MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – Retired U.S. Marine Cpl. Roy Thomas along with his family enjoy camping trips and time spent outdoors, but due to injuries sustained in combat, tent camping is no longer an option. Thanks to Hope For The Warriors® and its Warrior’s Wish® program Thomas and his family will now enjoy camping vacations in the comforts of a pull-behind travel trailer.
Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope to service members, their families, and families of the fallen. One of its first established programs, Warrior’s Wish, honors the goals and desires of severely wounded service members, veterans, and their families.
“I’m very grateful, thankful, appreciative and blessed to be able to make many great memories in this camper with my family,” said Thomas. “It was so meaningful to take our initial camping trip in our new camper and it has provided me with an outlet to get out of the house and be active again.
“My favorite thing about camping in our new travel trailer is watching my children completely enjoy themselves. The joy from watching my children enjoying their childhood, warms my heart. It helps me want to be a better person so they can experience so much more than being home bodies because of my struggles from war,” he added.
Thomas enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 2001 and served in the Infantry. In 2004, he deployed to Ramadi, Iraq. While waiting for an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician to assess an IED found while patrolling a supply route, Roy’s battalion was ambushed. When a grenade landed next to him and the squad’s radio operator, Thomas pushed his fellow Marine out of the way and absorbed the repercussions from the blast.
Thomas lost his left eye and sustained physical injuries to his legs, arms and a traumatic brain injury. After several months of rehabilitation, he medically retired in 2005.
Today, Thomas volunteers as peer mentor for local veterans and hopes to take fellow veterans in the area on camping trips.
“Many sacrifices are made when serving in the military, like losing the ease of getting out of the house and enjoying the outdoors,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder, president/CEO of Hope For The Warriors. “Therefore, it’s an honor for us to grant Roy’s Warrior’s Wish of a pull-behind trailer to provide him and his family an easy way to get outdoors and an additional opportunity to make endless memories together.”
In 2019, 13 wishes will be granted through Hope For The Warriors. The wishes fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.
Since the program’s inception, Warrior’s Wish has granted more than 200 wishes.
For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for the Warrior’s Wish program, contact Chrystal Keilers firstname.lastname@example.org or (832) 776-9379.
To apply for a wish, visit hopeforthewarriors.org/story/19331538/a-warriors-wish and register online.
About Hope For The Warriors:
Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 23,200 through a variety of support programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded over 135 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of over 25,500 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.