HHH goes to Brooke Army Medical Center

 

Rosita Underwood, HHH Founder, and the honorary Purple Heart Recepient

Rosita Underwood, HHH Founder, and the honorary Purple Heart Recepient

On September 6, 2013, Helping Hometown Heroes took to the road to bring a little fun and excitement to the brave men and women of Brooke Army Medical Center of San Antonio, Texas. Working in conjunction with the 2nd Battalion, 8th Calvary of Fort Hood, Texas and R.A.W. (Rebuilding America’s Warriors) of California, over 350 heroes were able to attend our first annual backyard BBQ .

Many local businesses joined forces with us to ensure that the BBQ was a success. All Occasions of Texas, one of San Antonio’s premier catering companies, provided the meal with the assistance of many volunteers from the 2-8 chopping vegetables, flipping burgers and serving the buffet line. DJ Jake kept the spirits high with some lively music and took many requests from the guests. When the line dancing started everyone knew that the backyard picnic had just become a party!

Of course we didn’t show up empty handed… over 200 t-shirts and goodie bags were distributed. R.A.W. provided door prizes for the warriors, including an IPAD!

We were all touched by the very moving Purple Heart ceremony that was held a few minutes before the start of our event and we were extremely honored to have witnessed such a heart-felt and touching ceremony. We are never reminded more of the sacrifices a warrior makes than when you see the look of pride and love on a mother’s face as she watches her son wheel his chair up to the front to accept his award with such humble grace.

After months of planning, hours of travel, endless conversations, big hugs and bigger smiles, the BBQ was complete. Before we finished cleaning up the courtyard we were planning the next one… Friday, April 11, 2014 we will be returning to do it all over again. See you soon San Antonio!!!

Ramping It Up

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They say love can build a bridge… but how about a ramp?

When Chris and his family moved back to Tennessee after a long recovery at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center, he and his family found that they were in need of a wheelchair accessible ramp. After several exhausting calls to the VA, Heather, Chris’ wife, reached out to some familiar faces from their days at WRNMMC….

The ladies of Helping Hometown Heroes contacted the town’s Director of Development.  After a few minutes, they knew they were on the right path. That afternoon, three contractors visited the home of Chris and Heather to provide estimates for the ramp project.

A small organization, Ramps for Christ, stepped up and donated their time to building a 21’ ramp and threshold ramps for Chris. Helping Hometown Heroes raised the funds and paid for the supplies, while the whole project was overseen by, marine corp veteran, Mike Kohler.

Within two weeks of Heather’s initial call for help, the new ramp was completed and ready.  This ramp is so much more than a means for Chris to resume a normal life, it is a true testament to the love and respect for our brave men and women and all that they have sacrificed. People that have never met face to face worked, cried and celebrated together in honor of all that Chris and his family are and will continue to be.

 

The Bond of A Mother

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When the doors to the ambulance opened at the emergency entrance of Walter Reed Hospital, Rosita had no idea that she was about to embark on the mission of a lifetime.

Reno, was severely injured in a roadside bomb while riding in his Humvee in March of 2007. After being evacuated to a military hospital in Germany where he was stabalized, Reno was then transported to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. He spent the next three years undergoing reconstructive surgeries and procedures to rebuild his facial features. During this time, he and Rosita developed a bond that will never be broken, the kind of bond that a mother has with a son, one of compassion, respect and most of all love.

Since Rosita’s decision to create Helping Hometown Heroes, she has personally learned that being a mother truly is the greatest gift she has in her life. Having two sons of her own, one that served in the Navy and the other currently serving in the Army, she knows first hand the power that her hugs and encouraging words can provide. Too many times to count, she has been there for a wounded warrior offering  support, listening, lifting their spirits and holding their hands. Her passion and true admiration for everyone she meets is witnessed in the way she is greeted when entering a room.

Helping Hometown Heroes has become a foundation built on family values, building lasting relationships that continue long after the warrior has returned home. This is a true testament to the bond of a mother… our founding mother, Rosita.