Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes to Sponsor March 22 Reception for Returning Members of U.S. Army Reserve’s 7/158th Aviation Company
Kansas-based unit suffered major loss in deadly August 2011 helicopter crash in Afghanistan
WILTON, Conn., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Nearly eight months after enduring a tragic loss in Afghanistan when one of its Chinook helicopters was shot down, killing 30 service members, the U.S. Army Reserve’s 7/158th Aviation Company will be welcomed home in style on Thursday, March 22 with a “Yellow Ribbon Ceremony” at Gardner Municipal Airport near Olathe, KS, that is being sponsored by the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (CSAH).
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to be among the large crowd of family and friends greeting the approximately 110 soldiers upon their arrival at the unit’s hangar, which is planned for around 10 a.m. CDT. The ceremony and subsequent reception will mark the completion of the Company’s second deployment in Afghanistan in the past four years, during which time its members – known as the “Spartans” – flew more than 1,400 missions and logged in excess of 12,300 flight hours.
Unfortunately, the deployment was also marked by the accident last August 6 that claimed 38 victims altogether, including eight Afghans, and that represents the United States’ single deadliest day of the decade-long war. Among the U.S. casualties in the helicopter crash were eight members of 7/158th Aviation Company and 22 Navy SEALs, most of them from SEAL Team 6, the counterterrorism unit that carried out the successful Osama bin Laden mission in May 2011.
The CSAH agreed to underwrite the costs of the “Yellow Ribbon Ceremony” after learning recently that there were no plans to formally recognize the unit for its service in Afghanistan. Earlier this year, the CSAH had some initial contact with the Company when the organization provided emergency financial aid to one member, Sgt. Ezekiel Crozier, who was severely wounded in a separate helicopter incident in June 2011 and has been back in Kansas recuperating since then.
“The mission of the Coalition is not only to assist our disabled troops in progressing along their road to recovery, but also to make sure they are aware of the public’s gratitude for their sacrifices and their willingness to defend our country,” says Michael Meyer, CSAH vice president, programs, who is helping to organize the reception. “We are both delighted and proud to have the opportunity to provide these heroes from the 7/158th Aviation Company with the kind of proper homecoming they deserve.”
For more information on the March 22 “Yellow Ribbon Ceremony” or the CSAH, contact the organization’s media representative, Chip Warren, at (203) 645-4529 or email@example.com, or visit the Coalition’s website at www.saluteheroes.org.
About the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes
The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping severely wounded troops from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The mission of the organization is to enable these servicemen and women to transition from the battlefront to the home front and to provide them and their families with the assistance needed to get their lives back on track.
Since it was founded in 2004, the CSAH has provided millions of dollars in emergency financial aid and support services in more than 25,000 cases. Among the organization’s other initiatives are its Partner Appreciation Program that enables wounded service members and their caregivers to work part-time from home in a virtual call-center environment; online training through its partnership with Skillsoft; and its holiday gift check program that sends funds to injured troops and their families at Christmas, Thanksgiving and other occasions.
For more information on how the CSAH can help you or to learn how you can help, please visit the organization’s website at www.saluteheroes.org.
SOURCE Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes