Testimonial from Andrew McCune, U.S. Marine Corps, (Ret.)

In 2014, I got invited to Heartland Heroes event, now restructured under American Gratitude Inc. I went kicking and screaming to this event. I didn’t want to attend, did not want to talk to anyone, essentially I wanted to be left alone to my own demise and continue down the path of depression and darkness. My family attended with me as well. The first day or so, I was standoffish, hallow, asking myself why am I here? After the 2nd day, the mentors were able to get me to let my guard down a little bit. By the end of the trip, I was able to open up, realizing there are good people in this world who still care. I struggle with TBI and PTSD daily. Things that will never go away. This trip allowed me to recognize my flaws, to ask myself, what is your purpose in life? It allowed me to socialize a little more each day in confidence of letting people into my circle. Right after the trip, I attended school, received my degree, and am now a Teacher, Football and Wrestling coach. Looking back at the hallow person I was, I realize, what help me the most was being forced to attend, to see individuals who truly cared and had a passion to help wounded veterans struggling. I have never met an entire community that truly wants to make a difference in the situations given to us, during and after enlistments and combat deployments. I now come back and help to offer the gift that was given to me, to make a Positive Impact on other families, to be around what is now gone it seems, comradery of veterans, no matter the branch. This comradery can never be replaced. This organization truly is amazing, and I am very thankful to the individuals who have help impact not only my life, but my families as well! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!