CHESHIRE — Sixteen-year-old Hayley Falk is not your average teenager.
Though like many of her peers, she spends a lot of time blogging online, Falk’s goal isn’t to share news about her newest purchase or trip with the family.
“About seven years ago, I went to my first Wreaths Across America event with my dad,” she said. “I knew I wanted to do something to bring attention to veterans and that’s when I had the idea to start a blog.”
Falk recently started her website, named “Because of the Brave.”
“Every Monday is ‘Medal of Honor Monday,’ where I take a Medal of Honor recipient that I find interesting and write a post about them,” she explained. “I usually try to highlight their service and why we should remember them.”
While Falk’s family has always been heavily involved in veterans’ issues — her father, local police sergeant Jeff Falk, is a veteran, as is her grandfather Don Falk — Hayley wanted to separate herself from the rest of the family.
“Through my years of volunteering, I have been able to witness first-hand the right way to honor service members,” she said. “In April, I had what started off as an idea to blog, (and) that soon became hours of creating a website and Facebook page.”
On her website, Falk mentions that her single goal is “to honor our current and former service members,” which, she believes, is something more local youths could spend time doing.
Jeff Falk has been a big supporter of veterans locally, and has spearheaded activities and programs, including the Medal of Honor education program in the schools. When he heard about Hayley’s new project, he was shocked.
“Everything I do, I try to do with and for my kids,” he said. “When I learned about Hayley’s website, I honestly had no idea what it was, but I really couldn’t be prouder that she is making this entirely her own.”
Falk got the idea for the blog from a college student in Chicago, who began a charity dedicated to thanking local veterans in her area — something Falk hopes to eventually begin in Cheshire.
Currently, the Facebook page for “Because of the Brave” has about 1,300 followers.
“I really want to turn this into a nonprofit organization which can help veterans,” Hayley Falk said. “I want to reach out to other veterans’ organizations, too, and partner with them — really anything to get the word out.”
Visit Falk’s website at https://www.bcofthebrave.org/, and her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bcofthebrave/.