ADOPT A SOLDIER
June 14,2012 a young man leaving for basic training for the United States Air Force, was welcomed into what is now known as Adopt a Soldier. One military moms dream of connecting military members, their families and Veterans, outside the structure of the VA, had begun. Its mission, solving some of the troubling issues in todays civilian and governmental support of such heroes.
“Had I known my own experience as a military mom, would lead me and others along this journey of enlightenment, transformation and support for our heroes, I would’ve started long ago.” Sue Wackerlin, Founder
What started as a network for military families and enlisted soldiers, connecting them with Veterans, has grown into so much more! The Adopt a Soldier name doesn’t begin to cover the gamut of what this organization aspires to accomplish each year. The mission has come full circle, transforming this small intimate group, into a 501c3 non-profit organization, branching out across northeastern Illinois, southward to Danville, with no geographical limitations thus far. Embracing our Veterans for their experience, and support for those currently serving and their families has led AAS to complete this full circle of support.
When we close the window God opens, there’s always a door! He led Prince Home in Manteno
to Adopt a Soldier, completing our “Circle of Support” we now know as Adopt A Soldier.
2017 brought new veterans in need, troops deployed, and families to support.
We’d like to share the amazing Christmas we shared with our heroes!
Timing is everything when care packages are involved! We embrace this opportunity to bring military
families and volunteers together baking, decorating, and packing. Holidays are extremely difficult on
military families, without their soldier, but sharing that time with people that share that void is part of
what we do! All of our care packages arrived safely to our troops!
But, that is only a portion of what we do.
Prince Home, a facility for homeless and disabled veterans, was huge success again this year! Although we are involved with them throughout the year, it’s always one of our favorite events of the year! Our veterans were blessed with food, fellowship and presents! Supporting them, in turn, supports our families allowing them to serve on the home front, while their soldier is serving afar. Adopt a Soldier, with the gracious donations we receive from wonderful people in the community, adorned our heroes with everything from new clothing to laptop computers! Families, veterans and volunteers shared a wonderful evening building bonds that we pray will make a change, not only for those veterans but an understanding of what we must do to bring this tragedy of homeless to an end!
Our newest accomplishment in 2017 was Mercy House located on the grounds of the Danville Veterans facility. Adopt a Soldier first learned of the facility when a young Marine veterans’ wife reached out to AAS via our website. This veteran and his young family had recently received housing after being homeless, and were asking for diapers for their young sons. That was the beginning of our Adoption of Mercy House. AAS not only helped this young family throughout the year, but extended our support to everyone that is now housed there. It was an overwhelming experience, with 29 veterans and their families! Our trailer in tow, packed so full it appeared to have been vacuum sealed, not to mention the caravan of vehicles stuffed with gifts, we hit the road. Traveling with Santa along for the children, the long drive was lightened with the anticipation of the celebration that lie ahead. Our caravan, ten freshly cooked hams, beverages, place settings, and volunteers were welcomed by several residences as we pulled up. Unloading and organizing for each family took place immediately. The walls in the common area were filled with each families’ gifts. Curious veterans and families began to enter, not sure what was to be expected from this new group, Adopt a Soldier.
“One veterans’ reaction will forever be in my heart! As he navigated his wheel chair around, we continued to organize. I looked over just as he realized he had found his gifts. Tears flowed as this Vietnam amputee gazed upon his brand new electric recliner!” Patrica Moore, Vice President
A connection was made that cold December day. Connections, we pray, will continue to get stronger as we introduce the young veterans with the old, families with families, offering a refreshing way to create change across America. Join Adopt a Soldier as we march away from awareness, forward to creating solutions. It is up to us, the American people, to change the way our veterans are treated. Starting with supporting our troops throughout their military journey until they re-enter the civilian world, and beyond.