GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - One local woman is fighting to save a program that honors military families. The Freedom Team Salute program gives recognition to parents, spouses and supporters of members of the military, as well as retired veterans. But a funding shortage is shutting it down.
"The funding was withdrawn and the program was terminated," says Blue Star Mothers president Wendy Hoffman. "There hasn't really been any explanation."
Hoffman says the salute was a way to let vets know someone still cares.
"The Korean War vets, they call that the forgotten war," Hoffman explains. "For someone to come in and give them the salute, its like they're no longer forgotten."
The program got $7 million in funding last year--this year it's getting nothing.
Volunteers say the cost is worth it when you see the vets reaction.
"I had one gentleman in a nursing home break down and cry when I gave him the salute," says retired Lieutenant Colonel Jim Rudy. "They haven't heard anything from the army in 40 or 50 years and all of a sudden they're getting this recognition, they're really thankful."
Rudy and Hoffman agree, the most important part of the freedom salute is the chance to say thanks.
"It's not about the paper and the pin," Hoffman says. "It's about the recognition."
If you want to join the effort to bring back the freedom team salute, you can send letters, make phone calls and write emails to Congress' Armed Services Committee.
For contact information, email Jim Rudy at email@example.com.
Program to honor vets cut - KJCT8.com - Grand Junction, Montrose - Weather, News, Sports |