Having served in the military for 20 years, it’s always encouraging to see young men and women in uniform making a difference. There is a mysterious mixture of humility and pride in those who have donned the uniform in service to their country that only veterans really understand. There is a brotherhood, a camaraderie that cannot easily be put into words.
Among my fondest memories of serving in the military were the times when my crew volunteered to help the local community in which we were stationed. Recently, I was honored and privileged to attend a special event at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin. On September 20, 2012, dozens of soldiers from Fort Hood’s 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade volunteered to help out Austin’s Ronald McDonald House.
One Good Turn Deserves Another
The Brigade’s commanding officer, Colonel Randall McIntire, was personally impacted by Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) when his daughter was hospitalized for heart surgery. McIntire had always heard about RMHC, but he didn’t fully understand the impact it could have until he and his wife needed to be close to their daughter.
Colonel McIntire calls the Ronald McDonald House “a God-send” for parents like himself. After his experience, he was determined to give back. He has worked with volunteers from his Brigade of 2,500 soldiers to assist RMHC with various events. When the need arose for volunteers to remove 50 old mattresses and install 50 new ones generously donated by Tempur-Pedic, the Colonel didn’t hesitate.
Though Brittany and I arrived on time to cover the story for The Austinot, the soldiers were far too efficient. When we arrived, the soldiers had already completed their task. The luxurious new mattresses were already installed in the family rooms. Talk about efficiency. Hooah!
Tempur-Pedic’s 5,000th Bed Donated in Austin
This isn’t Tempur-Pedic’s first rodeo. In fact, the company made its five thousandth bed donation to RMHC on the day we visited. That’s right – 5,000 top-quality beds have been given to parents nationwide who need a good night’s rest more than anyone.
The Ronald McDonald House here in Austin is a very special place. They have an amazing staff, facility and mission. And now they even have new mattresses. We’ve covered the facility before on The Austinot, documenting the organization’s mission and the fact that this Ronald McDonald House is the only LEED Platinum Certified Ronald McDonald House in the world. If you’re interested, you can read more here.
The Ronald McDonald House is always looking for volunteers. If you are looking to donate some of your time, talent or treasure, there aren’t many places in Austin we’d recommend higher than this. You can check out their official website here.
I’d like to thank Colonel McIntire and the troops in the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade for your volunteer efforts. You continue to play a crucial role in helping RMHC to complete its mission in our local community.
I’d also like give much deserved recognition to the fine folks at Tempur-Pedic for making a difference for Austin families in need. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed by the locals here in Austin, and your efforts to improve the comfort of those concerned for their hospitalized children is greatly appreciated.
As I reflect on this day that I witnessed, I have to say that it lifts my heart to see that the torch is being carried by those who have filled the shoes of those who no longer wear the uniform. I hope that the soldiers who took part realize the value they provided, and how much they are appreciated.
As we’d say in the Coast Guard, Bravo Zulu to everyone involved!
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