It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year. The global pandemic has brought immense challenges to all of us, and things that we used to take for granted – traveling freely and large gatherings for the holidays, for example – present their own unique set of challenges. As I began to think about the holiday season, I worried, that with such suffering among so many, would we be able to give back to those in need and provide them a very special Christmas? My worries were unfounded thanks to the generosity of so many of you who chose to reach out a loving hand to members of our armed forces and give financial support to ensure a very merry Christmas for them and their families.
Last Thursday, December 17th, eighteen volunteers and myself completed our tenth annual Ft. Hood Christmas Outreach, our event that reaches out to twenty-five active duty soldiers housed in the Soldier Recovery Unit (previously the Warrior Transition Unit) at Ft. Hood, Texas. Along with us we brought twenty-five baskets full of Christmas hams and other seasonal goodies, and thanks to your overwhelming support this year, we were able to fill each Christmas card with $300 in cash. All I can say is, “Wow!”
We’ve been doing this for ten years now, and each year brings upon a mix of emotions. It saddens me to see those serving our country recovering from severe wounds, injuries and illnesses. Many of them and their families are struggling emotionally and financially during this trying time in their lives, as they work to make the transition back to their active duty units or into the civilian world.
But being able to provide them with delicious food and financial support also brings me great joy. Talking with these soldiers and the families is always one of the highlights of my own holiday season, and I hope that our Christmas gifts and the personal greetings from our volunteers lifted the spirits of these soldiers.
Of course this couldn’t have been the success it was without all of you who contributed to our outreach program. Once again your generosity was overwhelming, allowing us to put $300 into every envelope and fill those Christmas baskets with a few extra items. From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of all those who volunteered their time alongside me, we thank you for your continued support.
And, of course, I have to thank those volunteers who made the trip to Ft. Hood this year. They took a day out of their own busy schedules to bring the spirit of giving to those soldiers who have given so much for us. Please join me in thanking:
Lew & Nikki Duckwall Jim Sluder
Jamie Bird Judy & Jack Fulton
Sonny Childers Jerry & Paula Hill
Jerry Jensen Greg & Gail Evans
Bel Small Jim Stewart
Logan Stewart Pat and Pam Waters
Once again, I thank you for your wonderful generosity in support of our active duty troops. Let’s make 2021 even better, and I hope you will consider joining us next year on the trip down to Ft. Hood.
In the meantime, I send you the warmest wishes for a beautiful holiday season. Together may we look forward to a brighter 2021.
God bless our troops, our veterans, and God Bless America.
President, Heroes Among Us
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2020 Ft. Hood Annual Outreach Pre-Event Announcement
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We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health during this trying year of COVID-19, a year like no other! And as the Holidays approach it is time to get into the Holiday spirit by supporting our annual Ft. Hood Christmas Outreach Program. This will be our tenth year of bringing gifts and Holiday cheer to some of our active duty soldiers.
On Thursday, December 17th, we will head south to FT. Hood, Texas to deliver Christmas baskets of food and a special Christmas card (full of cash!) to 25 active duty soldiers in the Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU), formerly called the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). The SRU is an active duty Army unit that helps wounded, injured, and ill soldiers recover from their injuries and make the transition back to their units or into the civilian world. Most of these families are struggling financially and emotionally throughout this transition and especially during the Holiday season.
The staff at the SRU selects the 25 soldiers based on individual financial and family needs. Our special gift will be an envelope full of cash (our target is $200-$300 each), which to a young soldier can make a huge difference for the Holiday Season. We look forward to another successful year, spreading the joy of the season to those that deserve to be celebrated and remembered for their sacrifice especially during this Christmas Season.
But as always we are unable to accomplish this without your support. There are two ways to help us: First, is to join us for one day, December 17th, for our trip to Ft. Hood. Each year, we try to get 25 volunteers to make the trip, allowing the volunteers to have some one-on-one time with the soldiers, and giving those soldiers an opportunity to unwind, talk about their Army experiences, and how they and their family are coping with their situation during the Holidays. Second option is to donate whatever you can to support our efforts. Our goal is to raise $6500, which will provide the food baskets and $200 in each envelope. The more the merrier! We guarantee that each dollar you donate will go directly into the hands of one of our active duty warriors.
All COVID 19 precautions will be in place, per the SRU.
In the spirit of giving to those that have given,
President, Heroes Among Us