Healium-Supported “Honor Everywhere” VR Experiences Allow Veterans to Visit War Memorials

July 2, 2020 / Nueterra Capital Marketing

Healium’s clinically validated mindfulness tool uses virtual and augmented reality apps to help users self-manage stress and anxiety. Healium founder Sarah Hill has found success with another application of their virtual reality platform: giving sick or aging veterans an opportunity to virtually experience their war memorials.

Hill and author Michele Spry created the program Honor Everywhere in partnership with Central Missouri Honor Flight (a branch of the national Honor Flight program), in which veterans are flown to visit war memorials in person, after veterans began contacting Hill to say they were too frail to physically travel on an Honor Flight. As COVID-19 caused flights to be grounded, reliance on Honor Everywhere’s virtual offerings increased.

“Thank you so much for giving by bedridden hospice veterans this opportunity. The headset has brought both tears and laughter as well as opportunities for sharing their stories with family.”
– Family member of Honor Everywhere participant

Honor Everywhere estimates that since 2013, thousands of aging veterans have had the chance to virtually visit their memorials from their bedside, wheelchair, or assisted living center. “Honor Everywhere is Healium’s social purpose program,” said Hill.

These immersive experiences created using stereoscopic 360°, 3D video range from four to seven minutes long. They are available for the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Arlington National Cemetery, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, and the United States Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia; the USS Nimitz in Washington State; and soon the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“I could tell my Dad really enjoyed it and was completely immersed in the VR. He was waving at people and giving them the thumbs up!”
– Family member of Honor Everywhere participant

Honor Everywhere works with Oculus Go VR headsets. A caregiver can download the Honor Everywhere app and upload it to the headset. For veterans who are not able to purchase or wear an Oculus headset, Honor Everywhere mails “goggles” to veterans; the goggles are returned after use so they can be loaned to veterans on the waiting list. Priority is given to World War II survivors and veterans who are terminally ill. A free augmented reality Honor Everywhere mobile phone app is also available; it works without VR goggles but is not as immersive an experience.

Honor Everywhere is managed in partnership with the Central Missouri Honor Flight,
Ohio’s Hospice and the American Pride Program at Ohio’s Hospice, and the Veterans United Foundation.

For more information or to request an Honor Everywhere experience, visit HonorEverywhere.com.