GIVING BACK

Eagle Rodeo honors our local veterans
by Rhonda Noneman

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TIllery FundWhen it comes to our veterans, Eagle Rodeo is all about honoring the men and women who serve us. Through a monetary contribution to the CW2 Joshua M. Tillery Memorial Fund (tilleryfund.org) the Eagle Rodeo has become instrumental in helping our country’s veterans when they need it most.

The programs supported by the fund are not reimbursable by any government agency. Money raised is used for lodging families to be close to wounded loved ones; assisting financially needy families with living expenses during a spouse’s deployment; helping provide educational and job reintegration to returning soldiers; and, aiding wounded or disabled veterans while they wait for the, often long and tenuous, benefit payments to begin. Bridging the gap and targeting immediate needs for local families is the ultimate goal. This is just the beginning of a much needed program launched to honor a fallen son.

The fund’s namesake, Joshua Tillery, was a patriotic man. He served his country because he loved it. He believed in our freedoms and the need to protect them. He gave everything, and in return left everything behind – a loving wife and four young sons. Stephen Tillery, Joshua’s father, repeatedly heard over, and over, the same, thoughtful question from family, friends, and neighbors, “How can we help?” These words – offered with sincerity and backed with much needed assistance – showed how a community can truly make a significant difference in a veteran’s life. Creating the fund answered that simple question and gained the attention of the Eagle Rodeo Board.

“This type of program is exactly what the Eagle Rodeo was looking for,” says Allen Puckett, of the Eagle Rodeo Board. “It fits well with our community and goes hand-in-hand with what the Eagle Rodeo believes in.”

Celebrating its eleventh year in 2012, the Eagle Rodeo’s ongoing mission to support the community through charitable donations is made possible through ticket sales and sponsorships. Nurturing that sense of community resonates with each member of the rodeo board and the army of volunteers that put on the Eagle Rodeo each year. Programs such as the CW2 Joshua M.Tillery Memorial Fund make all the hard work worthwhile.

“We know there is a huge need for this kind of program. Having been at war for the last ten years, there are just a lot of families who have been affected,” Puckett adds. “These men and women take the time to serve our country. We [the Eagle Rodeo Board] feel it’s our duty to give back and help as much as we can – especially local families.”

Join the Eagle Rodeo in honoring our veterans. By supporting the Eagle Rodeo you support local charities and programs. While you’re at it, you get to enjoy a really great rodeo!

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