For their sacrifice, US military heroes deserve sanctuary as well as gratitude (2024)

Meredith Iler

Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 2 a.m.

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Today is Armed Forces Day, and all Americans, regardless of their political affiliations, should consider ways to express our profound gratitude to the men and women who have donned the uniform and selflessly served our nation. We must unite as a nation to honor the sacrifices made by our military members and their families, and reaffirm our commitment to supporting them in every way possible.

Armed Forces Day was established in 1949 by President Harry Truman to serve as a powerful reminder of the unwavering dedication and sacrifice of our military, past and present. It is a moment for national reflection, a time to cherish the freedoms we hold dear, and a time to extend our deepest thanks to those who have safeguarded America with their lives.

At Helping a Hero, we understand the weight of this responsibility. Since 2006, we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our heroes, dedicated to supporting military personnel catastrophically injured in their service to us and to our nation. Our mission is to serve those who have served us by providing specially adapted homes for qualifying service members through partnerships with builders, suppliers, private-sector patriots and veterans themselves.

As we honor our military on Armed Forces Day, it is the perfect time to thank and support wounded heroes who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. These courageous individuals have faced unimaginable challenges, bearing the heavy burden and a lifetime of consequences for defending the homeland. They have stared down danger, endured physical and emotional scars, and returned home forever changed. Through it all, they have displayed remarkable courage, resilience and unwavering patriotism. Their stories are testaments to the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity and inspire awe.

It is our duty, as a grateful nation, to ensure that veterans are not forgotten and that they receive the support and assistance they need on their road to recovery. We are proud to announce that so many injured heroes from the Global War on Terror are and will be benefiting from the Helping a Hero “100 Homes Challenge” — an ambitious initiative launched by Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, aimed at providing specially adapted homes for 100 wounded heroes and their families. Through the generosity of our supporters, partners and communities, we are working tirelessly to turn this vision into a reality.

Cpl. Justin Rokohl, USMC (Ret.), lost both his legs when a roadside bomb propelled him into the air through the gun turret before landing on the hood of his Humvee. Earlier this year, Helping a Hero broke ground on Rokohl’s future Helping a Hero home in Alice, Texas.

Top custom builder Shayne Schroeder has already begun assembling the team to build the home, starting with the pledge from McCoy’s for the lumber package and interior doors and trim. Westlake Royal Window Solutions has committed the impact windows from its Krestmark line. And Chris Clark of Clark Construction has committed the concrete.

This home will include wider doors and hallways, a roll-in shower, a roll-under sink, an adapted toilet area, and a prayer garden featuring a flagpole and several trees remembering Rokohl’s best friend, Marine LCpl. Colton Rusk, who died fighting in Afghanistan.

Bass Pro Shops and Richard Childress Racing have teamed up to fund the cash portion of the home. And Ashley Furniture will make sure the home has comfortable furniture. Helping a Hero works best when all of us step up and join together to serve our heroes.

The impact of these specially adapted homes cannot be overstated. For many wounded heroes, returning home is not a simple transition; it is a journey fraught with obstacles and challenges.

These homes, equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, provide a sanctuary where veterans can heal, rebuild and reclaim their independence. Open-concept floor plans specially designed for each hero create an environment that fosters independence and freedom, allowing combat-wounded veterans to regain a sense of control over their lives.

As we celebrate Armed Forces Day, let us remember those who have served our nation with valor and distinction. To those who wore the cloth of our nation, thank you for your courage, your sacrifice and your unwavering dedication to duty. You are the true embodiment of patriotism, and we are forever in your debt.

As America looks to our future, let us continue to stand together as a nation, united in our support for our military, veterans and their families. Together, we can make a difference and empower our heroes to thrive and not just survive.

Meredith Iler is the founder of the Helping a Hero Home Program. She wrote this

For their sacrifice, US military heroes  deserve sanctuary as well as gratitude (2024)


What is a nice message for soldiers? ›

Thank you for your sacrifices and hard work in service to our country. I appreciate how hard you worked to ensure that we could continue to enjoy our freedoms. Thank you for all your hard work, dedication and service to our country. You are my hero for your bravery and sacrifices to our nation.

What do soldiers sacrifice for our country? ›

We spend months away from home and family, taking it to the limit to defend our nation. We go in harm's way so others don't have to. We lay it all on the line. I was one of the lucky ones, as I served during a time of relative peace.

What is the military quote about sacrifice? ›

19. I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism. 20. Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.

How do you express gratitude to a soldier? ›

Thank you for your service and all that you do for our country. Thank you for keeping our country safe and strong. You are very much honored and very much appreciated for all that you have done. Thank you for your courage and for putting your country first.

What is one main goal of soldiers? ›

Our purpose remains constant

"This We'll Defend" has been our Army's motto since the Revolutionary War. It reminds us that our purpose is timeless and clear: to fight and win our Nation's wars.

Why should we thank soldiers? ›

They Are Always Willing to serve

The first and most important reason to be thankful to any Veteran out there is that they willingly choose to serve. In simple words, these men and women feel a calling that many of us do not get. This calling compels them to serve their country in every way possible.

Why we should honor our military? ›

As President Calvin Coolidge once said: “the nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.” Serving in our Armed Forces is one of the most courageous and selfless decisions a citizen of this country can make, and when we send these brave men and women into harm's way, we have a responsibility to care for ...

What to say to encourage a soldier? ›

Wishing you nothing but the best on your mission.” “You'll be in a lot of people's thoughts, prayers and hearts while you're over there.” “You and your unit are strong, brave, trained and skilled. You got this.”

What should I write to a soldier? ›

Say “thanks” or say you're proud of the job they do as a soldier. Thank them for their previous service. Wish them a safe return, or a quick recovery. Draw a picture of something – it will likely become part of the soldier's home away from home.

What is a powerful quote for soldiers? ›

"There is nothing nobler than risking your life for your country." "Over all our happy country over all our Nation spread, is a band of noble heroes–is our Army of the Dead." "What I can do for my country, I am willing to do." "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."

What are some words to honor soldiers? ›

These Memorial Day quotes pay respects to those servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, while carrying the spirit of their legacy.
  • “May we never forget that freedom isn't free.”
  • “In memory of many, in memory of all”
  • “We don't know them all, but we owe them all.”
  • “Never forget, ever honor”
Mar 4, 2020

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