Freedom Alliance was able to provide bicoastal beach vacations for two military families in need of a pretty place to escape to.
The first family belongs to a Marine Corps veteran of over 11 years. During those years, Jeff deployed twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan with Infantry and Special Operations. His two children, Jeffrey (9) and Ariana (8), were born while he was in Iraq.
Jeff lives with numerous injuries as a result of combat. A traumatic brain injury lingers from a mortar blast, and several other disabilities are due to a bad landing, when he jumped over a canal to give aid during a fire fight. Consequently, he is going through the medical retirement process.
This year we sent Jeff and his wife, Gladys, to Huntington Beach, California. A very generous donor offered them the use of his vacation home, which is only a block away from the beach.
Jeff explained the significance of the getaway:
“There are very few opportunities that arise where my wife and I get to connect and take some time to ourselves. There is almost nothing for spousal support when the service member is dealing with his demons…”
Jeff wrote the family who donated the beach house:
“Thank you for letting us stay at your lovely home. This trip has definitely been memorable, to say the least… Gladys and I are very grateful for the opportunity that your family presented us with, and we are very blessed for your generosity.”
He included with the letter snapshots of the vacation, his children, as well as photos taken while he served in Afghanistan.
The next family to receive a vacation belongs to Sergeant Guy, who is active-duty in the Army. Guy’s family faces many challenges, since five out of the six members require exceptional medical care. This includes their four-year-old son, Maverick, who is autistic.
Guy’s extremely supportive wife, Ramie, a veteran herself, is a constant caregiver, taking everyone to their weekly appointments (sometimes as many as four!) in their one working vehicle.
We were shocked to learn that in less than two years, there has been a total of seven surgeries for various family members.
Guy and Ramie deserved a vacation, and Freedom Alliance made it happen. This couple and their four children escaped to St. Augustine, Florida, to a beachfront condo for a week of worry-free fun.
“We had a blast!” they later wrote.
Both of these families came in contact with Freedom Alliance through our Presents to Patriots Program, an annual effort to provide Christmas presents for the children of service members, who are going through financial and/or medical hardship.
Begun in 2010 with 20 families, this outreach has expanded profoundly each year. This past Christmas we set presents under the trees of 127 families, for 358 children—more than 523 heroes, spouses, and their children.
Please stay tuned to hear the miracles that happen this Christmas through Presents for Patriots 2016!