Local teen honors veterans one blog post at a time

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16-year-old Hayley Falk is no ordinary teenager.

Although, like many of her peers, she spends a lot of time blogging online, Falk’s goal isn’t to share news of her latest purchase or trip with the family. Instead, she uses her social platform to bring attention and awareness to an issue that she and her family are incredibly passionate about.

“About seven years ago, I went to my first Wreaths Across America event with my dad,” she recalls. “I knew I wanted to do something to bring attention to veterans and that’s when I got the idea to start a blog.

Falk recently launched his site, “Because of the Brave,” which highlights all veterans and what they have done for our country.

“Every Monday is ‘Medal of Honor Monday’, where I pick up a Medal of Honor recipient that I find interesting and write an article about him,” she explained. “I usually try to highlight their service and why we should remember them.”

While Falk’s family has always been heavily involved in veterans affairs – his father, local police sergeant Jeff Falk, is a veteran, as is his grandfather Don Falk – Hayley wanted to separate himself from the rest of the Falk.

“During my years of volunteering, I have witnessed the right way to honor the military,” she noted. “In April, I had what started out as a blog idea, (and) it quickly turned into hours of building a website and Facebook page.”

With the help of her brother Jack, Hayley was able to create an entire website dedicated to the remembrance and thanks of veterans around the world. On her website, Falk mentions that her sole focus is “to honor our current and former military,” which she says is something more local youth could spend time doing.

Jeff Falk has been a big supporter of veterans at the local level and has led several activities and programs including the Medal of Honor education program in Cheshire schools. When he heard about Hayley’s new project, he was shocked.

“Everything I do, I try to do with and for my children,” he began. “When I first heard of Hayley’s website, I honestly had no idea what it was, but I really couldn’t be prouder that she made it all her own. “

Falk came up with the idea for a blog post from a Chicago student, who started a charity dedicated to thanking local veterans in his area – something Falk hopes to eventually start in Cheshire.

When Falk launched her blog and Facebook page in November, she and her family had no idea how big it would take.

“When she had 100 followers, she thought maybe she wanted to do something special when she hit 250 and then she hit 250 that night,” Jeff Falk said with a laugh. “And then we thought we would do something about when it hit 500, and then it happened so quickly too.”

Currently, the “Because of the Brave” Facebook page has approximately 1,300 followers and continues to earn every day.

“I really want to make this a nonprofit that can help veterans,” Falk said. “I also want to reach out to other veterans organizations and partner with them – really anything to get the word out. “

Visit Falk’s website at https://www.bcofthebrave.org/ and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bcofthebrave/.


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