The Grateful Nation Project: Hero Cards, Educating Students on Freedom & Sacrifice
October 6, 2022

Tamira Musgrave


The “Grateful Nation Project” focuses on sharing real stories from real-life heroes with students, helping them gain a whole new perspective on what “the ultimate sacrifice” truly means.

Two veteran organizations have collaborated on this new project. The Unquiet Professional, which assists Gold Star Families, and The Hero Cards Benefit Corp. which preserves the sacrifices made by various United States military members who lost their lives while serving our country.

Krista Simpson Anderson, President & Co-Founder of the Unquiet Professional, commented about the project, “We saw the need to develop a national program for the classroom. We believe the Grateful Nation Project is ideal for the weeks leading up to Memorial Day and will reach students at a deeper level and re-focus Americans to never forget the sacrifices made for our freedom. Students will get to know a true hero as a real person with a real story.”

Memorial Day isn’t discussed in schools as much as it should be. The holiday tends to be fun because kids get a day off from school. Many people participate in hosting family barbeques, and others like to pack up and spend the day at the lake. However, the holiday is to remember and honor military members who died in the line of duty.

Dale Kooyenga said, “We see a great need to bring some patriotism back to the classroom. Through the Grateful Nation Project, we make it easy for educators to have students report on real heroes who gave everything for our freedom. You often hear ‘never forget’ on Memorial Day. We’re helping educators to act on that idea and to help students get to know and celebrate true heroes.” Kooyenga is the CEO and Founder of Hero Cards and a veteran who served in Iraq.

The Grateful Nation provides a “Hero Card” for every student, and each card has a fallen service member’s basic info, a photo, and a brief description of their story. Each numbered card corresponds to a permanent online tribute, where you can find a more detailed story for your hero. This project includes heroes from the Revolutionary War to the modern day.

The project is most suitable for middle and high school children, and the cards with online stories can be provided to each student for $1. Kooyenga mentions, “We’ve kept the cost very low to make it easy on curriculum budgets. We will also coordinate with schools, districts, or home school associations to secure sponsors and cover the cost.” 

All are welcome to sponsor this program, including local businesses, community groups, veterans, parent organizations, etc. The ultimate goal is to teach the next generation about the importance of fighting for liberty and why Memorial Day is so much more than a day off. Anyone can participate. To sponsor or obtain The Grateful Nation Project, please visit

About Hero Cards

Hero Cards Benefit Corporation creates Hero Cards for every fallen service member and a permanent online archive to preserve their story and honor their sacrifice. More than 50% of Hero Cards Benefit Corp. employees are current Guardsmen, Reservists, or Veterans. Hero Cards are designed and proudly made in the USA. 

About The Unquiet Professional

The Unquiet Professional is a charitable organization dedicated to honoring and empowering our nation’s Gold Star & Surviving Families, Veterans, and military families. They provide valuable programs to support those who serve, ensuring their voices are heard. 

The Unquiet Professional was created in honor of Michael H. Simpson, who lost his life during an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan. He served with the 1st Special Forces Group and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.  

Why Programs Like The Grateful Nation Project Are Essential for Kids

Experts say it’s a good idea to explain the significance of Memorial Day to children. Becky Reback, head of parent/family coaching at Evolved Education in NYC, stated, “It’s important for them to understand that we aren’t just taking a day off from school. The people we are honoring were moms, dads, brothers, and sisters, just like we are.” 

Kids tend to be fearful of things they don’t understand. You can help empower them by explaining sensitive topics educationally and honestly. Hero Cards can help open up the discussion about Memorial Day and why we should never forget what these heroes have done to preserve and maintain the freedoms we enjoy today. 

That’s why Hero Cards is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the real stories associated with real people who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

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