August 17th the Russell family was invited to attend the Change of Command Ceremony for CPT Perilla B. Swartz. CPT Swartz was commanding officer for B Company, Brooks Army Medical Center Warrior Transition Battalion. CPT Swartz led the FIRST Wounded Warrior Battalion to the Lazy U Ranch for R&R retreats including the 2014 Lazy U Ranch 4th of July Memorial event.
At the ceremonies she surprised us by presenting the SPARTAN award to the SS AMERICAN Memorial/Lazy U Ranch.. We were honored to accept this award on behalf of all the people involved with the SS American Memorial. Even more special, this award has never been given outside of the Warrior Transition Battalion community.
My family and the SS American Memorial wishes CPT Swartz the best of luck and success in her new assignment in the Army.
We ask that everyone come see YOUR most distinguished SPARTAN award as it has been placed proudly within the memorial.
With foot traffic up 3000 percent since the dedication of the SS American Memorial in JULY 2014 the overall mission continues to evolve at a rapid pace. So much so, my wife Nancy is full time manager now days leaving her former job behind. The overwhelming interests in the memorial and grounds tells us our overall mission is on track. The memorial has created an educational avenue with numerous youth groups visiting this year. This past July founder of Opportunity Inc. Sydney Masterson hosted youth from Urban Renewal, a faith based organization from San Antonio’s west-side. A full presentation was provided on the history of the memorial, including a presentation from the San Marcos area military recruiters. Hope Church Pastor Tom Masterson provided food and drinks for the CITY kids as they enjoyed the rope swing and plunging into the waters of the Guadalupe river. A first time for many of them!
NOT JUST FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS!!!! – As promoted, the SS American Memorial is not just for warriors and veterans, this is for ALL Americans that includes our FIRST RESPONDERS. This summer came to a close for 20 years Veteran Texas State Game Warden Tracy Large. Tracy came to Guadalupe county as a senior game warden and transformed the area around the ranch by shutting down the poaching community. I am honored to say I have known Tracy for over 40 years and have enjoyed watching our kids grow up together. We wish him and his family a most pleasant retirement. Thank you for your service Tracy as TEXAS STATE GAME WARDEN!
We closed out the summer raising over $4000 at our two fundraising events. This money went to fantastic organizations that support our cause for the Wounded Warriors. These organizations include Heroes on the Water BAMC, Wounded Warriors at NEBO, and Wish for Heroes – these organizations are comprised of some of the most dedicated people you will ever meet. Do not hesitate to donate to these organizations AS THEY TRULY REPRESENT JUST WHAT A NON PROFIT IS ALL ABOUT – GIVING BACK!
A big thanks go out to the 30 plus volunteers at each event that included close friends, Hope Church members, Caterpillar Seguin, and Navarro High School youth. A big thank you to the Northeast Independent School of Arts band for being part of the WARRIOR TRIBUTE portion of each event. Their professionalism in their musical craft was inspiring. Thanks to our Nashville music Bo Hill/Scotty Alexander and area talent of Slim Bawb and the Chubby Knuckle Choir. Their talented generosity made the evenings memorable!
The evolution of the SS AMERICAN MEMORIAL – while the memorial grounds continue to provide all around rehab to the warriors ranging from tactical defense training donated by Nick Smith, to include archery, fishing and kayaking. These activities are now enjoyed by the trainees of the 264th Medical Battalion. Future events include SPIRITUAL FITNESS and LEADERS FAMILY DAY OUT events sponsored by the base Chaplains.