Thursday, October 22, 2009

Martinsburg V.A. Welcome Home Heroes

One time a year, the Martinsburg V.A. Hospital hosts a “Welcome Home Heroes” that encourages families of Veterans, who have given their life and time to serve our country and protect our freedom, to spend a free afternoon together eating, listening to live music, and creating new friends.

I was invited to sing the National Anthem and visit with the various vendors and attendees. Jackie Riggleman, Miss West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen, was also invited and we both enjoyed getting to spend a little more time together. Kyle Maynard, mom and a high school friend, Shery Shour also took in a day at the V. A. Hospital and as you guessed it…Kyle was a real hit.

He made friends fast with many of the older vets and clicked with a few organizers from the Wounded Vets program. For months now, Kyle has been working with and visiting Veteran’s hospitals, encouraging the wounded and amputee to look beyond their differences and accept themselves for who they are inside. He also has put the men through CrossFit workouts that will hopefully take place of some of their physical therapy.

That day is one that Kyle, myself and my family will never forget…seeing those who risked their lives for our freedom that we take for granted every day. After seeing men that were blind, limbs missing, and burned just so we don’t have to leave our ‘comfort zone of living,’ I will be forever grateful for their sacrifice and never take my everyday freedom, especially as a woman, for granted one more day.

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