Spokane is a proud military town, building on the legacy put in place at Fairchild Air Force Base. That's why kxly4 is launching a special effort this month to support our local heroes. Specifically, we want your help to support a local organization that does so much for the military and their families.
Operation Spokane Heroes began their mission shortly after 9/11. Our country had been attacked and our military was deployed far from home. Their mission back then?
"To try and see if there was something we could do to support the families of the deployed," said Sandy Kates. Kates was involved back then and has been the chair of Operation Spokane Heroes for the last five years.
Though most of our troops have come back home, the mission to help is as strong as ever. Operation Spokane Heroes helps military members, veterans and their families. They help with everything from finding work to emergency housing and food vouchers. And, every year, they provide an annual dose of holiday cheer for hundreds of Spokane kids.
"We have an annual carousel party that we host for the children," Kates explained. "They come free of charge, ride the carousel, eat pizza, see Santa. He has gifts for everybody. They have their pictures taken with him. That's an annual event that we do."
Still mission critical? Supporting the troops in the most basic way: sending care packages to the troops overseas. They collect donations and pack them up, but need money to send them. And, when soldiers come home injured, Operation Spokane Heroes is there, taking care of the families, too.
That's what they did in the case of Wex Hixon. The Spokane soldier was paralyzed from a roadside bomb in 2009. Operation Spokane Heroes was there to make sure his mom could travel to Western Washington as he was recovering.
"We helped her through our connections to the airlines to get tickets to go over on weekends," Kates recalled. "We helped her get gas for her car, accommodations when she got over there..."
They never know when the need will arise, so they try to keep the coffers full. They know that our community, which has always stepped up to support the military, will be there when called upon for help.
Now is one of those times - and, you can help, just by clicking a mouse. For every new "like" we get on the kxly4news Facebook page in the month of May, we'll donate $.25 to Operation Spokane Heroes. We'll do that all the way up tp 10,000 new likes. And, throughout the month, we'll profile the efforts of this incredible non-profit to show you exactly what your donations will pay for.