In October of 2014, two men, Patrick Bolchoz and former Army Captain Everett Weston, formed Heal our Heroes in commemoration of the life and dedication of service of their dear friend, Captain Francis “Franky” Kim. Captain Kim served the United States Army in Afghanistan and was later relocated to Washington as a Rear Detachment Commander. His duty was to deliver flags to the families of the fallen within his own unit. Patrick Bolchoz spoke with us on behalf of the allegiance of his best friend, explaining Franky felt he should have still been stationed alongside his unit. A year before the founding of Heal our Heroes, Franky took his own life. The spirit of Captain Franky Kim and his selfless commitment to our country became the inspiration behind Heal our Heroes.
Patrick Bolchoz and Everett Weston crossed paths for the first time at Franky’s funeral. The connection was instant and their lives seemed to “collide in every positive way,” as described by Bolchoz. The idea for Heal our Heroes evolved from the desire to keep Franky’s spirit alive. With mutual friends and business partners, plans fell into place and the organization gained an immediate, positive response.
Heal our Heroes brings a sometimes forgotten and often unspoken aspect of military service to the forefront. Returning veterans are not always able to leave behind the vividness of their experience. Service-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder maintains a psychological connection between our veterans and their involvement while deployed. PTSD has influenced a suicide epidemic, taking the lives of nearly 20 veterans per day- a number that has fallen from 22 since the start of the organization in 2014 and a significant stride in their effort to decrease the PTSD-related suicide rate.
Through continuous advocacy, awareness campaigning, and the raising of resources, Heal our Heroes is able to provide veterans with accessible mental health care services. For every $5,000, a veteran suffering from PTSD and other trauma-related stress will receive a lifetime of professional care and support. Awareness is crucial in tackling the epidemic as the issue is, “under-sourced, oversubscribed, and quite frankly forgotten,” as explained by Bolchoz.
On December 2, Heal our Heroes celebrated their 3rd annual fundraising event in the Metropolitan Pavilion. Guests enjoyed live performances, complimentary cocktails, and food catered by ANEU catering & events. Donations could be made through the silent auction and raffle. Every event was centered around raising awareness for our nation’s veterans and the prevalent reality of service-related Post-Traumatic Stress. The heart and soul of Captain Franky Kim is remembered through Heal our Heroes as they strive to improve the lives and health of veterans after deployment.
A very special thank you to Patrick Bolchoz for taking the time to speak with us. And another special thank you to Hubb House PR for inviting us.
To support and donate money to HOH please click here