Help A Hero Newsletter
They served us, now we're serving them
Christmas Joy for Dubuque's Heros
For Thanksgiving day, Help A Hero's volunteers cooked a delicious meal for Dubuque's heros. From the pumpkin pie, to recognizing our heroes, over 100 volunteers and veterans showed up for this scrumptious event. Nevertheless, taking time aside from the craziness of life to realize how blessed we are are as community.
Before we knew it, Christmas was around the corner. A Christmas feast took place with other local veterans groups at the Asbury Eagles Club. Time was spent reminiscing about the past, and catching up with others from around the community. Santa even made an appearance at the event. Dressed in an army suit, Santa brought smiles and laughter to everyone in the room. The night ended with the Wahlert High School choir singing Christmas carols, while munching on sugar cookies.
As the holiday season ends, we wish you the best in 2015. Thank you for all you do to make Help a Hero the best it can be.
Disabled vet, John Log (left), and fellow veteran, Steve Green, enjoy a Christmas feast with family and friends at the Asbury Eagles Club.
Help a Hero volunteer, Sue Baldwin, gives a hand (and Christmas cards) to Vietnam War disabled veteran, Dick Landerson.
A "Merry" Flashback
WWII disabled, Navy Veteran and Dubuque Native, Joanne Richer proudly holds a portrait of herself from WWII. Christmas marked Joanne's 98th birthday. Happy Birthday Joanne!
Hero of the Month: George Utley
On June 2nd, 2009, George Utley had just graduated high school and was already set on what he wanted to do. By June 28th, 2009, he was enlisted in the army and on his way to basic training at 18 years old. George had known that he wanted to fight for his country from a young age. “I knew I wanted to enlist when I met an army veteran in middle school.” says George, “He inspired me to follow in his shoes and enlist after graduating college”, and that is exactly what he did.
Unfortunately, after fighting in the Iraq war for one year and three months, George was seriously injured during combat. “A bomb went off about 20 feet away from me,” George explains, “I am lucky to be alive today”. George was able to get to a doctor within a short amount of time but the explosion had left him paralyzed from the waist down. Within a few days George was sent back home to Dubuque, IA. where he struggled to cope with his disability. “It was hard for me to give up my independence” George says, “Suddenly I needed help with everything.”
After about 3 and a half years of coping with his disability, George was contacted by Help A Hero, an organization that assists disabled veterans in the Dubuque area, which had just opened its doors in 2010. Help A Hero provides transportation to health and life services, food and toiletries, everyday house care services, and informational resources to local disabled veterans, with the help of volunteers. “Help A Hero has given me my independence back and I could not be more grateful.”
George was recognized as the recipient of the 2014, Fearless Hero award at the Christmas Dinner. This award is presented to an outstanding hero, who has overcome extreme obstacles, defining what it means to be a real life Hero. To find out more about Help A Hero and to donate, check out helpahero.org.