Garden Grove’s Laura Herzog wins grant from Jersey Mike’s Subs

Laura Herzog, founder of Honor Our Fallen. Courtesy photo.
Laura Herzog, founder of Honor Our Fallen. Courtesy photo.

Garden Grove resident Laura Herzog was awarded one of five $5,000 Sub Abover grants from Jersey Mike’s Subs in recognition of her efforts to make a difference in the local community through Honoring Our Fallen(HOF).

Fellow resident Rebecca Martinez nominated Herzog and wrote, “Laura Herzog, the founder of Honoring Our Fallen, is an Angel for so many families of the fallen. She is there for them throughout the grieving process and forever. She provides comfort and support to spouses of the fallen and their children and extended family. This support is lifelong…Laura Herzog is a dedicated community servant that gives 110 percent of her time and energy to our fallen soldiers and their families. HOF supports families by being a calming force in the face of chaos, providing programs and services that support families during their cycles of grief.”

Herzog was working as a Public Affairs Officer for the Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, Calif., when she was asked to help a fallen marine returning from Afghanistan, and his family.

“That marine – Lance Corporal Justin Swanson — changed me forever as a human being,” said Herzog, who went on to start Honoring Our Fallen, and has personally served nearly 700 casualty missions.

During her time at the base, she realized that Casualty Assistance Officers (Army) and Casualty Assistance Calls Officers (Marines) have quite a bit of work on their hands when a fallen soldier returns home. Honoring Our Fallen, started in 2011, has helped bridge the gap between the military and the families they support.

“I have a tribe that helps me,” Herzog said.

Presented to those making a difference in their local communities, the $5,000 grants are designed to help the winners make an even bigger impact.

Herzog said that the grant from Jersey Mike’s will allow them to update their memorial wall with the names of those lost in combat in the last year. “Every day is Memorial Day for these families. They want to know that their loved one’s sacrifice is not forgotten,” Herzog said.

Jersey Mike’s received more than 3,100 nominations for the Sub Abover grants. “It’s inspiring to read the stories of so many who are making a difference in someone’s life,” said Rich Hope, Chief Marketing Officer, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “That’s been a guiding principle of Jersey Mike’s since our Founder Peter Cancro bought his first sub shop at the age of 17, and we’re happy to recognize Laura for fulfilling that vision.”

Herzog advises those who are interested in getting more involved in the community to find a cause they are passionate about. “We as a community, as a generation, as a people should look at something that has touched our lives, and connect with others on the same journey whether that is cancer, multiple sclerosis (MS), domestic violence, or grieving military families. Whatever it is — put your time, talent and energy into making a difference. You will find where you are supposed to be.”

The other four Sub Abover grants went to Christene Layne, Operation School Shoes, in Dana, Ky.; Bill Ridgley, Tori’s Angels Foundation, Panora, Iowa; Joe Leal, Vet Hunters Project, in South El Monte, Calif., and Jay Coakley, Ellie’s Hats, in South Riding, Va.

“Giving…making a difference in someone’s life” has been the mission of Jersey Mike’s from the beginning. It started with Jersey Mike’s Founder Peter Cancro who shares the importance of giving back and inspires the rest of the company. Jersey Mike’s named the Sub Abover grants to reinforce its goal to: Help nourish. Help flourish. Be a sub above.

This March is Jersey Mike’s 9thAnnual Month of Giving fundraising initiative, when more than 1,500 Jersey Mike’s locations across the country are joining forces with more than 200 local charities. Last year’s Month of Giving raised more than $6 million for local charities nationwide, and this year Jersey Mike’s wants to break last year’s record-setting total.

The campaign culminates in the nationwide event, Day of Giving, on Wednesday, March 27, when local Jersey Mike’s owners and operators will donate their resources and every single dollar that comes in to local charities. For more information on participating restaurants and charity partners, please visit

Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $34 million for worthy local charities and have distributed more than 2 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.

About Jersey Mike’s Subs

Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 2,000 locations open and under development nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. Jersey Mike’s offers A Sub Above®, serving authentic fresh sliced subs on freshly baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956 – and is passionate about giving back to its local communities. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

The article above was released by Jersey Mike’s Subs.