Have you hugged a service member?

Published on Thursday, 3 July 2014 00:54 - Written by JIMMY ARBER Guest Columnist

I would like to talk with you about something that should mean so much to us as Americans and Texans. It’s the Texas Wounded Warrior. How many soldiers volunteer freely, to fight for the rights we so take for granted here in America? These same soldiers come back a bit different then they went to war. Where is our appreciation? Support? Love? Friendship?

Have you told one “thank you” lately? We needed them; now they need us!

This Texas Wounded Warrior Events are to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

They fought and served for you. The sacrifice they gave physically and emotionally to do a job that doesn’t even pay well. They carry the scars and memories and they would do it again.

We seem to think they are being cared for, but they are not. What about the ones who didn’t come home, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for you? Don’t you think we owe it to their brothers in arms to make sure they are taken care of? We must not ignore or forget these heroes!

It is our responsibility as Americans to see that these soldiers have what they need. That’s what the Texas Wounded Warrior Events do. It provides unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. How they pay for these things is by charitable contributions from us. How many ballgames, concerts and events did you see this year for hundreds of dollars a seat? Could you have missed one to help a soldier pay for his medicine?

The Texas Wounded Warrior fund operates as a nonprofit 501© (3) organization, so all contributions would be tax deductible. It helps family members of veterans who are unable to support their family due to an injury sustained by war.

It helps wounded soldiers be the most successful and well adjusted they can be again. There are more than 40,000 registered members defined as family caregivers of a wounded soldier.

It has taken more than $115 million in programs to support these families. It also has provided more than $800,000 in the form of college scholarships, which helps veterans transition to college and the workplace.

You want to know how you can help? I recently have had to pleasure to work with some event organizers for this program. Now let me tell you about a couple fun events that you can attend to help these soldiers!

Are you scared of bikers? Did you know bikers are the biggest supporters of this program? Have you ever taken the opportunity to talk with a biker? Did you know they are made up of people just like you and me?

They just love to ride motorcycles! Yes, Preachers, politicians, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, oil men, welders, construction workers, business owners and even soldiers!

All types of people are bikers! They are normal, law-abiding citizens just like you and me. Yes, they get a bad rap because they get lumped into a different bad element. You can find that element in all walks of life, not just bikers.

Tyler’s Ironhorse Saloon owner and partner Kathy Geddie recently announced the 271 Rally on Sept. 12 to 14.

A kickoff party at the 418 E. Erwin St. saloon will be Friday and Saturday. Todd Freeman & Bulletproof will play starting 9 p.m. Friday. A 271 Biker Rally kickoff run will be 10 a.m. Saturday and leave from the saloon.

The rally in September also will have The Traveling Veteran Wall brought out to the location so people can pay respects to those who have sacrificed so much for this country.

There will also be other fun activities like 11 live bands, a poker run, best bike contest, burn out contest, tattoo contest, bikini contest and many other games and entertainment. RV & tent camping will be available too.

For more information, call (903) 593-7909.