Honoring the Brave in 2021

Home Front Military Network recently held its 5th Annual Honoring the Brave Breakfast—and it was a day to put down in the books!

Early that December morning, nearly 700 military members, veterans, retirees, partner agencies, elected officials at all levels, and community members gathered at The Broadmoor International Center for the event.

Twelve HMFN partner agencies hosted a resource table for guests to peruse, prior to the start of the program. At 7:30 am sharp, the breakfast program began with a posting of the colors from USAFA’s Cadet Honor Guard, the National Anthem sung by musical guest Mark Addison Chandler, and an invocation given by HFMN Board Member, CJ Johnson.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers kicked off the event with welcoming remarks, followed by video statements from Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and Congressman Lamborn.

As breakfast was served, audience members heard from Executive Director Kate Hatten about the mission and impact of Home Front Military Network. In 2021 alone, HFMN has assisted more than 5,000 service members, veterans, and families needing assistance. Additionally, HFMN has provided more than $230,000 in emergency financial assistance this year. Ultimately that means preventing homelessness, reducing stress and anxiety, keeping power and heat on during the winter, getting vulnerable clients into qualified behavioral and physical health support groups, therapies, and programs. It also means connecting veteran and military families to childcare, better employment opportunities, and higher education. Within the 5,000 service members, veterans and families served—comes 5,000 stories, experiences, and lives helped.

At the Breakfast, guests got a closer look into the lives of the military and veteran families HFMN serves through the powerful speech given by keynote speaker, Brandon Young. As a former Army ranger, Brandon spoke in depth about his own military experience in a post-9/11 world. He also touched on the sacrifice and impact a life of service made on his mental and physical health, as well as the impact it had on his wife and children.

Brandon asked guests to support organizations and programs like HFMN, adding, “Someone brought you to this room today. 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.”

Home Front Military Network also presented the Joe Henjum “Honoring the Brave” Award and the Bob Carlone Community Service Award. These awards were presented to an individual and community organization that consistently support and have made an exceptional impact on our military members and their families of all services to include active duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Veterans. Finalists for the Joe Henjum “Honoring the Brave” Award included Erin Fowler, Cathy Howell, and award recipient—Joe Lewis, Angels of America’s Fallen founder and CEO. Finalists for the Bob Carlone Community Service Award include Silver Key, Rocky Mountain Human Services, and award recipient—El Paso County Veteran Services Office.

The breakfast was closed out with original musical performances by Army veteran, Mark Addison Chandler. Prior to performing, Mark shared with the audience a little about his own journey after deployment. For him, writing music and performing at events such as the Honoring the Brave Breakfast, helped him process and heal his own “unseen” wounds. Mark played his newly released single, “Tin Soldier” and another original piece, “Kill a Man.”

The 5th Annual Honoring the Brave Breakfast raised $119,000, exceeding HFMN’s goal of $100,000. Those funds will go directly into HFMN’s programs and services—giving back to the military and veteran families who have served our nation. With these funds, HFMN can continue to serve our clients and continue to expand access to services across all parts of Colorado.

HFMN would not have been able to surpass their donation goal had it not been for the faithful crew of donors, volunteers, sponsors, Committee and Board members, staff, and partner agencies who believe in this organization.

The Honoring the Brave Breakfast was a great success—but only because of people who make up our community.

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