A Special Christmas for Wounded Warrior Families
Christmas Hope 2013 was another homerun for Air Warrior Courage Foundation and the Ralph Parr Pack. The patriotic Americans from the Lake Travis Community west of Austin led by River Rat Rick Zehrer again raised all the funds needed to support the project. The total Christmas Hope 2013 donation to AWCF was over $120,000. The Ralph Parr Pack working with the case managers at San Antonio Military Medical Center identified 119 wounded warrior families for grants that ranged from $600 to $1,100. The 119 grants which totaled $84,150 were determined by the number of children in each family. This was a $100 increase in grant size over previous years. The emphasis as always was to identify families that would not have much of a Christmas without a helping hand. The families receiving grants had a total of 281 children. There was enough money for a tree, presents, food, and in some cases, travel to be with family for the holidays.
The Christmas grants are mailed or hand delivered to the wounded warrior families and come as a complete surprise to the recipients. The phone calls and “thank you” cards are a sure indicator of the impact this gift has on the morale of the families. I always keep a tissue handy to wipe a couple of tears away after some of the calls. The sentiment that all the soldiers express is that they are deeply touched by the fact that people out there care about them, their families, and the sacrifices they have made for our country.
The heartfelt thanks for the Ralph Parr Pack and AWCF goes out to Rick Zehrer and the generous and patriotic Americans in the Lake Travis area who make this project possible. It is also worth noting that the funds in excess of Christmas Hope needs are used throughout the year to help families (with children) who have run into financial difficulties. It is truly a gift that keeps on giving.
Gary Baber, LFCinC, Parr Pack
River Rat Rick Zehrer at Lake Travis Community with $120,000 donation check