When asked about his motivation to get involved – and stay involved – in Veteran’s Passport to Hope, board member Kyle Grivette responded immediately. “We live what we live because they do what they do.” Kyle believes that “we owe veterans more than a thank you” and lives that belief through his work with VP2H.
Kyle supports VP2H through his work with the annual golf tournament and a number of other events throughout the year. His company, AAA Building Maintenance, supports the organization financially as a sponsor for many of those events as well.
Involved with VP2H since the beginning, Kyle met founders Shane Schmutz and Dave Fingers in early 2012 and almost immediately became involved in the planning of the initial gala. He helped with the first three events the organization held, all of which were very successful. He is now in his second year as a board member for the organization.
Shane spoke with passion about veterans at the networking event where Kyle first met him. In Kyle’s words, Shane was “very intense and passionate,” inspiring Kyle to want to work with what he was doing for veterans. Through Shane, Kyle met Dave and then current president Patrick Wieland and current marketing chair Shara Hubert, all of whom were active in the initial stages of VP2H.
Although Kyle does not have direct military experience, he has family members who are veterans. His business partner, Rae Harris, had a brother who was active in the Gulf War. Unfortunately, her brother was killed in an auto accident back in the states, but Kyle remembers reading many of his letters about the experiences and challenges of active duty service overseas, in the battlefield. Kyle says it was scary to read some of the things he went through.
The most important aspect of VP2H for Kyle is helping the veterans that need the help, whatever that may be. He adds that “the number of veterans who attempt and succeed with suicide is mind-boggling.” It’s crucial to get help for them, through the organizations that support them. He recounts the story of a veteran’s family that could not pay their bills. VP2H was able to connect that family with a local organization that helped them through their crisis.
VP2H is heading in the right direction, Kyle says, particularly in regard to this type of cooperation among organizations that serve veterans. VP2H is a resource that connects veterans to those organizations that can give them the help they need. Kyle adds that veterans “do some of the most amazing stuff so we can live the lives we do. To not honor what they’ve done for us would be a shame.”