FOUNDER OF HELP HOSPITALIZED VETERANS
Roger Chapin, who retired in August 2009 as president of HHV, is a graduate of Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont and a veteran of the U.S. Army Finance Corps.
Chapin began his mission of assisting American veterans when he established the Vietnam Gift Pac program, which distributed over 600,000 Pacs to forward area G.I.’s in Vietnam. In 1971 he and a group of other concerned citizens helped found the Help Hospitalized Veterans program after visiting wounded Marines at Balboa Naval Hospital, San Diego.
When asked what could be done to help alleviate the long, often dull hours of recuperation, one of the replies was, “Give me something to do with my hands.” After many discussions with doctors and therapists, the idea of using arts & crafts as therapeutic treatment tools were tested.
Years later, during a visit to the San Diego VA hospital, a veteran inpatient reported to HHV that the kits were like “Medicine that doesn’t come in a bottle.” That patient was Paul Johns, a veteran of the Korean War. Johns’ statement has rung true for many veterans through the years – veterans who have expressed similar sentiments about the HHV program.”
Over the years, the HHV program has significantly and positively changed the lives of countless hospitalized veterans and active duty military personnel receiving care within VA medical centers, several state veteran’s nursing homes, and military hospitals worldwide. And HHV has not forgotten America’s homebound veterans, many of whom also enjoy being recipients of its therapeutic arts & crafts kits and other products and services.