U.S. Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) invited 10 wounded soldiers from the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta to the Presidential Inauguration. Partnering with the Fisher House Foundation and the Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF), these soldiers will receive free airfare and hotel accommodations in Washington to attend the ceremonies. In addition to providing these soldiers with tickets to the inaugural ceremonies, Congressman Barrow's office held a lottery for 12th District residents interested in attending the events. Nearly 3,000 requests were submitted for tickets.
"We owe so much to our service men and women, and I'm honored to have these warriors join us in our nation's capital for this historic ceremony," said Congressman Barrow. "The inauguration of the President is a time-honored tradition, and thanks to organizations like the Fisher House and Yellow Ribbon Fund, these warriors will get to experience all that Washington has to offer during their stay. I look forward to visiting with them during their stay."
"Our Hero Miles program is very special, it allows Americans to donate their miles to support our wounded warriors and their families. We are pleased to be able to provide these airline tickets to honor their service so that they may come to our nation's capital to witness this historic event. When they need it most, our military families will be able to count on not only our Fisher Houses but also our Hero Miles program to help them in their time of need." Ken Fisher, CEO, Fisher House Foundation.
"Thanks to our supporters, this is what the Yellow Ribbon Fund does -- we show America's injured service members, in practical ways, how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice," says Mark Robbins, the Yellow Ribbon Fund's executive director.
The Fisher House's "Hero Miles Program" donated the airfare for each soldier and/or their family member, while the YRF donated the hotel accommodations during their stay. Each year, Congressman Barrow donates the miles he accrued through Congressional travel to the "Hero Miles Program." In December 2012, he donated more than 79,000 miles to the program. Click here to read more.
The soldiers and family members attending the inauguration at the invitation of Congressman Barrow are:
* Staff Sergeant Satoria Ragin and wife Erica Ragin
* Whitney Bellow, United States Navy
* Private First Class Daniel Ord and mother Maribeth Ord-Dykes
* Specialist Jesse Wollek
* Private First Class Miguel Perez
* Private Mardondre Robertson
* Specialist Canger Jeancaidor
* Captain Scotty Boler
About the Fisher House's "Hero Miles Program":
Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers nationwide and in Europe. Located in close proximity to the medical center or hospital it serves, each Fisher House consists of between 8 and 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. . Since 1990, the foundation has saved military, veterans and their families an estimated $200 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
About Yellow Ribbon Fund:
Since 2005, the Yellow Ribbon Fund has provided practical support for injured service members and their families while they're recovering in the Washington, DC, area and after they return to their hometowns. The Bethesda-based nonprofit offers free rental cars, cab rides, hotels, career and educational mentoring, massages for family caregivers, family-friendly outings, and more.