Home News Local News Veteran mother, CEO extends thanks to Roswell’s heroes

Veteran mother, CEO extends thanks to Roswell’s heroes

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Michele Ladd, CEO of Heroes Home Advantage, is greeted by a crowd of veterans while at her final Roswell stop at Brookdale Country Club on Tuesday morning. Ladd made it a point to thank those who have served in the U.S. military. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

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The creator of a national real estate discount program aimed toward veterans, members of the military, first responders and other vital groups got up close and personal with many of Roswell’s heroes to say “thank you.”

Jennifer Smith of Enchanted Lands Realtors, left, poses next to Ted Bishop of Stearns Lending, Roswell Police Sergeant and veteran Ron Smith, Heroes Home Advantage CEO Michele Ladd, RPD commander Jimmy Preston, and Mike Holstun of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors at the Roswell Police Department in front of Ladd’s “Heromobile” Tuesday morning. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

Michele Ladd, CEO of Heroes Home Advantage, took a moment to stop in Roswell as part of her trip through the United States.

The Rochester, New York-native who has been selling real estate for 21 years explained she has been traveling in her own RV, nicknamed the “Heromobile,” with the intention to meet with and show her appreciation to the heroes she meets along the way.

“This is my new mission in life,” Ladd told the Daily Record Tuesday. “Just to shake their hands and say, ‘Thank you for putting your lives on the line and for caring for us and teaching us.’”

Ladd attributes inspiration of offering thanks to veterans to her children.

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“My oldest, Tommy, served four years as a Marine,” she said. “I thought he was safe from war because he was supply and acquisition, but once he got into Iraq the second time, I know he did a lot of things that he wasn’t expecting.

“Being a mother, and your son’s off to war — it really makes you think about what these people are really doing for us.”

Ladd said that her younger son left college to join the Navy.

“He wanted to also make a difference,” she said. “The two of them is what started my drive.”

Ladd said she soon learned that post-traumatic stress disorder within not just military veterans, but first responders too.

Ladd teamed up with community members Tuesday, including Jennifer Smith of Enchanted Lands Realtors, Mike Holstun of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors, and Ted Bishop of Stearns Lending to thank those within the Roswell Fire Department, Tri-State Care Flight, the Roswell Police Department, as well as military veterans at Brookdale Country Club. The various departments were also given complimentary burritos donated by Burrito Express.

“I think them seeing me, and seeing my eyes and my smile, and thanking them and looking them in the eyes — that’s what makes a difference,” Ladd said. “I’m not just this big CEO that’s making millions of dollars. Actually, I’m not making much money at all.

“Just doing this and taking away time from my work and stuff, but just the expense of this thing, is very costly. But I don’t care. It’s not about the money for me.”

Ladd said that many CEOs would normally assign staff members to this kind of activity.

“This is such human nature kind of thing,” she said. “And I have the most passion of anybody that I know — to really get out and thank these heroes for what they do for us.”

Ladd, reflecting on the locations she had stopped at while in Roswell, said the experience went amazingly well.

“At first, people don’t really understand what we’re doing,” she said. “What I let them know is, ‘We don’t think you get thanked enough for what you do, for putting your lives on the line for us every day.’”

Ladd said the second she explains herself to heroes, their demeanor completely changes. She described her experience.

“It’s the side of me that I just have such a passion and — I’m crazy. That’s what it is. I can’t thank them enough for what they do,” she said. “You could see their reaction. The firefighters were like, ‘What?’ Even the older veterans — they’re not going to be buying or selling a house, but they were like, ‘Wow.’”

Ladd said by the time she is finished with this trip, she will have traveled over 10,000 miles, through approximately 15 states. She said this is just the beginning.

“Now I see that people are receptive to it and the heroes appreciate it. It just drives me to keep doing it more,” she said. “There’s very few people out there that are doing something like this to — that really fuels it. I don’t know. It’s just a passion and a gift that I’ve had.”

Along her travels, the CEO is showing local professionals like Smith, Holstun and Bishop how to show thanks to those within the community.

“That’s what I’m showing them,” Ladd said. “Show up. Let them see your face. Shake their hand. Thank them for their service.

“If someday, they’re going to buy or sell a house, they’ll remember you. But let them know that you really care.”

Although she has never endured the hardships of being a member of the military or a first-responder, Ladd said she still understands it.

“I’ve never experienced that, but I just want them to know I’m a civilian,” she said. “I’m the mom of two veterans, but there are people out there that really do care, and that’s what I’m all about.”

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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