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Fifth Banquet To Raise Funds For Wounded Warriors

Dec. 20, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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soldierThroughout the course of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, almost 51,500 United States soldiers have returned home injured, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

To honor and support their contributions to the country, the Sam Houston State and Huntsville communities will make their own contributions to those soldiers by coming together for the fifth year for the Wounded Warrior Banquet.

The fundraising event, befitting the Warrior and Family Support Center at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, will be held on Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Walker County Fairgrounds.

“Wounded warriors and their family members visit the Warrior and Family Support Center to maintain contact with other wounded military members, to receive emotional support and answers to their questions, and to extend their rehabilitation away from the hospital,” said Lt. Col. Robert McCormick, chair of the SHSU Military Science Department, who has served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. “The rehabilitation involves learning to cope with war related disabilities as individuals, as couples and as families, so they can integrate back into society and live out their lives with their disabilities.”

The center is led by the Army Community Service and is funded, in part, through donations. It is recognized as one of the world’s best trauma centers and works with soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have experience severe trauma such as loss of limbs, severe burns and disfigurement, according to McCormick.

The banquet will include a rib eye steak dinner, guest speakers and auctions. Other special guests will include Huntsville Mayor Mac Woodward and city council members, as well as Texas congressional delegates.

The master of ceremonies will be retired Lt. Col. David Yebra, who now leads the SHSU High-Potential Employee Leadership Academy.

Last year’s event raised more than $75,000 for the Brooke Army Medical Center’s Warrior and Family Support Center, with almost 1,000 in attendance.

“All of the medical expenses are provided for through military hospitals and networks, but things that are not covered include hotel costs for family members of those receiving treatment. Burn victims and amputees spend months in the hospitals and most families cannot afford several month long stays at hotels while their loved one receives the necessary medical care and therapy, etc.,” McCormick said. “The WFSC steps in and offers necessary help to wounded warriors and their families to relieve the anxiety and stress associated with long recoveries from life changing traumatic wartime disabilities.

“Through events like the Wounded Warrior Banquet, we can support our wounded warriors who have supported America in her time of need and defended her abroad and became disabled as a result,” he said. “With less than 1 percent of our population serving in the all-volunteer force, service members need to know that they or their family members will be taken care of if something happens.”

Tickets are $50 for general seating; $300 to reserve a table for six; and $1,000 for a reserved corporate table of six. Because expenses for the dinner have been provided by private donors, all proceeds will go directly to the Warrior and Family Support Center, according to McCormick. Tickets are also tax deductible.

“Walker County, the City of Huntsville, and the surrounding communities are very strong supporters of our military men and women,” McCormick said. “I strongly believe we can surpass last year’s contribution of $75K and reach our goal of $100K for this year’s Wounded Warrior Banquet.”

Tickets can be purchased through McCormick at 225.571.1155 or rlm058@shsu.edu, or through the Hearts Veterans Museum or other event board members, including Wayne Keen at 936.295.2617.



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