Veterans are ‘hugging it out’

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Iraq Veteran Ian Michael and Afghanistan veteran Gino Greganti started the Human Hug Project when they realized a simple hug had the power to help heal some of their battle scars.

"We've been traveling the country giving hugs at VA Hospitals and at local events for about the last year. We've been to 26 VA facilities so we're ending our Texas tour in Houston," says Ian Michael.

Gino Greganti's wife, Erin, explains how everything started for them. "When Gino came back from Afghanistan, something had changed. He was in a dark place. We went to the VA Hospital to seek out help and a social worker gave him a hug and it turned the spark back on in his heart... so we decided to give it back."

No matter how young or old, vets at the DeBakey VA loved the hugs.

"That hug means America loves us the way we love it," says Army veteran Chester Jones.

"It really does help your feelings to know somebody else is caring," says Voncile Jennings.

Army Vet Donald Lee Thomas tells us, "It feels good just to hug another vet. It was very comforting."

While another Army man,  Herbert Copes says, "It makes me feel real good. It makes me feel wanted."

Vietnam veteran Wayne Newsome,  likes the project and is glad it'll continue. "It lights up this whole room. We're forgetting why we're here."

At least one employee of the Michael E. DeBakey Hospital agrees but wants more, "We should do it on a daily basis - give a hug - not just every now and then it should be every day."

Seems like only good things can come from "hugging it out".

If you feel like doing more than just provide a hug, then click here to donate to their cause.

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