Fifty-nine members of the Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Fort Knox met at the Saber and Quill for a special spaghetti dinner. The meal was followed by a viewing of Expendables 2 at the Waybur Theater, which was stocked with plenty of popcorn and soda for the troops.
About sixty percent of the National Guard soldiers at the Fort Knox WTB are recuperating from injuries sustained during combat; many are left here with no transportation and no nearby family.
Bringing family members together with their injured heroes in rehab and hospitals is one of the things Freedom Alliance considers most important. Speaking with members of this lonely cadre during this event, we were reminded why.
First Sergeant Thomas was candid with Freedom Alliance team member Alicia Behm about his emotional struggle. “Having served abroad in Afghanistan,” he said, “away from family and friends, being separated from them, even now, makes things hard.”
Undemanding outings such as dinner and a movie can represent more than you would think to the isolated soldier. “These acts of love mean so much when we feel our lowest,” Thomas continued. “Caring and sharing of yourselves keeps the light of hope in our lives.”
Sergeant Randy and others of the WTB expressed their gratitude simply for being remembered. “It means a lot,” said Randy, “to have an organization that continues to care for service members. After so many years of war, many seem to have forgotten that our men and women continue to fight for freedom.”
Other guests were keen to enjoy an evening out. “It was nice to have dinner away from the DFAC and enjoy a nice dinner and movie with fellow soldiers,” said Sergeant Paul.
SPC David, from Michigan, said he was happy to get out and be active, which he isn’t able to do much, being so far from home.
Three soldiers from the Ohio National Guard 37th Infantry Combat Brigade (IBCT) attended the event. Freedom Alliance maintains a close relationship with the 37th IBCT, supporting the brigade during its recent deployment and sponsoring several special events for the troops.
SSG John is one of those soldiers at Fort Knox, dealing with combat stress, depression, and anxiety. “Getting out and interacting can be somewhat difficult. It is outpourings of appreciation and love like this that help soldiers like me get back to life and living to the fullest with our friends and family.”
Dinner and a movie and a bit of attention and these wounded heroes leave our event feeling loved … and we at Freedom Alliance are the ones left feeling full. What a privilege it is to serve warriors such as these.