Often people who deserve to be heralded for heroism shy away from shout-outs for their selfless service.
They rush in to help others in the face of danger and adversity because they truly care about the well-being of other people.
This weekend, take time to salute these unsung heroes in our community.
Silent Heroes is a local nonprofit organization that offers peer support for military, fire, law enforcement, EMS and dispatchers.
As a Department of Defense civilian for 15 years in North Carolina, Silent Heroes West Virginia (SHWV) founder and president, Jason Harvey, played an important role in the defense of our nation and in supporting our Armed Forces.
When he returned to civilian life, he struggled to find others in the community who could relate to the unique challenges of his occupation. It became his mission to create a support group for fellow comrades and first responders who struggled with traumatic stress and other job hazards.
Harvey returned to Lewisburg last August and in December he started forming SHWV, based on the local nonprofit support group he was introduced to in the Gulf Coast.
Silent Heros provides veterans and first responder with resources to confront the unique challenges associated with separating from military service and returning to civilian life.
According to Harvey, one of the biggest challenges veterans face as civilians is continuing the camaraderie created in the service.
“The military helps you adjust when you join, and that support system isn’t automatically in place when you leave and come home,” he said.
Harvey also noticed that services to support emotional and mental wellness for veterans and first responders were often inaccessible.
“We help members navigate the paperwork and process of obtaining benefits and services from the Department of Veteran Affairs,” he said.
It’s difficult for Harvey to remain quiet when asked about the many good things SHWV does to help local veterans, first responders and their allies.
“In the military, we do not leave until the mission is complete,” he said. “As civilians it’s our mission to make sure all veterans and first responders are supported and comfortable adjusting to the change.”
The group meets on the second Sunday of each month at the Lewisburg Elks Club to plan social events and volunteer opportunities within the community. Last year, SHWV members participated in Snowshoe Challenge Ski Camp and spruced up the dugouts and stadiums at Alderson City Park.
This weekend, the SHWV is holding the summer “Elks Supporting Frontlines” golf tournament fundraiser happening May 28 at 1 p.m. at the Lewisburg Elks Club.
According to organizers, there’s still time to get a team together. Tournament entry is $70 per person.
If you’d like to enter a team, contact the Pro Shop at 304-645-3660.
After the tournament, live music will be provided by The George Dorne Band at 7 p.m. Raffle tickets and food and beverages will also be sold throughout the day.
You can also support the mission of Silent Heroes (and salute a Silent Hero in your life) by sponsoring a hole for $100. For more information, visit the Silent Heroes Facebook page or contact Jason Harvey at 910-977-3257.
All proceeds from the tournament will support Silent Heroes and its members.