Target acquired — hug commencing

Photo  courtesy of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center Gino Greganti, cofounder of the Human Hug Project, hugs veteran James Coyle at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.

Photo
courtesy of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center
Gino Greganti, cofounder of the Human Hug Project, hugs veteran James Coyle at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center.

Patrick McCallister
For Veteran Voice
It’s Ian Michael’s dream to go across the country hugging people. No, seriously.
The Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran had debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder. In his darkest time, Michael went back to his mother’s to try to find some meaning and purpose in life. There he had a dream about riding a bicycle across the country hugging people.
“The Ian two years ago, you’d never seen me hug someone expect family,” the Marine Corps veteran said.
Michael and his USMC buddy Gino Greganti co-founded the Human Hug Project. The two, along with Greganti’s wife, Erin, recently toured all of Florida’s Department of Veterans Affairs 33 medical centers giving fellow veterans hugs. It’s part of their #hugavet project.

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Expansion progress wows visitors

Photo by Roger Scruggs Veteran Bill Kowalczyk, of the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, takes a party to view the Center’s plaza, and explains his plans to add new exhibits in upcoming weeks at a media event April 30 to give the public an update on its expansion project. In the background, construction on the Center’s new Museum wing can be seen, including a tower designed to match similar towers emplaced all along the Florida coast during World War II.

Photo by Roger Scruggs
Veteran Bill Kowalczyk, of the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, takes a party to view the Center’s plaza, and explains his plans to add new exhibits in upcoming weeks at a media event April 30 to give the public an update on its expansion project. In the background, construction on the Center’s new Museum wing can be seen, including a tower designed to match similar towers emplaced all along the Florida coast during World War II.

Mary Kemper
Staff Writer
It was a proud day April 30 for members of the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center’s Expansion Committee, as it hosted a media day to show off progress on its multi-million-dollar upgrades.
Committee Chairman Donn Weaver, along with Center President Bill Vagianos, gave a briefing to more than 60 members of the media and public on just how impressive the efforts are to date.
Parking has already been revamped, and will continue to grow larger as the work goes on. But it’s the building and grounds that are the big stars.
Spearheaded by Ivey’s Construction, the main contractor, the building’s new wing dwarfs the original building. All of the BVMC Museum’s exhibits will move there into a large, airy space — 6,000 square feet — with a landing almost completely circumnavigating the entire space. This will allow for a complete redesign.
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