Recognition

19th Annual Patriotic Luncheon honors military heroes, veterans

Posted 11/24/21

The 19th Annual VMLC Heroes Patriotic Luncheon was held Nov. 10, at the Arizona Biltmore, where the Veterans Medical Leadership Council welcomed guests to celebrate America’s heroes.

The …

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Recognition

19th Annual Patriotic Luncheon honors military heroes, veterans

Posted

The 19th Annual VMLC Heroes Patriotic Luncheon was held Nov. 10, at the Arizona Biltmore, where the Veterans Medical Leadership Council welcomed guests to celebrate America’s heroes.

The event provided the opportunity to honor and celebrate veterans and military service members who have, and continue to, “Stand in the Gap” to defend country, raising a record amount of funds.

“The VMLC is a non-profit organization composed of veterans who volunteer their time to help our comrades that have fallen on hard times,” said Tom Eisiminger, VMLC president. “Unfortunately, with the COVID pandemic there are many more who are seeing these hard times. Through our Returning Warrior program, we provide emergency financial assistance to veterans who need help with housing, utilities, and vehicle repair. Thanks to donors who care about our veterans, over the years, we have been fortunate to provide over $3 million to assist our heroes in need.”

Eisiminger added that more recently, the group has helped veterans within the Navajo Nation with COVID-19 related relief, providing 300-gallon water tanks to be used for bathing and cooking.

“We also agreed to sponsor the first group of Maricopa County veterans with Post Traumatic Stress to attend WarriorPathh training, a transformative, lifelong, post-traumatic growth-based training program for combat veterans and first responders. The training begins with a seven-day on-site initiation that is followed by 18 months of training delivered by instructors through our myPATHH platform. The training begins at Boulder Crest in Sonoita, Arizona this November,” Eisiminger added.

The theme this year of “Resilience – a Veteran perspective,” matched the message from keynote speaker Cpl. Matthew Bradford. Two years after enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, Bradford was severely injured after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Haditha, Iraq.

Despite getting knocked down both physical and mentally, losing both legs, and his sight; Bradford never lost his courage or his heart. He spent the next part of his life learning and adapting to the new challenges of his life, truly understanding what it meant to overcome. Which is what he did and continues to do every day, living by the words “No Legs No Vision No Problem.”

The VMLC was also honored to have Chris Jaran, chief operating officer at MD Helicopters, Inc., as this year’s honorary luncheon chairman. Additionally, the highly respected Brigadier General Tom Browning Community Heroes Award was presented to BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona for their commitment to helping Arizona Veterans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer, according to a press release.

Special recognition was given to the following honorees for their selflessness and devotion to our country:

  • Peter MacDonald, USMC, World War II
  • James Sossaman, USN, Korea
  • Leo G. Thomas, Army, Vietnam
  • Ron Williams, USAF, Desert Storm/Cold War
  • Steve Weintraub, USMCR, Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Barb Homol, USN/Army, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

To donate or to find more information, visit https://www.arizonavmlc.org/2021hpl.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact Tom Eisiminger at teis@earthlink.net or 480-319-2906 or Trisha Anthony at tanthony@gcjpr.com or 602-274-1988.

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