Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hunting with a Hero


On Thursday, December 27, the National Geographic Channel will air their latest episode of "Rocket City Rednecks."  The show will air at 9 pm est/8 pm cst.

If you have never seen this show, now is your chance!  The crew worked with Hope For The Warriors® to identify a wounded service member that would love the chance to go hunting again.  Here is a short segment of the show that will air on Thursday:


This crew of five men with southern accents have several advanced academic degrees between them as well as many years of experience working at NASA.  In the course of the show, they take a regular golf cart and build an All-Terrain Hunting Platform that the wounded veteran can use for hunting. 

Beyond their design genius, what is immediately apparent is their admiration for the men and women in our armed forces.  Travis, aka "The Ringleader" and his father, Charles, have a very close connection.  Charles's has another son in the Air Force who has done four deployments.  They understand on a very personal level the sacrifices of today's military family. 

In taking on this project, the crew had one main goal in mind.  Give a wounded service member something back that he has lost due to his injuries.  The service member highlighted in this program, Philip, is a double amputee. Phil grew up hunting but since his injury, has not been able to enjoy the outdoors. 


The crew created a vehicle that Philip could easily roll his wheelchair onto.  Then with a joy stick and a few buttons, the cart can be driven and then lifted. 

Please tune in tomorrow night for the full episode.  We don't want to give too much away, but we can tell you that the veteran had a great time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Giving and More


Each year, Hope For The Warriors® matches donors to families in need for the holiday season.  This is separate from our other work but often times, we know families from our other programs that might need some extra help this time of year. 

This year, a store in New Jersey adopted two of our families and it has grown to be so much more than just Christmas presents.  The Maple Tree Gift Shoppe in Seaville, NJ eagerly agreed to purchase Christmas presents for two families.  Each family is led by wounded service member and each have a number of children within the family.

Rosie, the store owner, turns to the town of Seaville for assistance.  As a community, they donated the presents that were on each child's Christmas list.  They also purchased winter coats, pajamas, shoes and more. 




Along with the presents, the town also gave some very practical assistance.  Each family is receiving $250 in gift cards to a local grocery store to help put food on the table.  One customer will also be keeping a family warm this winter.  One of our families has five children and this customer will be paying their electric bill for the entire winter.

This is of course just one of many wonderful stories.  We thank those who have donated so generously to our Holiday Giving Initiative and throughout the year.

Happy Holidays to all!

Donate today

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sailing Success

Jose and Ronnie enjoy the calm ocean
Cpl. Jose Armenta, USMC had always wanted to learn how to sail.  Many might have wondered if he could.  Jose was wounded in Afghanistan in August 2011.  Today he is double amputee and will soon be medically retired from the Marine Corps. 

This fall, Hope For The Warriors was proud to partner with Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS) and hold a sailing clinic for wounded service members.  No sailing experience was required and the nature of injury did not matter.  We were clear--every person could learn how to sail.



This confidence came from the vast amount of experience from BAADS as well as from Ronnie Simpson, wounded veteran.  Hope For The Warriors met Ronnie in 2010 when we granted a Wish to help him compete in his first sailing race.  Our Board of Directors' President, Don Gray, allowed Ronnie to borrow his sail boat.  Ronnie completed a race that left San Francisco Bay and landed in Hawaii on July 4.  His Wish had been granted and his dream was now a reality!

Ronnie in 2010 on his borrowed sail boat/ Photo by Latitude/LaDonna

Two years later, Ronnie turned to Hope For The Warriors for assistance to complete the same race again.  The race started on June 30.  This date was so important because it was Ronnie's Alive Day--the day he almost died in Iraq, eight years earlier.  Only this year on June 30, Ronnie was living his dream of being a sailor.

Photo by Surf City Racing

And so it is with this confidence and excitement that Ronnie led Jose and several other wounded service members to the water and into the boats.  The clinic was an amazing success and many shared how therapeutic the sport was for them--both physically and psychologically.
 
"Sailing provides me a freedom that is hard to find when you are disabled,” Armenta said.  “By sailing, I can compete with able-bodied people.”
 
Jose has already competed in his first race.  BAADS loaned him a sail boat and on October 28, he completed the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship in San Diego.  He plans to continue his sailing.

Ronnie will also continue to sail and with his additional experience, has some amazing adventures planned for 2013. He will also hold four clinics throughout the country so that other wounded service members gain the benefits of sailing.  If you are interested in one of the sailing clinics, let us know



If you are interested in reading more about Ronnie's story and understand how far he has come, read this great article that was in Outside Magazine

Ronnie and Don both have inspiring stories and are available for speaking engagements. Funds for future clinics are raised through these speaking engagements.  Contact Don for more information.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

DC Comics Adventure



Hurricane Sandy has displaced many veterans in the New York/New Jersey area and Hope For The Warriors® has worked hard to help those veterans.  Many are living with family or friends, and still figuring out how to move ahead.

Staff members recently visited one veteran, Andrew, who was living in his mother-in-law's basement with his wife, Julie, and their young son.  The family had lost their home and the majority of their personal belongings.  The plan was to figure out how Hope For The Warriors® could help this veteran.

During their visit, they learned that Andrew was a self-proclaimed "nerdy comic book collector." After spending years collecting his comic books, he had lost his entire collection in the hurricane.  Andrew's favorite character is Batman--a DC Comic character. 



Through some connections, Hope For The Warriors® arranged a visit to the DC Comic offices.  One of the directors, Thomas, gave Andrew and Julie a personal tour.  The couple was led around all three floors, learning everything that goes into the production of a comic book.  They also were introduced to many of the staff members who play key roles in the creation of the books.  The tour included the library which contains copies of every single comic book.



Andrew was invited to select any comic books he wanted to restart his collection. But Thomas had an even bigger surprise.  Jim Lee, an illustrator for the Batman comics, had signed a special edition hardcopy and included a personalized note to Andrew.

 

Andrew and his wife will not soon forget this day.  As they continue to deal with the challenges left behind after Sandy, we know that this special day will give them hope to keep moving forward, regardless of whatever setbacks might come their way.


Thank you to Thomas and to everyone at DC Comics for making this visit possible!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Warrior's Wish®: Cycling Goals

 
 
Wounded service members assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East aboard Camp Lejeune are required to participate within the Warrior Athlete Reconditioning Program.  This is a key part of each service members' rehabilitation.  For one Marine, this program was a welcome addition to his weekly activity.  He became an active member of the WARP Cycling Program and rides 5 - 6 days per week.  In leading up to some major biking events, he was even riding two times per day.
 
In October, he had two major events on his schedule.  First was a ride from Cincinnati, Ohio to Nashville, Tennessee.  One week later he flew to San Antonio, Texas to participate in the Wounded Warrior Battalion's Regimental Cycling Camp.
 
The only thing missing was an actual bike.  Through all of the intense training, this Marine was using the battalion-issued bike.  His Wish was for his own road bike, cycling kits, and the gear to ride safely and comfortably.
 
Hope For The Warriors® understands how important physical activity and athletic goals are to each of our warriors.  We proudly granted this Wish.
 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Warrior Hope and Care Center

Shannon Maxwell and Robin Kelleher stand in front of the new Warrior Hope and Care Center.
Photos by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans

On Friday, December 7, 2012, Camp Lejeune officially opened their brand new, state-of-the-art, Warrior Hope and Care Center.  The facility is 37,000 square feet and cost $29 million to build.

And it is beautiful.



The concept for the Hope and Care Center was conceived by Hope For The Warriors® leadership.  In early 2007, they attended the ribbon cutting for the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) in San Antonio.  CFI provides rehabilitation for wounded service members with the goal to return service members to the highest levels of physical, psychological and emotional function. 



Our country and military has come so far in these five years that it is difficult to remember what was happening in 2007 to our wounded service members who returned home.  At the time, some wounded service members were returning from combat and were receiving medical care aboard Camp Lejeune.  However, after their doctor appointments, they were returning alone to an empty barrack's room.  Those in San Antonio were receiving top rehabilitative care, but that was not the case everywhere.

Hope For The Warriors® asked, "What about those that return to Camp Lejeune?"

Architecture plans for a facility on Camp Lejeune were drawn up and Hope For The Warriors® donated those plans to the Marine Corps.  The Marine Corps began work at both Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton.

And now that facility is ready to provide the best care possible to those who have sacrificed so much.



The founders of Hope For The Warriors®, Robin Kelleher and Shannon Maxwell attended and were honored to cut the ribbon.  Five years of hard work and vision finally coming to fruition.  Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Amos was there as well as MajGen Robert Dickerson, USMC (Ret.).  Hope For The Warriors® worked closely with both of these great Marines in the early years of our organization.

Hope For The Warriors® is also represented in the lobby.  A custom-built, Harley Davidson motorcycle sits in the lobby.  A blog on the motorcycle will be coming soon.  Watch for it! 



Stay tuned--this spring, Hope For The Warriors® will unveil monuments in front of both Warrior Hope and Care Centers.  The monuments are being designed and created by artist and Gold Star Father, John Phelps.

View more photos from the Ribbon-Cutting here.

Help our wounded service members, donate today!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good Deeds




Yesterday, Iraq War veteran and 9/11 First Responder, Chief Petty Officer Colin Redy, USCG (Ret.) and his family received a mortgage-free home in Brick, New Jersey.  The donation of the home is being coordinated through the A Warrior’s Wish® Program from Hope For The Warriors®.
 
This summer, BCB Community Bank approached Hope For The Warriors® to identify a military family that would benefit from a mortgage-free home.  Through our work with military families and relationships with VA Hospitals and caseworkers, we identified a wounded service member and family in the area.
 
After reviewing the needs of the family, we realized that the home would require renovations to meet the needs for a family of six.  To complete this project, we have enlisted help from other companies and organizations.  Plaza Construction has provided the architecture plans.  Nonprofit organization Heart 9/11 will be organizing volunteers to complete the work.
 
Through our A Warrior's Wish® Program, Hope For The Warriors® will raise the funds to purchase the necessary materials to complete the renovations.
A Warrior’s Wish® supports the long-term goal of hope beyond recovery.  Knowing that Wishes can come true directly affects service members’ spirits in addition to the families and communities that support them. Hope For The Warriors® is proud to grant this Wish and work with the Brick, New Jersey community.
To learn more, volunteer, or donate, visit www.hopeforthewarriors.org/brickhouse
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Giving Tuesday



Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving...Friday was Black...Monday is spent in Cyperspace buying.



Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.

Each year, no matter how hard we might try, we spend money on gifts that are not needed.  We buy too much, spend too much, and in January, the bill is often too high. 

On Giving Tuesday, if you donate to Hope For The Warriors®, we can guarantee that your donation is needed and will be used to restore self, family and hope to our military families.  This blog is filled with stories of wounded service members we have helped, families that have been reunited, hope that have been restored through our programs. 



But in case you are still not sure how your donation will help, here is a very short list that provides you with concrete examples.

Hope For The Warriors® uses your $10 donation to:
  • Pay for meals at the hospital cafeteria
  • Cover the expense of laundry service
  • Provide basic necessities, toiletries and more
  • Supply our athletes with gels/drinks while competing in marathons and other races
  • Covers the expense of shipping key supplies to military families throughout the country
  • Contribute towards a larger expense that will support our military families
 
 
Hope For The Warriors® uses your $25 donation to:
  • Race registration fee for a wounded service member returning to sports for rehabilitation
  • School supplies for a spouse returning to college, preparing to take on the role of “breadwinner”
  • Groceries to stock a small kitchen near a military medical hospital
  • An association membership to support networking opportunities in a new career field
  • A Team jersey for a service member on Team Hope For The Warriors®
  • Hope For The Warriors® golf shirt for a warrior learning this rehabilitative sport
  • Contribute towards a larger expense that will support our military families
 
Hope For The Warriors® uses your $50 donation to:

  • A cell phone to use while in an inpatient program
  • A cycling helmet for a handcyclist
  • Gas cards to travel to hospital visits, events and races
  • A text book for a spouse returning to school
  • Holiday gifts for children living temporarily near a medical center
  • Contribute towards a larger expense that will support our military families
 
Hope For The Warriors® uses your $100 donation to:
  • Keep the electricity turned on for a military family
  • Professional clothing for a service member transitioning to a civilian career
  • New pair of running or cycling shoes
  • Household supplies for a temporary home near a medical center
  • Groceries for a wounded service member and his/her family
  • Contribute towards a larger expense that will support our military families
We hope that you will consider a donation to Hope For The Warriors® during this busy time of year.  If you have any questions, visit our website or e-mail info@hopeforthewarriors.org.

Donate Today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Are You Thankful For?



Each year at Thanksgiving, millions of Americans take a moment to reflect on what they are thankful for.  Sometimes it is personal—a new job, baby, or relationship.  Sometimes it is more expansive—such as being thankful for one’s health or security. This Thanksgiving, it is our hope that each of you are able to spend time with family and friends.



Hope For The Warriors® is thankful too.  We are thankful to the thousands of service members who serve and sacrifice for our freedoms.  We are thankful to family members for their love and support, often during difficult deployments and years of recovery.  We are thankful to each of you—supporters and volunteers who make our work possible.  In the past six years, so many have stepped forward to serve on the battlefield, on the home front, and throughout recovery. 
 
In light of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, we are also thankful for the basic necessities.  We are thankful that our staff is safe in spite of losing two offices in the storm.  We are thankful for volunteers who have put aside their own needs to care for the needs of our military families.  In the past few weeks, Hope For The Warriors® has become actively involved in the relief effort by supporting the needs of wounded service members and military families impacted by the storm.  We will continue to help wounded with the unique problems that this storm has presented.
We call on each of you to give thanks this holiday, to show your support for our service members and military families during these trying times. Together, we can make a difference. Please donate today.

Thank you for the support that you have given us this year.  Have a wonderful holiday!
 
 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts: Update


This past weekend, Hope For The Warriors® staff and volunteers joined the BBQ Brethren from Long Island in Long Beach, NY.  The goal was to feed first responders and families in need in the Long Beach area.  The group estimates that they fed between 12,000 to 14,000 people this weekend!  Thank you to all of the volunteers that joined us in these efforts.

Staff then went to Far Rockaway and Staten Island to help with relief efforts in these two devastated areas.

Virginia group with FEMA workers.

In addition to staff, the group that drove up from Stafford, VA joined our efforts in all of these areas.  They had several trailers full of supplies and returned to Virginia empty.  Mainstreet Grill and Bar continues to collect donations so if you are in the Stafford area, please consider donating. 

With the hard work of these volunteers and the volunteers from the fire fighters in North Carolina, Hope For The Warriors® has been able to reach out to wounded service members and military families in these regions.  The needs of our wounded are unique and most other organizations can not solve these issues as quickly.  Thank you to all of these volunteers for making our work possible.


Finally, besides the work that Hope For The Warriors® is doing for the relief efforts, our own staff is personally volunteering their time and efforts.  Jordyn, pictured above with friends, is from Connecticut but was living on Staten Island.  After the hurricane, she raised funds in her hometown to purchase cleaning supplies.  Then she and friends returned to Staten Island to do their part in the clean up work through her neighborhood. 

Other staff members have driven many miles to provide help and support to military families in need and to friends who have supported our organization for so many years.

Thank you to all that have made these efforts possible.

Donate today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Warrior's Wish®: Sometimes, the Grass is Greener



Master Sgt. Jessey Baca has served his country since 1977. Throughout his many years in the United Sates Navy and the National Guard, he has accumulated combat related illnesses. Just as he has served his country for so many years, he wishes to continue to serve and care for his family. Jessey knows firsthand how important it is to spend time with his wife of 34 years, their children and grandchildren.  And sometimes caring for them means taking care of something as simple as mowing the lawn. While mowing the lawn may not seem like a big task to most people, Jessey is not most people.

During all of his years in the military, Jessey has deployed overseas four times.  Twice for Operation Southern Watch, in 1996 to Kuwait and to Turkey in 1997.  He also deployed to Iraq twice, in 2004 and then again in 2007-2008.  In all four deployments, Jessey was exposed to toxic fumes from oil and burn pit fires.

Due to this exposure, he has been diagnosed with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, chemically-induced asthma, mesothelial hyperplasia, PTSD, fibrosis, hearing loss, memory loss and skin cancer. And with that diagnosis, not only does he continue to serve his family, he is still also serving in the military. Our thought was that there could be no one more deserving of a gift, than this man.

Five years ago, he was given 7-10 years to live.
 
 

Since his diagnosis, life has changed for Jessey. For years, his yard was a source of pride. He enjoyed all the duties that went in to taking care of his yard, his home, and his family. But due to his illness, what once took a few hours, now takes days to complete. Jessey and his family submitted a Wish to the A Warrior’s Wish® Program, so that he could help make the home duties he loves, a little easier.

Through the A Warrior’s Wish® Program, the Baca family Wish has been granted. The Wish included a Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower, along with accessories to help him care for the lawn. Due to his skin cancer, the accessories also included a sunshade to protect him in the sun.

It is a privilege to be able to serve members of the military who have served our nation for so long. Thank you to Jessey and his family for their years of service to this nation.  Thank you to supporters of Hope For The Warriors® for allowing us to grant this Wish, and many more.

Visit the A Warrior’s Wish® webpage to learn more about the Wish program and to read other Wishes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sometimes Hope is a Knock on the Door



Today, two large trailers left Mainstreet Grill and Bar in Stafford, VA to make their way north to areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  The trailers were loaded with supplies donated by individuals, companies and organizations in the Stafford area.  Supplies included cases of bottled water, cleaning supplies, diapers, clothing, tools and more. 



Our staff met the volunteers just north at a gas station to make sure that their tanks were full and handed over gas cards to pay for the rest of their trip.  We also handed them the names and addresses of wounded service members who need assistance. 

Hope For The Warriors® staff has contacted service members and military families in the New York/New Jersey area to check on their safety and needs.  As a nonprofit that works with wounded service members, we are better equipped than other organizations to meet the unique needs of our military families.  In addition to the service members that we already know, we also receive phone calls daily from VA caseworkers.  The need among wounded service members is great right now.


Thank you to Crissy and Christopher, owners of Mainstreet Grill and Bar and Adaptive Consulting & Training Services for answering the call from Hope For The Warriors® to help.  They have given time, money and energy to help others.  Christopher, a member of the Bull Run Chapter of the Rough Riders, has been joined by other members of the motorcycle club to make this work possible.  We thank all of the volunteers who have helped to organize and deliver donations.  Finally, thank you to all in the Stafford area who purchased and donated.



And in case we are unsure if this help is needed, many staff members started their morning with an email from the spouse of a wounded service member.  The family lives along the New Jersey coast and this morning, she shared:


"We finally got power back after nine days...One day last week, I had a knock on the door from a group of firefighters from North Carolina who were here on behalf of Hope For The Warriors®.  They were so nice!  They left us water, cookies, towels...it was so thoughtful and we are so grateful!"


We try to provide hope in many ways.  Thank you to so many volunteers who are helping us provide hope to these families.

Mainstreet Grill and Bar will continue to collect donations so people in the Stafford area should continue to bring bottled water, cleaning supplies, diapers, tools, "D" batteries, work gloves, waterproof boots and clothing.  (Other clothing is not needed.)

If you would like to help our military families, please text "Warriors" to 20222 to donate $10 to Hope For The Warriors®.  Donations can also be made online.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Relief Efforts Continue--Northern VA

Two days ago, we asked everyone in the Jacksonville, NC area to donate supplies to help people devastated by Hurricane Sandy.




Now, we call out to those in the area of Stafford, VA. 

Local business owners, Chrissy and Christopher Sharon, are collecting donations and supplies that will be delivered to the areas most devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  The Sharons are asking all residents to bring supplies.  They are also looking for volunteers who can help organize the donations or make the trip north next week.  They expect to begin their trip on Wednesday, November 6, 2012.


Chrissy Sharon owns the MainStreet Grill & Bar (www.mainstreetstaffordva.com).  Donations should be dropped off at the restaurant, located at 315 GarrisonRoad, Suite 108; Stafford, VA.  For more information, call the restaurant at 540.288.9277.
 

Donations to drop off:

Blankets
Flashlights
Batteries
Non-Perishable Food
Bottled Water
Gas Cards
Home Depot/Lowe’s Gift Cards
Hygiene Items
Baby Formula
Diapers
Winter Clothing

Hope For The Warriors® is supporting this effort by paying for gasoline and other expenses that will be incurred on the road.  If you are not in the Northern Virginia area but still want to help, text “WARRIORS” to 20222 to donate $10 to Hope For The Warriors® or visit www.hopeforthewarriors.org to donate online.

If you know a family in need, please contact Jordan Murray (jmurray@hopeforthewarriors.org) with their name, address and the best means to communicate with the family.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Great Nonprofit


For the second year in a row, Great Nonprofits has awarded Hope For The Warriors® with a Top-Rated Nonprofit award.  We have earned this award based on the positive reviews written by military families, volunteers, supporters and more.

Visit our profile on Great Nonprofits

Hope For The Warriors® focuses donated dollars on the programs that support our military families, not on an expensive advertising campaign.  Help up spread the word by sharing this information with friends and family.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Emergency Assistance



Volunteer firefighters at Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Deparmtent in Hubert, NC need your help!

The Bear Creek Fire Department will be taking donations and delivering the supplies to families in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  They are collecting supplies and are asking for donations from area residents.  The fire department has a 20-foot trailer and a 12-foot trailer and they would like to fill both trailers up.  They will leave as soon as the trailers are full.

Supplies Needed:


Water in 12-ounce, 24-ounce or gallon jugs
Nonperishable foods
Blankets (unused)


Bring Donations to:


Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department
677 Bear Creek Road
Hubert, NC 28539
910.326.5999

or

Hope For The Warriors®
1340 Louis Road
Camp Lejeune, NC
MSOB Enlisted Barracks (Right side of Building)
910.938.1817

Hours:  8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

or

If you are a business that would like to make a large donation, call the Bear Creek Fire Department and they will come to your business to pick up donations.

Another way you can help:


If you are outside of the Camp Lejeune/Hubert area but would still like to help, Hope For The Warriors® is supporting the Fire Department's efforts by paying for their gas and other necessary expenses.  Your help is needed!  Please donate online today. 

Or, text the word WARRIORS to 20222 to donate $10 to Hope For The Warriors®.


Families in Need:

The firefighters are taking our list of service members and veterans in need in these areas.  If you know a military family in need, please contact Jordan Murray(jmurray@hopeforthewarriors.org) with their name, address and if there is some way for us to communicate with them. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Warrior's Wish®: Golf Clubs


Hope For The Warriors® is excited to share that we have granted another Wish through the A Warrior's Wish® Program.  This Wish was for a set of golf clubs.  Here is the story:

Joel (seen in this photo with his service dog) was shot in the face in June 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.  In addition, he also suffers from traumatic brain injury, a knee injury, back pain and severe PTSD. 

In high school, Joel enjoyed the game of golf.  Now, he has returned to this therapeutic sport. 

"Ever since I started golfing again, my PTSD seems to fade away when I am out on the course.  Golfing takes my mind off the daily struggles that I have with my PTSD.  I try to golf at least three times a week.  I am still recovering from my knee and back injury but it does not affect me too much when I golf."

These are words and sentiments that many wounded service members share.  The game of golf helps our service members with their physical and psychological recovery. 

Joel's Wish was for a set of golf clubs to replace the used golf clubs that had been handed down to him.  His goal was to improve his game with the right set of clubs.  Hope For The Warriors® was proud to grant this Wish!

And where will he go from here?  We shared the story last month of Chad whose Wish for golf clubs has led him to win the Warrior Open two years in a row.  Perhaps granting this Wish to Joel will help his golf game too!






Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oso: Service Dog, Protector, Soldier, Family Member

Service dogs continue to dramatically improve the lives of wounded service members and their families.  This Spring, we received a Wish through our A Warrior's Wish® program for a service dog to help a soldier suffering from traumatic brain injury and PTSD.  The family needed a very specific breed due to their son's allergies.  Through the help of a private donor, Hope For The Warriors® was able to grant this Wish and provide the family with a service trained goldendoodle.  Soon after, the family learned about Oso, their future service dog.



Noemy, a proud Army wife shares how Oso has changed their lives:

Just wanted to let you know how things are going with Oso.  We were able to pick him up a month early because he has met all of his training requirements. He has done so much and I can see a difference in my husband’s mood.

They are perfect for each other. They both twitch at night and jump when they are startled. They are always together and if my husband leaves while Oso is asleep on the floor, Oso will wake up, look for him and whine if he can't find him.

Oso not only helps my husband but has made all of us safe. He guards us when his vest is off. He knows that when his vest is on, he is to work and help my husband, but when his vest is off he is totally different and protects all of us. Our daughter was sick and he gave her the box of tissues. When I am not doing well due to all the stress, he comes and jumps on me and lays on me. He hears a sound at night that is not good and he gets up and barks to let us know that something is wrong. Every night he jumps into bed with us, cuddles, and then jumps off.

My husband is the only service member here on Ft. Huachuca that has a service dog. Everyone has accepted Oso into the Army Family. The first morning that he took him to PT his 1st SGT asked "Why is your dog out of uniform!?!" So that same day, my husband went out and bought Oso his own PT uniform so he could look just like everyone else. He also overheard a soldier asking "What type of dog is that?" His sergeant told him, "That's no dog, that is a soldier."

We have been so blessed with Oso and are so grateful to have him part of our family.  If it wasn't for Hope For The Warriors®, we would not have Oso.  Thank you so much!
 
 
 
 
Thank you to our private donor who made this Wish possible.  Thank you to all of our supporters--you make all of our work possible.
Donate today to help us grant more Wishes.  Donate online or text the word WARRIORS to 20222 to donate $10 to Hope For The Warriors®.