Healing Field to honor troops, help veterans
By Hank Beckman For The Sun November 6, 2012 9:58AM
The Healing Field of Honor will once again be in Naperville, this year between Nov. 8 and 13. | Submitted
With almost 7,000 killed in action and thousands more wounded, a decade of war on two Middle Eastern fronts has taken its toll on military families.
And for many service personnel and their loved ones, the healing will take a long time.
“We’ve had over 10 years of war,” Deb Rickert said in a recent telephone interview. “And now we have to think about 10 years of veterans issues.”
Rickert, founder of Operation Support Our Troops, is involved in an upcoming event designed to bring awareness to vets suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and raise funds for researching PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries.
The Healing Field of Honor Naperville will take place Nov. 8 to 13. Rotary Hill in downtown Naperville will be filled with 2012 American flags for the entire week, continuing a concept begun in Sandy, Utah, in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Event coordinator Dave Wentz said the response to the Utah event that raised 3,000 flags to represent victims of that attack was so positive that many communities followed suit.
“We want to bring that to our community,” he said was the typical response to the event.
Naperville staged its first event in 2009 and the planning for the 2012 event began nine months ago.
Operation Support Our Troops is partnering with the Naperville Park District to stage the event, which organizers hope will raise at least $50,000 for research on PTSD and TBI, an amount that Operation Support Our Troops will match.
Interested parties may sponsor a flag for $30 by contacting fundraising chairperson Anna Zimmerman at 630-212-5426 or by email at email@example.com.