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VMLC Heroes Patriotic Luncheon sees record-setting attendance

Valley comes to together at VMLC Heroes Patriotic Luncheon
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Veterans Medical Leadership Council hosted the largest VMLC Heroes Patriotic Luncheon to date with nearly 700 attendees at the Arizona Biltmore earlier this month.

The 21st annual celebration was presented by GlobalMed, an international company founded by local philanthropist Joel Barthelemy, and was chaired by VMLC Committee Chair George Bliss.

A memorable keynote speech was delivered by Colonel Kim “KC” Campbell, who served in the United States Air Force and received the Distinguished Flying Cross having successfully landed her battle damaged A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft after suffering extensive damage from enemy surface-to-air fire.

“This event each year provides the opportunity to honor and celebrate our Veteran and military community while raising funds to assist those who find themselves ‘on the verge’ of homelessness, unemployment, and in some cases, on the verge of a mental health breakdown,” said Tom Eisiminger, VMLC president in a prepared statement.

“This year we were very fortunate to have Kim ‘KC’ Campbell discuss bravery, mental and physical courage, and the importance of teamwork. A special thank you to all of all our sponsors, donors, and patriots who directly help the VMLC provide a “safety net” for those Veterans and their families in a crisis. Over the last 21 years, we have been fortunate to provide close to over $4 million to assist our heroes looking for a hand-up, not a hand-out.”

Additionally, the VMLC was honored to have Martin Harvier, president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, as this year’s honorary luncheon chairman.

The Tom Browning Community Heroes Award was presented to MD Helicopters for their continued support of our Veterans and the VMLC. Also, the American Rosie the Riveter Association, the working women of World War II, were in attendance as special guests.

The following honorees were recognized for their selfless devotion to our community:

  • Ollie Babbitts, Army WWII
  • Bud Woodall, Navy Korea
  • Terry Araman, Army Vietnam
  • Pete Tsinnijinnie, Army Desert Storm/Cold War
  • Kelsea Peterson, Army NG Post 9-11
  • Sandra Harris, USAF Post 9-11
  • Mike Broomhead, Civilian

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