ARM Industry Helps TBI Vet “Come Home Just a Little Bit More.”
June 20, 2012: Captain Shannon Meehan came to ARMing Heroes with an application for a grant in the fall of 2011 in response to the organization’s call for applicants for its No Debts for Vets grant-making program. Captain Meehan was a leader of a tank platoon for the storied 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S.Army. He earned the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and other militaryhonors while serving in Iraq. In addition to these honors, he also returned from Iraq with a traumatic brain injury as a result of the detonation of an improvised explosive device.
After two years of intense therapy, and despite his desire to work, he had been unable to find a job. Bills were mounting and had become a tremendous strain on the family. All of this prompted the Meehans to give their house back to the mortgage company via a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction. They simply had no other choice. They moved in with Mrs. Meehan’s parents. They were borrowing a vehicle to enable Shannon to continue to search for work. They decided to fill out grant paperwork they had received from ARMing Heroes (www.armingheroes.org) Shortly after, the vehicle they were borrowing was totaled in an accident (one that did not cause any other injuries). The Meehans at that point did not even have a way for Shannon to drive to interviews.
The Meehans could not have contacted ARMing Heroes at a better time. ARMing Heroes had just completed its Second Annual Veterans Day Charity Fundraising Drive (“the Drive”). As a result of the drive, the credit and collection industry raised more than $27,000 in only a ten-week period starting on September 11th and concluding on Veterans Day, November 11th. Donations from the drive more than doubled the previous year’s total, thanks to these donors.
The single largest donor in 2011 by far was Southwest Credit (www.swcredit.com), which instituted an Employee Contribution Program (ECP). The Southwest Credit ECP empowers workers to have the company make donations, through payroll deductions, to ARMing Heroes to help America’s veterans. Employees can choose to do this either on a one-time basis or over the course of an entire year. ARMing Heroes estimates that, if only half of its other corporate donors would implement an ECP, the organization could easily raise $400,000 or more this year.
ARMing Heroes awarded a grant to the Meehans in December of 2012. The grant enabled them to all but resolve multiple large-balance credit cards, giving them the ability to press forward without sinking further and further into a financial hole every month. Here’s what Captain Meehan had to say about how this grant changed his situation
"I don’t know how, exactly, my wife and I can truly show our great appreciation for you, ARMing Heroes, and what you have given us. We feel so fortunate to cross paths with your organization, and we are much indebted to your generosity. Helping us with our finances as you did, and relieving A.J. and me of a great stress between us in our lives, has honestly allowed us to refocus on connecting, as husband & wife. And I sincerely feel that it has helped me come home just a little bit more. Again, we cannot thank you and ARMing Heroes enough we will always remember the great support you lent to us in a time of such need."
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