Meet June’s Community Hero: Kelly Haywood

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Kelly Haywood never served in the military but as a way of saying 'thank-you' to the men and women who did serve, she is dedicated to honoring our military heroes.  Kelly says, "They feel like they are forgotten. It's nice to remind them that they count. It feels good."

Kelly serves as a volunteer for Indy Honor Flight, where she works behind the scenes and meets with vets before they make their trip. It’s important to Kelly to get to know the vets so she can help make their trip special. Other duties include packing goody bags the vets can take on their day trip to Washington DC to visit the Veterans Memorial.

This past April was her first time serving as an Honor Flight Guardian.  She escorted Jerry Jo Clark, a veteran of the Korean War and navy reservist, on his honor flight day trip to Washington DC. Haywood says, "I think I cried more than he did.  He didn't stop smiling all day!"  She also came up with a unique way to make sure his wife didn't miss any of the special moments during the day while she was back in Indy.

Kelly was nominated for the Community Hero award because of her dedication and passion in making sure vets meet with her before their memorable trips to the capital. It’s also important to her that each vet knows they are special and appreciated before, during and after their trip.  Kelley takes us on the emotional and touching journey with Jerry as he and 169 other vets are honored at the Veterans Memorial.

She also spearheads the VALOR program at PepsiCo where she works, creating a scrolling tribute to the vets who work at her company.  Kelly makes sure they are recognized and honored for their service.  She continuously and selflessly serves with humility and grace in everything she does. Kelly shows us why she is the June Community Hero of the Month! Congratulations to Kelly Haywood from Community Health Network and FOX59.  Boy, was this a fun surprise to pull off!

Nominate a Community Hero of the Month here.