America Supports You: Group Helps Tennessee Troops
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2007 Troops from Tennessee are finding a local group is there to offer them a helping hand when they need it.
The group, “Tennessee’s Helping Hearts,” works in many ways to honor and support servicemembers serving at home and overseas, Teresa Miller, the group’s president, said.
“We strive to be there for our military so they are never alone,” she said.
The group’s focus is supporting injured servicemembers, whether help needed is in a practical or material form or just for a day of stress-relieving fun.
Group members put in a new driveway for a Marine who lost both legs to a roadside bomb, Miller said. The new surface allowed him to get safely and more easily from his vehicle to his home.
Another young servicemember who lost both legs while serving in Iraq spends a fair amount of time at the Dollywood amusement park founded by country singer Dolly Parton and said he would love to meet Parton. The group arranged for such a meeting.
“We will be meeting Dolly Parton and spending some time with her,” Miller said. “(He) has never met Dolly, … so we arranged this for (him).”
Tennessee’s Helping Hearts also tries to help with financial needs and any home improvements for injured servicemembers and their families, she said.
The group also supports families who have lost a servicemembers.
“We … make sure that the fallen soldiers’ families receive a heartfelt ‘We are sorry and we are here for you,’” Miller said. “We also plant … memorial trees to help them with some of the grief they have to go through.”
Tennessee’s Helping Hearts recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.