BraveHearts hosts virtual and live Veterans Day equine events, raising suicide awareness

HARVARD, Ill. (WLS) -- For nearly twenty years, the organization BraveHearts has provided healing through horses.

"They (horses) can pull people out of isolation, they are a phenomenal at giving people purpose," said Meggan Hill-McQueeney, President/COO, BraveHearts.

The therapeutic riding center in McHenry County includes a program for military veterans and Gold Star Families.

As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the global mental health crisis, BraveHearts will host a series of events for Veterans Day next week.

An 11-minute virtual broadcast with digital Presentation of the Colors, as well as a drive-thru event for local veterans takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their headquarters in Harvard, IL on Wednesday, November 11.

In addition, a first of its kind, global, month-long "Veterans Virtual Horse Show" is underway to encourage veterans to test their horsemanship skills.

"Our Veterans Day programs were developed after multiple conversations with veterans about the lack of celebrations and events this year due to COVID-19," said McQueeney. "While Veterans Day will look different this year, we are still committed to honoring our country's heroes. With the intensifying veteran suicide epidemic, we wanted to facilitate as many veterans as possible to connect digitally and continue to help those who have sacrificed so much for our nation."
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