Couple creates special logo to encourage and help for 1 October survivors heal


The healing process is still very new for those impacted by the deadly 1 October shooting that occurred on the Las Vega Strip just seven months ago.

But there are two survivors who have created something they hope will help others move forward.

Meet Joe and Valerie Yankus. They’re a couple from Connecticut, and they say recovering from the 1 October shooting hasn’t been easy.

“You don’t sleep,” said Valerie Yankus, a 1 October survivor. 
 “I haven’t slept probably a full night in 7 months.”

“Sometimes when I talk about it it just hits me like a ton of bricks,” said Joe Yankus, a 1 October survivor.

Valerie recalls that night. 

“We didn’t realize that it was gunfire at first,” Valerie said.
“We had thought that it was pyrotechnics.” 

Like many, that tragic night has been marked in their hearts forever.

“Some days are good some days are not so great, but we are very lucky,” Valerie said.

Joe and Valerie Yankus used to regularly visit family in las vegas. 

“We love this town; Joe said.  “We love Las Vegas.”

But it’s been a while since they’ve returned — until now. They say right now healing is their main goal.

The couple uses a personal country music blog, facebook groups, and a special logo to remember the 58 lives lost, and slowly overcome the pain.

“That logo started to take its own thing, and we tweaked it and refined it,” said Joe.  “It came out to a nice logo that everyone kinda liked.” 

After that, Joe contacted some of the 58 families and created a memorial logo, sending personalized shirts and hats to them.

Now the couple wants to expand and share their logo with the world.

“We just finished Stagecoach which was our first time out in an open-air venue,” Valerie said.

According to Valerie, their attendance at the Stagecoach Festival was also very tough for them to get through.

“The first night I texted my daughter and said ‘I want to go home.’ I didn’t want to be there, but you can’t let it define you,” Valerie said.

Meeting other survivors and getting support from local artists helped put the couple at ease.

“I just remembered when he screamed out ‘feel the love.’  I get goosebumps,” Joe said.

While making their way back to Connecticut, the couple needed to do something they hadn’t done in 7 months.  They returned to the city the love in hopes of getting some closure.

“We stopped by the lot, and we went over the fence briefly, and just kind of looked around,” said Joe.  “Things started going through your head and flashbacks and its tough.” 

The Yankus’ say about 2,000 other survivors from the Route 91 Harvest Festival were also at Stagecoach, and nd they have all been leaning on each other for support.

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