TEMPLE, Texas (FOX 44) – Help Heal Veterans dedicated its craft center to a couple who had an impact on central Texas. It is now called the Cahill Center after Michael and Joleen Cahill.
“My father’s legacy and my mother’s legacy be the one that is bringing people together,” daughter Kerry Cahill said. “That’s the important thing.”
This is the first time Heal Vets has named one of its facilities after someone.
“We try to heal,” Heal Vets CEO Joe McClain said. “We try to support the healing journey of those, and we don’t really have anybody else who could be the epitome of what we want to aspire to than those two and their local story in Temple.”
Michael Cahill died during the 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood, and Joleen was very active in the veteran community.
“A physician’s assistant and a retired chief warrant officer… and he charged the gunman, and the only civilian killed that day because of that,” Kerry Cahill said.
Their daughter Kerry Cahill, who you might recognize from the hit TV show The Walking Dead, says this is exactly what they would have wanted.
“It’s really a testament to the legacy they left in the world of healing people and helping people,” Kerry Cahill said. “And to me, it’s better than like a giant building or something like that. This is what they would’ve wanted- veterans drinking coffee, putting themselves into some art and getting better.”
Heal Vets is a national non-profit that helps veterans and active duty who are living with psychological or physical combat-related injuries.
It supplies free craft therapy kits which helps with long-term injuries or psychological trauma.
“A lot of depression, a lot of PTSD, a lot of things along those lines,” McClain said. “It has to do with that repetitive movement, putting together, maybe concentrating on something.”
To get involved with the organization or learn more about their resources, click here.