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Mother of Persian Gulf War Veteran Helps Other Vets

Companies mentioned in this article: Help Hospitalized Veterans

WINCHESTER, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 08/26/10 -- Minutes after her father -- a veteran of WWII -- left to fight in the Korean War, Sandi Kriebel was born. "I was raised in a patriotic home. One of my brothers served in Vietnam and the other was in the Navy. We flew the American flag every day," says Kriebel.

These days Kriebel applies that patriotism by working with hospitalized veterans distributing HHV-provided therapeutic arts & crafts kits at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, a position funded by Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV). What makes her story touching is the fact that her son, a veteran of the Persian Gulf War, is seriously ill. "There are reminders of the pain he endures every day. I want to make sure all veterans, particularly those in VA hospitals and nursing homes, know they are not forgotten," she adds.

Kriebel enjoys her work, witnessing the benefits of the craft kits every day. "When I approach a veteran to try something new, the initial reaction is oftentimes reluctance." With encouragement, however, Kriebel says reluctance gives way to curiosity, then finally -- willingness to try a project. "I've seen fear replaced with hope and despair replaced with enjoyment. As veterans work on their craft kits, levels of confidence and self-esteem increase," says Kriebel.

In addition, a breakthrough moment was observed by a therapist on the mental health unit who was having difficulty getting patients to open up during group sessions. The therapist noticed that, while working on HHV's leather craft items, a couple of the patients were talking to each other. Therapists decided to incorporate arts & crafts into regular group therapy. "You'd be amazed at the positive difference craft kits have made," Kriebel added.

Since 1971, HHV has donated over 25 million therapeutic arts & crafts kits to our nation's VA and military hospitals at no charge. For more information on HHV's variety of programs and services -- all of which are made possible through the generous support of donors throughout the United States -- visit www.hhv.org.

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