by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - A day short of a month since the Ft. Hood shooting rampage, one unit that lost soldiers in that tragedy has deployed to Afghanistan.
As Christmas approaches the victim's families must cope with the stark absence of their loved ones at this time of the year. Two groups are hoping to alleviate some of that pain.
A month ago violence visited the unsuspecting soldiers of Ft. Hood who were unaware of the questionable loyalty of their colleague, Major Nidal Hasan, who was set to deploy with several of his victims. Now the families of those victims need help.
Soldiers' Angels, an organization that adopts and sends gifts to those deployed is teaming with Restaurant Chain Rudy's Barbeque to help those families. Patti Patton-Bader, founder of the nonprofit organization says, "As you know, with the tragedy we had at Ft. Hood, that everybody raced down there at the beginning. some of these poor kids were chased down by people, you know, what's going on? And now, most of the media's left, everybody's gone and these guys are hanging out by themselves."
Coby Eilenberger, the General Manager of Rudy's Bar-B-Q in Amarillo says, "Texas has always been really good to us, so whenever we can help other Texans in need, we're going to do so."
On the one-month anniversary of the shootings, December 5th, Rudy's will donate a large portion of its revenues to Soldiers' Angels, who will then send gifts to each of the 43 families affected by the shooting. Eilenberger says, "I don't know exactly what the contribution will be, but it will be a significant one."
Patton-Bader says, "Now, at the holiday time with what Rudy's going to do to help us, will help them ease through the holiday instead of being, you know, looking at this big void."
Rudy's will also donate fifty cents for every new Twitter follower or Facebook fan until this Monday.
Soldiers' Angels is calling on more corporations to follow Rudy's example.