Hometown Hero Contributes $11,000 for a Veteran’s At-Home Treatment

Hometown Hero Contributes $11,000 for a Veteran’s At-Home Treatment

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Hometown Hero was founded on a mission of community, compassion, and wellness. Since our first day in business, we've strived to embody these principles with our products and our dedication to giving back to those who served.

Recently, we've been given the honor of partnering with Chive Charities to make an $11,000 donation to fully fund the cost of therapeutic treatment for Justin Pricer, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Afghanistan. 

Justin's Story

U.S. veteran smiling

Most recent college graduates have just one focus—finding a job. But for Justin, it was more than that. It was about being able to provide for his newborn daughter so that she could have a better life. So with that at the forefront of his mind, he resolved that if he didn't get a job by a certain time, he would join the military

Soon after Justin enlisted, he did basic training as a combat medic in Fort Moore (previously known as Fort Benning) near Columbus, Georgia, followed by Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. 

"We joked that we had 16 weeks of medical school," Justin said. 

Afterward, in May 2010 he was sent to Grafenwöhr, Germany, to complete his pre-deployment training, and then he traveled to Poland to do animal labs. In July 2011, Justin was deployed to Afghanistan. 

His time in Afghanistan began at the forward operating base (FOB) in the Nangarhar Province before his company was attached to the 10th Mountain Division in the Logar Province. Their overall mission was about winning hearts and minds by building relationships with community members, but very soon, Justin's medical training would be put to use. During his deployment, Justin encountered kids who experienced gunshot wounds, burns, and other injuries. 

"Anytime I encounter a child that is injured, I could only see my kid," Justin said. 

But after a year abroad, Justin's deployment ended, and he stayed in Germany before deciding to re-enlist. By April 2013, Justin was in Washington, D.C., serving at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he stayed until he concluded his service on July 29, 2015. 

By the end of his service, he achieved what he set out to do: provide a better quality of life for his daughter. Yet, like many veterans, Justin faced a new battle after his service ended. 

"The first years after I got out of the Army, more than a dozen of the soldiers I was stationed with had taken their own lives, and for a few years after, I thought about doing the same every single," Justin said. 

Over time, Justin became withdrawn, no longer checking in with friends. Eventually, he and his wife divorced. Nonetheless, his daughter remained his priority, and he eventually was able to meet his current wife and find a path forward in life. 

Helping Out a Hero in ATX

hometown hero helping out

We caught wind of Justin and his incredible story of service and his dedication to his daughter while asking Chive Charities if they knew a veteran that we could help out. 

For several years, Justin had been silently managing his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms through various treatment methods. Traditionally, in many Native American communities, sweat lodges have served as a purification ritual performed on warriors before and after a battle. This same practice has carried on today among veterans with native and non-native backgrounds, and a growing amount of research is finding that this practice can help manage cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

When Justin began looking for at-home options for this type of treatment, the price was out of his range, but with our donation of $11,000, we were able to fully fund the cost of an infrared sauna to help supplement Justin's journey of healing. 
Group photo with the gang at chive charities

We're so grateful we had the opportunity to help out a veteran through this partnership, and it wouldn't have been possible without the support of our loyal customers.

Every purchase you make with us always has and always will contribute to our mission: to give back. So keep on exploring, mind your mind, and know it's making a difference.

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