Beverly Perlson met Lt. Col. Oliver North eight years ago, while her son was fighting in Iraq. She asked the colonel to sign a postcard, which she then mailed to her son, one of many she sent him and his unit during their overseas deployment. This encounter sparked a long-term relationship with Freedom Alliance.
Since then, Beverly’s son has returned safely home, but this proud military mom doesn’t stop fighting to honor those who wear a uniform. Working alongside Freedom Alliance, Beverly hosts an annual social event in Washington, D.C., for injured veterans and supporters.
This year, we once again booked Shelly’s Back Room, a friendly yet stylish tavern for cigar enthusiasts, and invited veterans, military staff, and patients from Walter Reed National Military Hospital and their family members—19 in all—for Beverly’s celebrated “cigar night.”
Many of our guests had lost legs and arms while serving our country. One Marine from Missouri, Todd, is a quadruple amputee, who was in the nation’s capital to see about a bilateral arm transplant. He came to cigar night with his friend Jeremy, who we first met while recovering from a combat-related brain injury at Walter Reed.
All enjoyed choice food, select smokes, and a warm atmosphere. The owner of Shelly’s appeared to meet the heroes and express his thanks. Then a special toast was made, and Bret, a Walter Reed patient, sang the chorus from “God Bless the USA.” Those who were able joined the singing and even stood for the tribute.
It was a night not to forget and a heartening way to remember the men and women who have sacrificed so that we can be free.