Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Wounded Warriors, and What You Can Do

I'll be at Walter Reed Army Medical Center this Saturday, July 16, from Noon-2 p.m. doing magic for families of our wounded warriors. In the past year, I had two more extraordinary privileges. The first was performing at the White House Halloween Party for the Obama family and 300 invited military families. The second was in December, performing at the Army Surgeon General's Holiday Banquet for the Army Medical Command leaders and the Sergeant Major of the Army.

I LOVE doing military events because it's like working for my family. As a child of two Naval officers, and with four generations of Navy in my family, this is a cause near and dear to my heart. I flew before I could walk. We moved from base to base, making new friends along the way. I know what it's like being in a military family, although thank God I never had to deal with a parent killed or wounded in the line.

So why am I telling you all this? It's because the needs are acute right now, and you can help.

Saturday's event is sponsored by Operation Homefront, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. By clicking here, you can find out what items and skills are currently needed to assist military families in the DC metro area. Here's the unusual thing - they mostly don't want your money. They need skilled tradesman to repair houses and cars, donations of vehicles, gift cards, supplies for care packages, party supplies for Saturday and so forth. Even in this tough economic time, that's probably not beyond your reach.

You can also visit servicemen and women - those who are here in DC may still be far away from loved ones. You can donate, and you can volunteer.

A word of advice: if you plan on visiting our troops at Walter Reed or anywhere else, don't plan on doing anything else the rest of the day. You'll be an emotional wreck. Seeing the courage, optimism, vision and faith of these amazing men and women will hit you hard. In the gut. And you'll never be the same.
Eric Henning Magician