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The Veterans Administration National Creative Arts Festival for wounded warriors was recently held in my hometown, San Antonio, Texas.

Heloise in US Army Golden Knights jump suit and Heloise "green" parachute, getting ready to MC the opening ceremony for the Veterans Administration National Creative Arts' Festival in San Antonio TX. 

Being a very proud Air Force brat, I was just thrilled when asked to serve as the Ambassador to the Arts and Mistress of Ceremonies at the VETERANS CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL.  My ties to the military started the day I was born. My late father, Lt. Col. Mike Cruse (1919-2006) was a pilot. My retired Aerospace Engineer brother Louis was a USAF jet engine mechanic.  I had uncles and cousins in the Army, Navy, and Marines. Growing up in a military family, I truly understand what it's like to move often, miss friends and then make new ones! In fact, I did not know any different until I was 23 and out of college!  This fantastic event, hosted by San Antonio, my home town, was incredible and our way of saying thanks to our military from Military City USA.

Here I am in my U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute getup! I wore this at the opening Monday night veteran’s event. (Click here for the story and photos of my jump with the Golden Knights)

Meeting these incredible wounded warriors, and all of the folks who were involved putting on the incredible week long event, was an absolute honor for me.

Over 3,000 veterans entered and I just don’t know how the committee narrowed it down to the performances I introduced for the stage show. Each person, who entered a piece of art or performed on stage during the three-hour show, deserves our congratulations and grateful thanks for serving this country. This show was filmed and will be airing on PBS stations across the country next year. Music, song, dance, poetry, photography and more!

There were so many wonderful moments, it’s hard to pick out one to tell you about, but laughter, tears and emotions ran high.

If you want to help or volunteer, contact a VA facility close to you. You can help lift the spirits of our wounded vets.

Heloise and Verna Gates


The National Federation of Press Women honored me with the Communicator of Achievement 2009 at their 72nd annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, September 2009.

There were 12 other talented nominees. Verna Gates, a journalist from Birmingham, Alabama, was deservedly named runner-up. I have been a long-time member of this worthy organization and it was an amazing gathering of incredible writers from all over the country. Kudos to all, who made it such a fabulous meeting.

Heloise and Ouida Cox

As Keynote Speaker, I did my presentation...50 Years of Heloise: From Typewriter, Dictaphone and Mail to Computer, Cell Phone and E-mail! Yes, this is the 50th year of the Heloise column, started by my mother and carried on by me.

I also hosted a workshop with Merry Clark, Editorial Director, Heloise, Inc.: Journalism 101 Skills: Still Vital in 24/7 Information Age. We had a lively discussion of the issues the writers face today.

To watch a bit of the conference, click here.


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