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What's In A Name?
The following is a guest blog from Feherty's Troops First Foundation, one of the featured warrior support organizations highlighted at next week's Warrior Open.
In an effort to continue our mission of developing relevant initiatives to assist Warriors with reintegrating back to civilian life, Feherty’s Troops First Foundation is launching a new initiative – The Leroy Petry Village of Honor. This is a transitional housing program that will consist of seven single-family fully-accessible homes on Chief Chris Kyle Court in Riverdale, Maryland. These homes will be available at no cost to Warriors who are transitioning out of the military and have one to two years remaining at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
We have been granted permission to name this project after two very inspirational Warriors, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry and Chief Chris Kyle. Both have dedicated so much of their time and efforts to helping fellow Warfighters as they reintegrate after injuries sustained in combat.
Since meeting SFC Petry at Brooke Army Medical Center shortly after he was injured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, it was immediately apparent that assisting and advocating for other Warriors was still a substantial part of his life, albeit not downrange. The new battle was in hospitals and surrounding communities where other combat-wounded Warriors were attempting to cope with their healing and trying, some more successfully than others, to plot what was next. Leroy was there for many who needed encouragement, connectivity to resources and services and many times, simply a trusted friend. Along the way, in July of 2011, SFC Petry was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, and to no one’s surprise, he remains unchanged and committed to his battle buddies. When it comes to names, SFC Leroy Petry is living proof, as they say, that “Rangers Lead the Way.”
Over the past several years, Chief Kyle had a significant impact on a number of Warriors. He never stopped giving. The contact list in his cell phone contained countless names of those he considered his best friends – Warriors who were injured in combat. He not only stayed in touch with them but in some way significantly improved their lives by sharing his. Whether it be a hunt, a dinner or simply a text message exchange, Chris made it his mission to help his brothers. Despite leaving us too soon, Chris will continue to inspire us and in such a profound way remind us that the mission continues every time we drive onto Chief Chris Kyle Court.
We are honored to launch this initiative bearing the names of two American heroes – Leroy Petry and Chris Kyle.