WALLA WALLA, Washington (Sept. 14, 2016) – On August 17, Walla-Walla-based Army Specialist Mark Hexum received A Warriors Wish of a pull behind travel trailer from Hope For The Warriors®.
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. Through its first established program, A Warrior’s Wish®, Hope For The Warriors takes wishful thinking of post-9/11veterans, service members, their families and families of the fallen and turns it into dreams come true.
Hexum, enlisted in the Army as a junior in high school and after graduation headed to boot camp in 2004 and deployed to Iraq in 2006. During an August 2006 patrol in Iraq, his convoy struck an IED. As a result, SPC Hexum sustained a traumatic brain injury and suffers from its collateral effects of combat injuries. In addition, Hexum wears knee braces to assist with the daily knee pain from injuries obtained in training and while deployed.
Camping has always provided a place of solace and reflection for the father of three, but has become more difficult since his injuries. The new travel trailer will provide a more accommodating environment than tent camping allowing Hexum to enjoy camping once again and working to restore self, family and Hope.
“This means the world to me,” said A Warriors Wish recipient SPC Mark Hexum. “Words cannot describe how grateful I am to receive such a gift that will help me to be able to spend more time with my family. Knowing that I don’t have to worry about not finding a place to lay down when I get a migraine or the wear and tear on my knees from setting up or breaking down camp means so much. I will be able to enjoy more time with my family because of Hope For The Warriors.”
In 2016, nine wishes will be granted. 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.
“It’s hard for some of us to fathom what it’s like to serve and while serving have ‘normal’ erased forever,” said Robin Kelleher, president and CEO of Hope For The Warriors. “For both the service member and family, the restoration process is demanding and often inhibits them from enjoying prior lifestyles and activities. We understand this is a critical part of recovery and are honored to fulfill the dreams and goals of our service members and families.”
Since the program’s inception, A Warrior’s Wish has granted 157 wishes. To apply for a wish, visit https://www.hopeforthewarriors.org/story/19331538/a-warriors-wish and register online.
Photo courtesy of Hexum Family: Mark and Megan Hexum and family receiving the keys to their new travel trailer.