dancing with the Stars Champion and since has become a New York Times best-selling author, her children’s book Dream Big, Little Pig soared onto the bestseller list and remained there for multiple weeks. She is married to Stanley Cup Champion, Bret Hedican and together, they have two young daughters.
- Annie Nelson founder of The American Soldier Network, (www.americansoldiernetwork.org ) is passionate about our service members. Nelson’s own awareness of the issues faced by our soldiers and veterans grew out of her pen pal relationship with Marine Cpl. Jesse Schertzwho was serving in 2004. Also by living through 5 concussions, PTSD and a life threatening brain tumor just 19 months ago. She has truly “walked the walk” for may of the same issues our combat wounded suffer. For the past 8 years, Nelson has dedicated her life to spreading patriotism across the United States by raising awareness of the needs of our veterans, our injured soldiers, and their families, and the challenges they all face during the reintegration process whthey return from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the 1st Open Heart Patriot Award.
- 4 of our wounded heroes also shared in the American Soldier Network Open Heart Patriot Award, Ssgt. Richard Gonzales, Sergeant Sara Bryant, Corporal Jake Henry, Lance Corporal Blake Bibbins
Dear James and Jane,
I just wanted to thank you guys for honoring Annie Nelson
and the work she does for the American Soldier Network.
Annie is a dear friend and one of the greatest supporters our military has in our industry.
Hats off to you guys for acknowledging that.
On Saturday February 11.2012 the day began with excitement and a buzz among four wounded warriors they were off with our founder Annie Nelson to the 54th Grammy Awards rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Little did the group know that a day that started out to be a once in a lifetime experiecne for our heroes would become a day the world would remeber forever with the tragic loss of one of Music’s leading ladies Whitney Houston. It was sureal being in the house that Whitney helped to build when the news came in that she had just died.
Here we were with America’s finest who had survived severe life changing injuries and months of painstaking therapy to now be among music royalty! The entertainment industry embraced our veterans with open arms, the celebrities were so loving, attentive and gracious to our heroes. Instead of interacting with doctors, counselors and their command, our warriors exhaled for a day listening to the biggest names in the recording industry rehearse their numbers for the big show including meeting many of them, sharing hugs, handshakes, photos and chats. It was as our warriors said an “EPIC” day! One of our warriors said after seeing Sir Paul McCartney “I didn’t die in Afghanistan, but I can die now, I just watched Paul McCartney, a Beatle perform LIVE, life is complete.”
Often our veterans return from the war to battles here at home. Many find themselves retreating to their homes not socializing much at all. To not only get out for an entire day but to be mingling with celebrities from music, television, film and sports was over the top! Journaist Michael Ragogna of the Huffington Post interviewed the group followed but a powerful on camera interview with film director/producer James Keach. “I am always in awe of our veterans. When a day like today comes together as magically as today did, I know this journey I am on making sure our work at American Soldier Network continues is a journey being powered by God and I am so blessed to be the vehicle.” -Annie Nelson
“Annie!!!! Thank you so much for knowing my passion with photography and video production and how I use it as a therapeutic release, and giving me the Experience of a lifetime that taught me so much about the career and direction I want to go with passion. You put me in contact with some of the industries top people!!!! What a great day and great company! Now to see the grammys come to life!!!!!” Sgt. Gonzalez
Michael Ragogna interviews the group LIVE from the Grammy Rehearsals Enjoy!
A special thank you to the following:
Our Warriors for their service and sacrifices! We are forever grateful!
Dave Weiderman Guitar Center Hollywood, Lisa Roy, Robert W. Clyne & Douglas Mountain of Pro Audio Media Consultants
Pauley Perrette, Jane Seymour, James Keach, Chris Brown, Ryan Seacrest, Bad Mouse, James Keach, Adele, Ken Enrlich, Sway Calloway
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED DECEMBER 2011
WE DELIVERED OVER 300 TO THE NAVAL HOSPITAL OF SAN DIEGO TO OUR WOUNDED HEROES, ALONG WITH BAGELS AND COOKIES. WE DELIVERED OVER 200 TO OUR SPECIAL FORCES HEROES HERE AT HOME IN THE UNITED STATES. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO DONATED THEIR TIME, TALENTS AND GIFTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL THE WONDERFUL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SCHOOL CHILDREN WHO MADE BEAUTIFUL THANK YOU CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR OUR HEROES! YOUR HAND MADE CARDS WERE THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR GIFTS. OUR TROOPS LOVE GETTING NOTES FROM AMERICAS KIDS!
It’s that time of year again our 5th annual Stockings for our Combat Wounded Soldiers outreach project. For the past 5 years American Soldier Network has gathered items from corporate sponsors and individuals for our Stockings that we deliver to our combat wounded warriors in the hospital. Last year instead of actual “stockings” we had American Flag soft-sided coolers sponsored and we stuffed those.
This year we need everyone’s help!
Stockings cost approx $40.00 each.
WHAT: Stockings for combat wounded warriors
Click Flyer to download PDF
WHERE: Send all items or sponsorships to:
American Soldier Network
24000 Alicia Parkway #17 Suite 244
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
WHEN: By December 9. 2011
WHAT TYPE OF ITEMS?
-iTunes gift cards
-Mc Donalds gift cards
-SubWay gift cards
-small electronic games
-batteries for electronic games
-cd’s & dvd’s
-fun novelty items
-non peanut snacks
-pencils, pens for the game books
-items to help pass time while hospitalized
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE WE ARE A 501C3 TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION
LET’S ALL GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR ALL
With deep heartfelt gratitude, thank you!