Category: Connect with a Vet

The Little Rock Air Force Base softball team takes on the  Louisville Slugger Warriors.

The Little Rock Air Force Base softball team takes on the Louisville Slugger Warriors.

Staff members at ARVets work each day to make Arkansas a better place for veterans and their families through case management services and outreach initiatives.

ARVets Development Associate Justin McCoy recently traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma and played in a softball exhibition game against the Louisville Slugger Warriors, a Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST). The WWAST is a competitive group of athletic veterans and active duty soldiers who have lost limbs.

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ARVets salutes the life and legacy of Ted Smith.

ARVets salutes the life and legacy of Ted Smith.

At ARVets, we celebrate the service of our nation’s heroes and remember the sacrifices they made to preserve freedom.

Ralph “Ted” W. Smith, a Veteran who served in the Army, died on December 19, 2014 surrounded by his family.

Recently, Ginger Ritchie and Graham Gillis, the niece and nephew of Ted Smith, made a generous contribution to ARVets in honor of their uncle. Ginger and Graham wanted their donation to support programs and services that improve the lives of Veterans and their families.

The entire ARVets team thanks Ginger and Graham for their generosity and we salute Ted Smith for answering the call to serve our great country.

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The Outstanding Veteran Family Award recipients for the 2014 Salute Gala were Staff Sergeant Rosyna Stewart and her three children.

The Outstanding Veteran Family Award recipients for the 2014 Salute Gala were Staff Sergeant Rosyna Stewart and her three children.

Between the ups and downs of deployments and daily life, Veteran families often have to overcome many obstacles. According to Defense Department statistics, over the last five years, the active-duty military includes nearly 73,000 single parents, which is a little over five percent of the total force.

The Army leads the way with more than 35,000 single parents and, according to a 2009 report by nonpartisan nonprofit organization Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, nearly 30,000 single mothers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 10 years to carry out missions.

Staff Sergeant Rosyna Stewart, the 2014 recipient of the Salute Gala’s Outstanding Veteran Family Award, knows firsthand the aforementioned statistics. Stewart is a single mother and veteran, who works every day to make sure her children have a good life.

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The Pre- 9/11 Outstanding Veteran Award recipient for the 2014 Salute Gala was Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin.

The Pre- 9/11 Outstanding Veteran Award recipient for the 2014 Salute Gala was Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin.

With so much focus on Post-9/11 Veterans, Americans must always remember to honor those men and women who served during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and other conflicts. During the 2014 Salute Gala, former Staff SGT Roy R. Griffin was presented the Outstanding Veteran Award for his service during World War II.

Griffin volunteered to serve in World War II on September 20, 1940 over a year before Pearl Harbor. Griffin helped establish the US Army’s first Engineer Shore Regiment, the 531st, training under the British for three months during its development. The purpose of the Regiment was to prepare the shore to receive boats and supplies during and after invasions.

A committed serviceman, Griffin participated in nine Campaigns in the European Theatre including: North Africa, French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe.

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The Arkansas Chapter of Team Rubicon received the 2014 Salute Award for Outstanding Veteran Organization.

The Arkansas Chapter of Team Rubicon received the 2014 Salute Award for Outstanding Veteran Organization.

There are countless community organizations in Arkansas and across the country that strive to meet the needs of Veterans. During the 2014 Salute Gala, ARVets honored the Arkansas chapter of a national organization whose members are always willing to lend a helping hand. This year’s award for Outstanding Veteran Organization went to the Arkansas Chapter of Team Rubicon.

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to natural disasters and other crises. Team Rubicon was created in January 2010 following the Haiti earthquake, when founders of the organization led a medical team into Port-au-Prince three days after the quake.

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