by Lisa Tome
The wife of a Wounded Warrior and a North East business are teaming up to provide for soldiers.
Project: Stock Soldiers Shelves is set for Saturday, September 26 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Simply the Best Nutrition, 2316 Pulaski Highway (across from Pat's Pizza and next to ATI Physical Therapy).
During that time, Jill Lee, organizer of this event, and Kelly Frederick, owner of the nutrition store, will be collecting for soldiers. A box truck, decorated with a banner, will be parked at the nutrition shop. The goal is to fill that truck with non-perishable food.
Lee, whose husband Thomas, has been a member of the National Guard for 17 years, and who has been deployed twice, is currently being treated at a Wounded Warrior Unit in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Thomas Lee was first deployed to Iraq in 2007-08. He was again deployed to Afghanistan in January 2013 and returned to the states nine months later. He has now been in Fort Belvoir for nearly two years.
"...He currently is in worse condition now than the day he arrived from deployment to Afghanistan. I have been battling the Army and advocating for my husband tirelessly. Unfortunately, many service members I talk to at the Wounded Warrior unit have no advocates or families fighting for them and our service members desperately need our help. Many of the soldiers suffer from PTSD, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury and are treated with very strong medications. As a result of these medications, daily activities, even driving, become extremely difficult. Tasks we sometimes think to be simple, such as food shopping become impossible, let alone the preparation of a meal," said Lee.
Frederick has worked to get vendors and entertainment. Amy Zern will be on site with the Miss Fancy Pants Clothing Boutique. Ralph Nester will have karaoke. Country singer and internet sensation Howie Nester will perform live. Items being collected include peanut butter, squeezable jelly, instant mashed or scalloped potatoes, chunky soups, beef stew, oatmeal, pancake mix, granola bars, cereal, and other non-perishables. Cash donations will be accepted. There will be a 50/50 raffle and door prizes. For more information call Jill Lee at 302-593-4853.