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Help Sought For Retired Green Beret (nwfdailynews.com)

By Kelly Humphrey | 315-4443 | @Kellyhnwfdn | khumphrey@nwfdailynews.com

View Original Story HERE

When a service member is killed in the line of duty, the Department of Defense issues a statement that includes his or her name, unit and hometown. In most cases, the media will tell the hero's story.

When a service member is seriously injured, however, no such statement is issued. Usually only his or her family and closest friends know what kind of suffering and hardships the wounded warrior is facing.

Such is the case with Sgt. 1st Class Joe Lowrey. Two years ago, Lowrey was shot in the head while serving with the Army's 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Afghanistan. After he went through two years of intensive rehabilitation, the Army decided that Lowrey should be medically retired. Originally, his unit at Eglin Air Force Base planned to mark the occasion with an official retirement ceremony Dec. 16.

The ceremony had to be canceled, however. Because of the type of injury he suffered, Lowrey's doctors would not clear him to fly from his home in California to Florida until after Jan. 1.

Want to help?

Local businesses and organizations such as Helen Back and the American Legion Post 235 have stepped forward to help bring Sgt. 1st Class Joe Lowrey here for his official retirement ceremony at the Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) compound at Eglin Air Force Base. If you would like to help, visit SaveMyVet.com. All donations are tax deductible.

Unfortunately, that's after Lowrey's official retirement date. That means the 7th SFG (A) cannot legally pay for his and his family's travel expenses to attend the ceremony, which has been rescheduled for Jan. 6.

Fortunately, the Green Beret's friends and supporters aren't going to let a little thing like nearly $12,000 in expenses stop them from bringing him home for a dignified retirement ceremony.

"We're going to make it happen," said Rick Erickson, a retired Green Beret and Army Ranger who served for 32 years. "I'm not sure how, but we're going to make sure he gets the ceremony he deserves."

Erickson is the founder of SaveMyVet, a grass-roots effort to provide emergency assistance to veterans facing financial hardships. He and others hope to raise enough money to buy plane tickets for Lowrey, his wife, his parents, his four children and two other family members to travel from California. They're also looking for local accommodations and food for the family during their stay.

"We also need to rent a van with a wheelchair lift," Erickson added. "That costs about $100 a day. I know this is very short notice and a difficult time of year to ask for help, but this is an urgent situation that just came to our attention."

Erickson said Lowrey's prognosis was grim after he was shot July 7, 2014.

"He's overcome the odds and survived," Erickson said. "Now we have to help him and all the other veterans who have served us with the struggles of every day life."

WANT TO HELP?

Local businesses and organizations such as Helen Back and the American Legion Post 235 have stepped forward to help bring Sgt. 1st Class Joe Lowrey here for his official retirement ceremony at the Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) compound at Eglin Air Force Base. If you would like to help, visit SaveMyVet.com. All donations are tax deductible.

 

 

 

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