People who step up to defend the country by serving in the military often inspire other Americans.
Sometimes the service members come home with wounds you either can or can’t see, including missing a limb or suffering from combat stress or depression.
Brownstown Central High School seniors Morgan Wehmiller and Austin Green want to make sure veterans aren’t forgotten.
As part of a Google 20 Time project in Melanie Preston’s Advanced Placement language arts class, the two seniors have organized a benefit dinner with proceeds to support the Wounded Warrior Project. The nonprofit charity and veterans service organization offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans of military actions free of charge.
The dinner, consisting of chili, a dessert and a drink for $5, is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Brownstown Christian Church.
The guest speaker will be Rock Hurley, a U.S. history and driver’s education teacher at Brownstown Central High School who is a veteran. Wehmiller and Green also will talk about their project.
”It’s a really cool opportunity for our community to come out and show support for the veterans, especially those who have served and especially those who are in service right now,” Green said. “They are doing a lot for our country. They are keeping us safe, and we wouldn’t have the freedoms and the liberties that we have now unless they were out there on the front lines.”
Wehmiller and Green had worked together on projects in other classes at school, so they knew they wanted to do that again when they received the assignment in Preston’s class this past fall.
They decided to focus on veterans because both of them have family members who have served or currently are serving in the military.
”The youth group (at Brownstown Christian Church) was talking about reaching out to the community and finding ways to take our Christian faith outside of our youth group,” Green said. “Everybody really respects veterans, and I don’t think we do enough here in Indiana or in our country to help wounded service members.”
Wehmiller said the first step was to create an online account so people could start donating money right away. They set their goal at $3,000 and recently topped $2,000 in online donations and ticket sales. Online donations will be accepted through Wednesday.
”One of our requirements was to get it out in the community, so we knew doing a dinner would be an easy way to do that other than just raising money,” Wehmiller said.
Early on, Wehmiller and Green also did some research on the Wounded Warrior Project.
“There are 20 different programs that connect veterans with therapists, doctors and things they need when they come back because there’s no telling what they go through and what they do,” Green said. “It’s all free of charge for them, and it’s all through people’s donations.”
The next step was to find a place to host the event, and Wehmiller and Green received that approval from the church.
The church’s kitchen staff agreed to cook the chili, and the two seniors were in charge of lining up volunteers to make desserts and help the night of the event.
”We had a lot of people from the youth group sign up to help us,” Wehmiller said.
For those attending the event, Green said he hopes it encourages them to keep supporting the Wounded Warrior Project financially on a monthly or yearly basis.
”I think seeing us being committed to our veterans will kind of inspire other people, kind of set them on a path to encourage the veterans that are out there and stay committed to them,” Green said. “A lot of times, we forget about them, and we overlook some of the things that they go through.”
To donate to Austin Green and Morgan Wehmiller’s project for the Wounded Warrior Project, visit https://fundraise.woundedwarriorproject.org/rtt/Fundraising/individual/29257938.
What: Benefit dinner to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Brownstown Christian Church, 703 W. Spring St., Brownstown
Cost: $5 includes chili, a dessert and a drink; tickets are available by contacting Austin Green at 765-427-6454 or email@example.com or Morgan Wehmiller at 812-525-3916 or firstname.lastname@example.org; tickets also will be available the night of the event
Who: Everyone is invited to the dinner and to hear from Rock Hurley, a U.S. history and driver’s education teacher at Brownstown Central High School, and BCHS seniors Morgan Wehmiller and Austin Green, who will talk about their school project for the Wounded Warrior Project