Below is the first hand account from Theresa Dawn Bowles. I did not coerce her in any way to give false testimony. When she’d seen the video I’d posted about active heroes, she reached out. This is her story:
Here is my story of what happened between my husband and I, and Active Heroes’ Troy Yocum: We were referred to them August of 2013 by US Bank, to possibly get help from them in paying the rest of my son’s funeral, and to assist us in filing our 501c3 for Heroes To Rest Inc, our charity.
We met with Troy and his wife a couple days later. Troy told us that it costs about $50,000 to be a 501c3, and convinced us that we should join as an entity under him and create the Heroes To Rest Endowment Fund, after we had raised enough money to pay off my son’s funeral. We agreed to do this, as we could in no way afford that much money to file a 501c3 on our own. That was LIE #1, as it only costs around $800 to file. Also, he told us that joining with Active Heroes would allow us to use their supplies for traffic light collections; t-shirts, cones, buckets, and banner. In addition he said that Active Heroes would train us on how to do Traffic Light Collections, and how to be successful at fundraising…LIE #2! They never had time for us, kept putting us off and would only complain that we weren’t doing something right, but never praise all the hard work and the amount of money we were raising at each benefit. We did only two Traffic Light Collections, as he kept saying that his volunteer team was doing them too…LIE #3. We only got to do the TWO and that was it!
We were told that we would be able to announce at fundraisers that we are Heroes To Rest. Then the second fundraiser, Troy complained that we were not supposed to do that, but that we were supposed to say Active Heroes, Heroes To Rest Fund. Then on the 3rd fundraiser, he again jumped on us and told us that we were not supposed to say that, and that we were to say, Active Heroes ONLY! I didn’t understand why he kept changing the rules, and why he was being upset with us when we were doing exactly what he told us to do! Then when we’d had enough of all that was going on, we set up a meeting.
FALSE ACCUSATIONS & BULLYING:
At that meeting we were talked to very hatefully, false accusations that my husband may have been taking some of the money (as he had taken his pail with him to his truck to get a cigarette out and take a smoke break. I couldn’t believe he had the nerve to say such a thing! It was all a ruse to push us out. He knew we gave him every penny! He then began complaining about how we would not say the correct name at our fundraisers, and I told him we did exactly as he instructed us, he denied and argued that he didn’t say those things…LIAR! He said that we could not even say Heroes To Rest, nor discuss my son or his circumstances/death at any fundraisers…he agreed we could tell my/his story anytime I wanted!
Troy then complained that when I was interviewed about my son’s memory balloon that was returned to me from another state, that the reporter advertised Heroes To Rest and said nothing about Active Heroes, and he became very angry at us for that. We never told the reporter (Katie Bauer) to say anything about our or his charity! She did that on her own. This was about sending up a memory balloon to my son, it was very personal, and Katie had interviewed us before just after my son died, about how I was raising money to pay for my son’s funeral by taking in Yard Sale leftovers by placing an ad on Craigslist in 2012. So she remembered our efforts to help veterans once we established Heroes To Rest Inc. So, she did that, nothing we said to her influenced her either way to say it. But Troy refused to stop complaining about it and started bullying us about how we did everything wrong and that they were going to have to let us go, and that they could no longer do the Endowment Fund, because he didn’t think we were bringing in enough money, fast enough, to get it done in the amount of time he needed us to do it. I began crying and saying how could he do this to us, to my son’s memory…he looked at me and said, “I think you need to go to therapy!” because I was sad and crying! I told him that I am thank you, and then I asked him if he’d ever lost a child, he said no, but he lost his grandfather when he was a little kid…I said that’s not the same thing, and you will never understand the grief of a parent who’s lost a child.
I then asked Troy when will I be able to choose the recipient of the money we had already raised (as previously agreed upon), and he said that the money will be put into another one of their Endowment Funds of his choosing! I told him he was a terrible person and that he would not get away with doing what he did and my husband and I left his office immediately!
When we returned home, just 15 minutes later, Troy sent my Heroes To Rest page a private message threatening to sue me if I said anything derogatory about Active Heroes or him…while I was responding, he immediately DELETED his message! Then I saw that he had HACKED my Facebook account, by going into the GMAIL account that he had set up for me when we first began working with them, and linked straight into my Facebook. He then deleted ALL of my contacts, including my son, whom I can not re-friend, as he is DEAD! He put in to have my Cpl Brandon S Bowles, Heroes To Rest Inc CLOSED, but thank God Facebook needed verification to do so, so I was able to correct it. He changed my password, so I contacted Facebook and they helped me reset it, I had to change my email log in and password to protect myself. I have the proof that he did this to my page. Why on earth he felt he needed to do this I have NO IDEA!!! That was vengeful and hateful. He didn’t want me going on there and telling people what he did to us and making his organization look bad is all I can think of?
I then went onto my Facebook, after I got the HUGE MESS that he had created when he HACKED me, and posted what he had done to us! I got a call shortly after, threatening me that he was going to take me to court and sue me for slander! I said bring it!
A few months later, I posted the entire story again on Facebook, and he called and threatened me again.
BETRAYED & PTSD:
We left that meeting feeling terrible, sad, betrayed, defeated, abandoned, out of control, and angry! We are both Mormon, we live the life of Christ’s love and obedience to make the world a better place. We give of our time volunteering often and help anyone who needs it if it’s within our means to do so, if not then we find resources to help them. We are loving and generous…and that TERRIBLE MAN had me so upset that he could get away with doing this to a GOLD STAR MOTHER!
I slowly went into being afraid to leave my home, not wanting to be around people, go anywhere, do anything outside of home, because I suffered PTSD from the entire ordeal: from my son’s death to the heavy burden of paying for his funeral, and the last straw heaped upon me was working with Troy/Active Heroes and what they put me and my husband through, to just not wanting anyone else to hurt or betray me…
So now I’m a bit of a recluse.
Please let me know if you should have any questions, or need anymore information John.