I grew up as a civilian on a military base. As a young girl, I remember the amount of appreciation my dad showed to these “heroes” and how much that acknowledgement has influenced my appreciation for these heroes. I recall every holiday, especially the ones where most people get to spend with their families (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, New Year’s, Halloween, etc.) taking time out to go to our main gate (military police), clinic (e.r. and nursing staff), and fire department, to take goodies, or visit. A lot of these people were away from their families, so hopefully, we brought a little light into a lonely time for them. Numerous times I watched my dad, pay for a grocery bill for a soldier near us in line at the commissary, while saying “thank you for what you do for us and our country”. I’ve also witnessed my parents lovingly and selflessly open up their home at various times to soldiers who had no place to go for a holiday, or even a simple home cooked meal. Even to this day, I continue to witness my dad humbly approach a military soldier, firefighter, or police officer, and say “thank you, I/we appreciate your service”. I wonder if my parents are aware how much those acts have impacted me, and the creation of “Hands On Heroes”.
When it was time to go to college, I attended the University of Utah, earning my B.S. in Sociology, with a Certificate in Criminology. While starting a Master’s degree in Health Ed and Promotion, I stumbled upon massage therapy, and began that journey, with the desire to have a more hands on approach to this industry. I attended a year long massage therapy program, and continued on with some extended training. Upon graduation I worked for a chiropractor, and additionally, started building a private practice. Eventually, I was given a great opportunity to move to Colorado and become a massage therapy instructor, which aside from being a mom has to be my all time favorite job. When the time came to start a family, we were fortunate to be able to have one of us stay home to raise our family. My career seemed most flexible at the time, so I’m the one who was able to stay home. I believe everything happens as it should, and by me staying home I’ve had the opportunity to really dive into Hands On Heroes.
As a massage therapist and former massage therapy instructor, I think I have found my way of saying “thank you” through therapeutic touch. I’m excited to find that I am not alone in this sentiment and effort!
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