American Legion, HeroZona Foundation Announce Veterans Day Event Focused on Afghanistan Updates and Mental Health

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Leaders in Government and Healthcare to Discuss Important Issues Affecting Arizona Veteran Community

The HeroZona Foundation is excited to announce it will host the 2021 American Legion Department of Arizona Breakfast on Tuesday, November 9 from 9 to 10 a.m. in honor of Veterans Day. This year’s event, located at Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 (1624 E. Broadway Rd.) in Phoenix, will focus on understanding mental health, the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan and other important issues that Arizona’s veteran community is facing. The breakfast will be streamed live on and

Event panelists include Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Wanda A. Wright, Blue Cross Blue Shield Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Coalition for Military Families Director and U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard Veteran Thomas Winkel, Phoenix VA Health Care System Post-9/11 Military2VA Program Manager Shilo Catlett and Equality Health Medical Director and U.S. Army Veteran Dr. Edmond Baker.

The event will be moderated by former Special Assistant to President Donald Trump on Veterans’ Issues, former advisor to U.S. Senator John McCain and Arizona State University Strategic Initiatives Assistant Vice President, Drew Trojanowski. Former Minority Leader of Arizona House of Representatives Art Hamilton will serve as master of ceremonies.

“This is such an important time for the community to not only understand how we can support those who served in Afghanistan, but all Arizona veterans,” said Alan “AP” Powell, Chairman of AP & Associates - Strategic Alliances and U.S. Army Desert-Storm Veteran. “We are bringing together government and community stakeholders to discuss mental health and well as educate and raise awareness around the issues that veterans, service members and their families face so we can increase their accessibility to services and benefits.”

“We all know that mental health is an important component of one’s overall health,” said Dr. Christ. “While serving our country, our veterans experience some of the most challenging physical and emotional situations. That’s why it is important to have these discussions, so they are aware of the services and resources that are available to them.”

Special guests of the breakfast include U.S. Representative for District 7 Ruben Gallego, Maricopa County District 5 Supervisor Steve Gallardo, City of Phoenix District 8 Vice Mayor Carlos Garcia and The American Legion Department of Arizona Commander and U.S. Air Force Veteran Benjamin Headen.

“For many of the veterans who served in Afghanistan, the past few months have been deeply saddening and traumatic,” said representative Gallego. “As two decades of war have now come to a close, we must pay special attention to the mental well-being of those who served. Events like this are important as we bring together government, veterans and healthcare organizations to ensure all veterans live full and healthy lives. I look forward to continue working with everyone here to deliver the best care, resources, and opportunities for our veterans.”

The event is supported in part by Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, APS, Andrew & Amy Cohn and many more.

The American Legion has been on the fore front of veterans’ issues for the past 102 years and will continue. National Commander Paul Dillard’s theme “No Veteran left behind” inspires organizations like HeroZona to support programs that improve the community for our veterans.

HeroZona Foundation has launched a variety of community programs including The Bridge Forum ‘Time for Change’ Summits, which bring leaders from across the country together to discuss racial inequality, police relations, veterans’ issue, mental health and more. Other initiatives include Phoenix Tools 4 School, Holiday Bike Giveaways, MLK Celebrating the Dream, Play It Forward: Engaging Our Youth Through the Arts, Veterans Reach to Teach and the HeroZona Forgotten Heroes Breakfast.

For more information about the Bridge Forum and to stream its upcoming event on Tuesday, November 9, visit

About the HeroZona Foundation
The HeroZona Foundation is a non-profit organization that empowers Heroes in the community through entrepreneurship, employment, and education. The group works with veterans, first responders and those that bring social good to future generations and under-served communities. The foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for the brave men and women who serve their country, and community, every day. For more information, please visit

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Ivana Morales