Pages Navigation Menu

Where No Hero is Forgotten


         Photo by Sal Veder – AP

Homefront Hugs Foundation- Where No Hero is Forgotten 


March 15, 2018

Welcome to the Homefront Hugs Foundation, a somewhat corny but loving name for a small grass roots non-profit charity with a heart and passion for inclusion, diversity and peace, weary of the useless reasons for division, ready for us all to find our common humanity, and a passion to give unconditional support to our brave troops, their courageous families and our amazing veterans.  Our other goal is to inspire and support volunteers of all ages and walks of life who wish to give thanks for their freedoms by making a real difference in their communities and world ; helping to make our world a gentler kinder place for all . 

Struggling through their trauma and grief, the Douglas High students of Parkland, Florida have inspired us deeply and exemplified exactly what we attempt to encourage in our youngest generation . They have used their gift of freedom from our veterans and the 1st Amendment to protest and demand safer schools as millions of peers follow their lead worldwide . They have become active involved citizens excited for their privilege to vote in our free elections . They are demonstrating their recognition of what it means to be a responsible citizen .




Homefront Hugs was founded 17 plus years ago on October 11, 2001 ( my husband’s birthday and a little over a month after 9-11 ) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania . I was a former US Air Force pilot’s wife and daughter of Foreign Service & US Army Officer . Watching friends deploy and knowing there was such anger and sadness, I wanted to be able to positively make a difference for the sake of my son and healing for all of us . 

At first, we were simply a small passionate group of volunteers and have now become a national charity with over 10,000 active members and almost 100,000 members in all. Sign up for our news updates through emails to keep updated on latest projects to support our heroes and make a difference in your community, while serving our troops and families, and helping in natural disasters and disaster relief where many times our troops are deployed and the Red Cross. Just email us at

Our national headquarters is in spectacular Ann Arbor, Michigan which is in the middle of the gorgeous Great Lakes, incredible sunsets, biking, golf, aviation, camping, fishing, skiing, music and art, farmer’s markets , art festivals , wildlife, cherry and tulip festivals, lighthouses, the brilliance of all 4 seasons, with some of the warmest, friendliest Americans and outstanding public schools and universities.  Ann Arbor is one of our favorite cities in the world, but the prize goes to quietly sparkling Charlevoix, Michigan which should be on everyone’s bucket list.


Charlevoix is a gem right outside of  Traverse City – serene beauty with townies who don’t mind when the fudgies (tourists) come but are happy to have their small jewel all to themselves too . I fell in love there with my husband Steve Schmidt after meeting him at the University of Michigan …before he joined the United States Air Force . Every season is breathtaking …and the residents are kind and laid back. 



In the USA, we live among heroes from all religions and walks of life who have served our country humbly, courageously . We are honored to serve heroes all over the USA and world. We know our support is helping to reduce the military suicide crisis but so much more is needed as we have posted hoping Congress , our president or even the Veterans Affairs Director ,will hear us . 

Military Suicides

I am half Swiss so we love our 2nd homeland Switzerland too and the wonderful memories especially of my late grandmother Ruth Hanmer -Schlaefli and her beautiful town of Solothurn including the family farm – the Mattenhof . Homefront Hugs reminds me how this world can unite together for peace and how interconnected we all are and need to be for the sake of our children whose voices are getting louder and louder for justice and gun sanity every day .

The world is a big place with our troops assigned all over, so we try to make it a bit smaller by reaching out to one another and their brave families. We need you. We need you wherever you live to help us support those heroes who need us most , to support volunteer missions in communities led by our volunteers of all ages and abilities .

Whatever your age, race,culture ,sex, ability, sexual  orientation ,gender identity, religion,politics or passion, we need you and we respect you . There is a place for everyone here at Homefront Hugs . 

Bottom line – you can help us from home or work or school –  you can choose any mission, from writing a card to our wounded troops and their hero medical staff who care for them, adopting a deployed hero or heroine with too many now on our waiting list with the latest deployments, or adopting a wounded veteran now home, or their brave family dealing with one of these many long deployments. You can also help with our homeless veterans and helping vets find resources and employment. You can knit or quilt  scarves, fingerless mittens , and lap blankets. You can help us develop apps and forms to serve our heroes better and faster. You can help tweak this homemade website which seriously needs help. You can help register people to vote or even help a veteran who needs special assistance . Our volunteers choose what they wish to do and teenagers nationwide have started Homefront Hugs Volunteer Clubs receiving official credit and reference letters for college and employment . 

You can do anything you wish in thanks for your freedoms and come up with your own ideas as well for you, your business, your family or friends…or even place of worship.

You can even be one of the first to start a Homefront Hugs Kids,Teen, Student or Seniors Club in your school , college or community supporting our heroes. The first Homefront Hugs Kids and Teen Club meeting was held in Gulf Breeze, Florida at our previous headquarters with a super response on March 15, 2010.

Forget any criticism of our youngest generation…they are fabulous . Just look at the walk out staged today nationwide to honor the 17 lives lost and plead to all of us adults to seek  sanity and reason . 

Just look on our Kids and Teen page at all the good they are doing everywhere ! If you do not have time, please consider telling others about us on social media or in your community as we are still a small grass roots organization. 


No one receives a salary or any compensation here. We are all volunteers trying to make this war and so many conflicts more bearable for all, making sure no hero feels forgotten. We are here to directly help or offer resources when help is needed.  Our goal is to reduce the tragic suicides too that are occurring daily in the military as well ; making this world a bit gentler through prevention and intervention with your help .

We wish everyone a beautiful safe Spring season and pray our heroes come home soon safe to their loved ones once their missions are complete. This is a very tough time for all military families who are dealing with numerous deployments,stretched thin and fighting a recruitment and retention problem . Our belief is if funds are spent on troop and veteran care focusing on reducing suicides, sexual assaults and enhancing mental fitness, many of these challenges can be solved . 

When our veterans are home, we need to make sure their needs are not forgotten . Homefront Hugs helps with those resources and helping vets acclimate, getting through the red tape of the VA and DOD system for benefits, finding employment and knowing how to access all resources out there for them . We work with the entire family as they are all heroes before, during and after deployments.  We have a dream that once DOD and the VA come to their senses, they will have a unit that raises and trains therapy and service dogs due to the overwhelming research of their efficacy in healing and preventing volatility and depression which can lead to suicide based on 

Let us hope for understanding and compassion for each other …for peace everywhere – in our hearts – families – neighborhoods. communities and countries. We began because of 9/11 when we stood united as Americans and with our allies against terrorism . We still stand united .




Savor those special moments”, my best friend and husband Steve Schmidt would say holding me , a humble and wise veteran, awesome writer, golfer, and amazing US Air Force pilot from Charlevoix.   Our marriage did not last due to a family tragedy and military deployment but I miss him every day .  

One never knows how long one has on this Earth so the greatest tribute we can give to the sacrifices of our veterans, is to make the most of our lives , cherishing those we love, never giving up on our dreams, savoring the moments .

Freedom Endures. Freedom means sacrifice . It is now our turn to say thanks and give back especially with thousands  deployed to Africa,Syria, Iraq, Qatar, Europe, South Korea, Japan, Kosovo, Kuwait,Afghanistan, Syria and all over the Middle East and world in our war against terrorism and our humanitarian efforts.

I am grateful every day that Steve made it back from Desert Storm safe and sound without any lasting wounds though sadly the  loss of our twins in utero was too much for our marriage to sustain . We were a young military couple who needed the support Homefront Hugs now values, and offers to hundreds of military families every year as our heroes in need.

Every wounded warrior or sick veteran we help reminds me this could have been Steve, or another loved one who has served . No hero should ever feel alone or forgotten and that is our mission here.  Join us here in ensuring their sacrifices are always honored and our freedoms are never taken for granted .

Wishing you a blessed Easter and Passover. We invite you to take part in Operation Pillow Hugs for the brave Stoneman Douglas High students or any other volunteer mission . Please also consider helping our missions continue . All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Together we can make a real difference rejecting divisions and those who prefer to divide us from each other and uniting across our differences to make the world a better place . Life is too short .

Sincerely yours in peace,


Alessandra (and son Ed) Kellermann 
  • US Air Force Family
  • Presidents and Founders of Homefront Hugs USA, Inc.
  • Recipients of the Four Chaplains Award
  • Recipients of Points of Light National Volunteer Award
  • University of Michigan Alumnus 1988
  • Boston University Sophomore










Ed Kellermann learned how short life is the hard way, as his father died of brain cancer and they never had enough time together . He helps run Homefront Hugs in memory of his father and hero – also a USAF veteran – combat pilot but never married to his mother as he had another family .

Ed ,now 19, is attending Boston University this fall 2018 to pursue law and find ways to better advocate and protect the rights of  veterans like his Dad.





  • Where Freedom Means Sacrifice and Freedom Endures (TM)
  • Where No Hero is Forgotten (TM)
  • Where our Heroes are Supported Without Conditions (TM)
  • Where volunteers are developed and fostered in thanks for our freedoms from all ages and walks of life with stewardship missions in all communities of their choosing which help make this world a gentler better place.




Where we honor and dedicate our missions to our World War II veterans who quietly and honorably served making sacrifices that few of us could ourselves even imagine and few chose to talk about when they came home .


  • Where we honor Dr. Henry J. Kellermann, Homefront Hugs founder’s late  grandfather, who helped to prosecute the Nazis at Nuremberg, re-educate the German brainwashed youth and taught his family , including Alessandra, of the endless sacrifices of our WWII veterans. May we never forget. He is honored at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC . 
  • Where we honor and dedicate our missions to USAF Gulf War veteran and pilot Steve Schmidt of Charlevoix, Michigan whose dedication and ability to beat the odds, keep a sense of humor, and meet any challenge inspired us to begin Homefront Hugs.  Steve is laid back, intelligent, caring who had the compassionate, kind heart of his American-Indian mother : Claire Rose Genia Schmidt , may she rest in peace. Claire keeps us all under her angel wings now . Alessandra chose to begin Homefront Hugs on Steve Schmidt’s birthday – October 11, 2001 in honor of their 7 years together, the twins they lost, and Steve’s brave service to our country especially during Desert Storm.
  • Where we dedicate our work to the late Representative Jim Oberstar of  Minnesota who reminds us all what integrity means , a true American who was able to work across the aisle , supporting our troops especially our Coast Guard,helping us with safer aviation, and protecting our environment. Jim also worked steadfastly advocating for safe biking routes throughout small towns and cities . Rep Oberstar served on the Hill for 36 years never fitting the definition of the ugly politician . Jim valued his time with family most and is sorely missed. When we see a safe bike lane in any community, we look up and thank Jim . When our founder, Alessandra and her team , are challenged for a solution , Alessandra asks herself:  ” What would Jim do ?”

  • Where each and every serviceman and woman is honored for their  courage and faith volunteering to protect our freedoms and safety including our imagewounded and seriously ill warriors through Operation Healing Angel. 



  • Where Americans will never forget 9-11-2001 , our hero troops and 1st responders , valuing how this country united that day in the hope we will unite again soon as that is when our country shines from within .
  • Where we attempt to make sure the shameful homecomings and treatment of our Vietnam veterans are never repeated. We honor our Vietnam veterans here and help any vet who needs us .
  • Where we remember and honor the sacrifices of LTC Gary ” Mad Dog ” Ducote who served in the US Air Force for over 25 years as a combat pilot – and commander leaving this Earth way too early. His son, Ed Kellermann, helps run Homefront Hugs in his honor as Vice-President .
  • Where we help our children remember how precious freedom is and help them thank our heroes finding ways to give back to their own communities in thanks for their freedoms . This focus on stewardship helps eliminate any fear, reminding our children they are safe and protected every single day by our brave 1st responders and dedicated troops . 

Make a personal pledge to “Never Forget”  with us today with a donation where 100% of your kind gift is used  for our deployed troops and wounded warrior needs helping ensure no hero is forgotten. Not every serviceman or woman has someone who cares and tragically suicide rates are up in our veterans and active duty troops. Your gift in thanks to our veterans makes a big difference in the area of prevention and intervention . Click here to help:

Donation Amounts
Add message for troops


At Homefront Hugs Foundation, no one earns a penny  and 100% of your help goes to postage to ship care to deserving wounded warriors , sick veterans and deployed troops without any support . With our current military suicide crisis , every bit of support matters .





Homefront Hugs Foundation,Inc.
Where No Hero Is Forgotten
501(c)(3) Charity EIN# 82-3486955