Yellow Ribbon Program pamphlet

Sports play an integral role in the mentoring process, and the donors of tickets to sporting events help make that happen. At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, YRF mentoring director Bob Talbot is known as the guy with the tickets.

Outings to sports events enable Bob to spend time with injured service members, getting to know them and their interests.

Bob offers guidance and encouragement and assistance that leads to internships…

…campus tours and meetings for those exploring going back to school…

…and connections to mentors in their area of interest, from law enforcement to foreign service to the arts.

And it often starts with free tickets to a sporting event.

They danced. They ate cupcakes. They made crowns and danced some more.

But this was much more than just another children’s party. These children all have a parent who’s an injured service member.

They’ve often stepped up to help care for their wounded mom or dad. According to a recent study, the experience makes them more resilient and compassionate than other children. But it can also leave them angry and frustrated.

So the Yellow Ribbon Fund’s Family Caregiver Program organizes events and activities that give them a chance to just be kids, while nurturing their family relationships. At YRF’s latest Little Heroes Ball near Ft Campbell, nearly 100 children and parents turned out for dinner and dancing, with gifts to commemorate the occasion.

Thanks to Spalding, each child took home an over-the-door basketball hoop and basketball…

…each caregiver mom received jewelry donated by the Gold Factory in Clarksville, Tenn…

…and photographers April Padgett and Elizabeth Elliott were on hand to provide complimentary family portraits.

Thirty-seven volunteers helped make it all happen, including students from Clarksville Academy, which joined the Yellow Ribbon Fund in co-hosting the Ball. Our heartfelt appreciation goes to:

Brio String Ensemble
Christian County Senior Center
Clarksville Academy CBL group “Army Strong”
Four Seasons Catering
Operation Ward 57
Pennyrile Allied Community Service
Photographers April Padgett & Elizabeth Elliott
Retired & Senior Volunteer Program

Enjoy these photos from the event, then read The Washington Post article to learn more about the challenges facing the children of injured service members.

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