Students from Florida’s Lakewood Ranch High School shared HOPE and set an incredible example on how you can celebrate the service of veterans in your community!

Read more about these special students below.

YOU can be a face of HOPE in your community during Veteran and Military Families Month and Veterans Day!

Here is how:

  • Print and color this “thank you” card to display in your home or give to a veteran in your community.
  • Read to your children “Veterans: Heroes In Our Neighborhood” — an engaging rhyming picture book for all ages that fosters mindfulness of and appreciation for the brave service men and women who are also our family, friends and neighbors. 10% of profits from this book goes to Hope For The Warriors programs and services. Purchase here.

Lakewood Ranch Cast & Crew

Meet the young patriots involved in making this special veteran tribute video:

Savanna Katter
Savanna is a high school senior who is interested in studying communications, psychology or performing arts after graduation. She is a military brat whose father served both in the Marine Corps and Army.

Savanna says: My dad has been a HUGE positive influence in my life. He has taught me to be patient and always kind. My dad was injured in Iraq in 2007, so he has PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). You never know what someone has gone through just by looking at them. He has also taught me to be honest and brave, even when a circumstance or decision may be hard.

John Todd Girman
John is a sophomore with aspirations of pursing a degree in economics or political science. John chose to participate in this project because he feels it is important to support and celebrate veterans for their service. One of John’s role models is his uncle who is a Purple Heart recipient who served in the Gulf War.

Cayla Hill
Cayla is a sophomore who dreams of pursing a career in sales. Born into a military-rich family, Cayla’s role models in her life have always been her grandfather and father who served in the armed forces and now her two brothers who are serving. Her motive for participating in this project was to show veterans in her community her gratitude because she feels veterans don’t get the appreciation they should.

Toni Gulbrandsen
Toni is a sophomore with a goal of attending NYU. The son of a 25-year Marine Corps Veteran, Toni shares: I’ve [always] been surrounded by military families. [Many] veterans and their families almost helped raise me into the person I am today. With my dad constantly gone for work or deployed I’ve learned to be very independent but also respect others. I’ve earned great respect for veterans and their families.

Olivia Lafemina
Olivia is a senior who wants to pursue a degree in communication studies with an end goal of becoming a wedding planner. Her motive for participating in this project was her friendship with Savanna and the Katter family. She shares: Savanna’s dad has always been so kind to me, and her family has impacted me by teaching me what it means to be a part of the military, and what sacrifices a military family makes.

Alex Rogalski
Alex is a junior who plans on carrying her love of theater into her college career by pursing a degree in performing arts, specifically costume design. With an uncle and aunt currently serving on active duty and a brother entering the United States Air Force, Alex wanted to recognize the sacrifices made by our military and veterans by honoring the veterans in the community. Impacted by her family members’ service, she shares: They have taught me how to be strong in any situation and to always stand up for what I believe in.

Hope For The Warriors applauds these students for taking the initiative to create and share this video with us. And we praise their giving spirits and service to their community. Thank you for being a face of HOPE in your community.