As Veterans Day approaches, I want to highlight a special effort to honor veterans, who are truly our heroes. Since the organization is run by a friend of mine, Dan Gomez, I have confidence in the integrity of the project since he is a man of integrity himself. The group is called OPERATION H.O.A.H. and is found on the web at www.operationhoah.org. “HOAH” stands for “Honor Our American Heroes.” HOAH also sounds a lot like the various services’ exclamations: the Army’s “Hooah“, the Marine’s “Oorah” and the Navy’s “Hooyah.” [You've never jumped high until you've been in the presence of a few hundred young soldiers all bellowing "Hooah" at the same time!]
The mission of OPERATION H.O.A.H. is two-fold: to honor or acknowledge each and every “American Hero” with a commemorative coin, and to raise donations for “Hero-oriented organizations.” The coins have a beautiful design! One side honors all military personnel past, present, and future with the emblems of each service – Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard – as well as the American flag and the text of the Pledge of Allegiance to remind us of the key principles from which this nation was formed. The reverse side offers an acknowledgement of each military member’s courage and sacrifice with a blue star to represent our deployed heroes, a purple heart to represent our injured heroes, and the missing soldier symbol to represent our fallen heroes.
The coins can be purchased for $15, with $5 from each going to the charity of your choice. Some of the charities associated with the project are: Helping Unite Gold Star Survivors, Gold Star Wives of America, Operation Never Forget, Silver Star Families Visit Site, and Homes for Heroes. For more information on these charities, links are provided on the “Purchase” and “Charities” sections of the site.
The site’s creator, Dan Gomez, is my friend. He created this project as a way to honor his own hero, his father, who immigrated from Mexico and served as an U.S. Army medic in World War II. Read more about Dan’s inspiration in this article published in the Hilltop Times on 10/16/08.
If you have a hero in your family, why not show them how much they mean to you by giving them a commemorative coin? Let’s show these brave men and women how grateful we are for their service to this country, and also donate some money to worthwhile charities that support our veterans.