Veterans honored with church’s gift to Wounded Warriors

Published 8:02 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

On July 14, 2009, Staff Sergeant Adam Palmer, just three years out of high school, was gravely wounded by a roadside explosive device while serving his third combat tour in Iraq.

He was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he began the long road to recovery.

During those early days at Walter Reed, it would have been hard for Palmer and his family even to imagine the Veterans Day observance that would take place three years later at Tryon United Methodist Church.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Now medically retired from the Army after enduring more than 20 surgeries in Army hospitals, Palmer stood in front of his congregation with his young wife and child to accept a symbolic check representing a donation from the church to the Wounded Warrior Project.

LTC John Albree presented the award as part of the church’s “Honor and Remember” program during last month’s Veteran’s Day service. He reminded the congregation that a book of military biographies of church members and their families is on permanent display in the church library.

Accepting the award on behalf of all his fellow veterans, Palmer spoke of his appreciation for what the Wounded Warrior project had done for him.

“When I came to Walter Reed I had been evacuated from the field with nothing,” Palmer said.

The Wounded Warrior Project provided him with clothes, phone cards, backpacks and other things he needed to begin getting on with his life.

“I’m probably one of the most fortunate and blessed individuals on earth, because I’m pretty much a best-case scenario for the things that have happened to me. But there are a lot of guys who are not as fortunate. Due to the nature of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan and the technological advances we have made, there are soldiers who are surviving catastrophic injuries that in any other conflict would have killed them,” Palmer said.