Vet Giving ‘Hope to Heroes’ Announced as a WPDH Vet Who Rocks
This month's Hudson Valley Vet has experienced combat in Desert Storm and the horrors of 9/11 and now he's helping his fellow vets suffering from physical and mental injuries.
We recently received a letter from Amanda Tierney nominating Mitch Serlin as a Vet Who Rocks. Serlin joined the United States Army in 1989 after graduating college and served as a U.S. Army Sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division, with additional duty as an Infantry Scout Sniper, and Desert Storm Combat Veteran. After returning home Mitch, like so many other veterans, became familiar with the struggles of PTSD.
After his Army service, Serlin served as a K-9 Police Officer in Westchester County and a Ground Zero responder on 9/11. Amanda explained that through his years of service, Mitch has connected with many Military, Fire, Police, and EMS heroes, who are also suffering from PTSD and other debilitating conditions.
This desire for emotional and spiritual healing inspired Mitch to start the Hope for Heroes Foundation in 2010 to create services for other everyday heroes who were in need of recovery and healing. Mitch's mission is to help change that mindset by creating experiences that are physically and emotionally possible while offering comfort and therapy for our heroes.
Mitch calls the work that Hope for Heroes does “camouflage therapy” because the healing often takes place subconsciously. These vets participate in exciting and fun outdoor activities like hunting, deep-sea fishing, boating, hiking, kayaking, camping, competition barbecues and more. Hope for Heroes has also had great success with their Canine Companion program where they pair select individuals and their families with a well-trained canine to provide a sense of safety and camaraderie for veterans and responders dealing with physical and emotional injuries incurred in the line of duty.
Hope for Heroes continues to expand. The program's latest initiative is the Hope For Heroes Healing Retreat Lodge in Hillsdale, NY which will enable Serlin to serve even more Veterans and First-Responders. Mitch says he always considers it a privilege to help heal disabled first responders and veterans who gave service and sacrifice to our country. "and that," says Tierney, "is why I think he definitely qualifies as a Vet Who Rocks."
We agree, Amanda. Thank you, Mitch, for your service both in the military and law enforcement as well as the work you continue to do for your fellow veterans.
In appreciation for all he does to help his fellow veterans, Mitch will receive $500 for being this month's WPDH Vet Who Rocks. He will also be in the running for $10,000 which will be handed out to one monthly honoree on Veteran's Day this November.
Thank you to our partners: Tompkins Community Bank, Unity Ambulette, Xterior Solutions and MHA of Dutchess County.