SP Elks Sponsoring Wounded Warrior Fundraiser
BY JOHN CHAPPELL
More veterans of today's conflicts are surviving than in the nation's earlier wars, coming home with devastating wounds that mean years of pain and struggle. Several local groups have taken on the duty of helping the nation care for them.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, the Southern Pines Elks Lodge will hold the first of an annual series of charity dinners to benefit them. This initial Wounded Warriors banquet features two speakers, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Bob Springer and Maj. Marshall Tway, himself a wounded veteran.
"It is our job to give back and encourage these men and women as they adjust to their new way of life because of what they have sacrificed for us," said Andrea Wynn, of the Elks' Wounded Warrior Committee. "The Southern Pines Elks Club is honoring service men and women who need help."
With advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving severe wounds or injuries, Wynn said. For every U.S. soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, for every U.S. soldier killed, seven are wounded. Combined, more than 48,000 service men and women have been injured in the recent military conflicts.
"In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder," she said. "Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment."
This past June, the Wounded Warriors Committee presented a $2,000 check from the Elks national organization to now-retired Army Sgt. Daryl Shaw and his wife, Lucinda. The money helped cover housing and other living costs.
Shaw is a 17-year Army veteran who suffers from a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. He, his wife and four children live in Fayetteville. Shaw will undergo two back surgeries and two knee operations in the coming months.
The Shaws had left two of their children with friends from church and were living with the other two children in a recreational vehicle that had no electricity before Elks came to their rescue.
"We thank Sgt. Shaw and all military men and women for their service of our country, especially those that paid the ultimate sacrifice," Wynn said.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Southern Pines Elks Lodge on Country Club Drive, with cocktails at a cash bar. The menu includes salad, lasagna, chicken alfredo, garlic toast and dessert. Tway will speak first at 7 p.m., followed by Springer as honored guest speaker.
Following dessert, winners of an auction and a 50/50 raffle will be announced.
Advance reservations can be made by telephone to (910) 692-7375 on or before Friday, Sept. 14, at $15, which can be paid at the door on the night of the event.
Last-minute arrivals without reservations will be welcome, but the cost without an advance reservation is $20.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or jfchappell @gmail.com.
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