Because of the severity of Petry's wounds, he had to endure multiple surgeries and more than two years of recuperation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. While he was recovering there, the Petry family received support and encouragement from Freedom Alliance, an organization devoted to those who serve our nation in uniform. On two occasions while he was at BAMC, Freedom Alliance provided financial assistance to help his family with travel expenses that were not covered by the government.
That support wasn't provided just because Petry is a Medal of Honor recipient. When the calls come into the Freedom Alliance Heroes Support Center from a military hospital, all that matters is that a wounded service member's family needs help. The Petrys are just one example of the hundreds of wounded military personnel and their families whom Freedom Alliance has provided with more than $1 million in financial grants in the past four years.
That's not all Freedom Alliance does for those serving our country. Thus far this year, the organization has sent thousands of Gifts from Home care packages to troops deployed overseas. Freedom Alliance also hosts and sponsors hundreds of dinners, picnics and "family days" every year to honor the troops and their families. Thanks to Sean Hannity and Fox News, the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund has provided more than $4 million in college scholarships to the children of service members who have been killed or permanently disabled in combat or other operational missions. And it doesn't end there.
Generous Americans who care about the sacrifices being made on faraway battlefields and by military families here at home have made it possible for the Freedom Alliance Heroes Support Center to provide a broad array of programs for the troops, their spouses and their children. Taking hurting heroes to Major League Baseball parks, National Football League games, fishing trips, hunting/sporting weekends and "dream vacations" all across America isn't intended to make headlines. But one wounded Marine put it this way during a recent outing: "It's the best time I've had since I got hit in Afghanistan."
This week, as we watched the White House ceremony in which Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry was being awarded the Medal of Honor, I turned to Tom Kilgannon, president of Freedom Alliance, to congratulate him on the quiet help the organization provided during the heroic Ranger's recovery. Kilgannon shrugged and responded, "It's what we do."
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.