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West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Luncheon to Pay Tribute to United Sates Military Members | News

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West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Luncheon to Pay Tribute to United Sates Military Members
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Students from across West Michigan are joining area business leaders to celebrate local members of the Armed Forces – past, present and future – during the 2nd Annual West Michigan Armed Forces Thanksgiving Appreciation Luncheon at the JW Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids on Friday, May 5th. Military members will be in attendance for this event aimed at strengthening awareness and dialogue on the contributions our military personnel have made and continue to make on behalf of their families, their friends and their country.

Special guest, Noah Galloway, who joined the military in 2001 following 9/11, will provide the keynote address during the event. Sergeant Noah Galloway was assigned to the 1st of the 502nd Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On December 19, 2005, three months into his second tour of duty, he was gravely injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. Noah lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee. His book, Living with No Excuses, published last August, details how he lost more than limbs, but never gave up. It is a story of success and failure, courage and weakness, tears and triumphs.

Building off the success of last year’s inaugural event, which saw $30k raised for the West Michigan Veterans Coalition, this unique luncheon will consist of a combination of military personnel, professional leaders and high school students participating in meaningful discussion over a world-class lunch provided by JW Marriott. In partnership with area school districts, student participants will be encouraged to share their experiences from this event with peers on their high school campuses.  

Prior to the luncheon, a student rally will be held at Ah-Nab-Awen Park and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, where students will have an opportunity to meet and speak with veterans and active military members, while also seeing military vehicles and combat gear up-close.  Additionally, a personalized flag will be presented to the family of a lost military member during the SpartanNash Honor and Remember Ceremony.  At the conclusion of the event, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is granting free admission to the whole community from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (on May 5th). 

The freedoms we have come to expect here in the United States are the result of the sacrifice so many men and women have willingly given of themselves to protect,” said Peter Ruppert, CEO of Fusion Academy and event co-chair. “We must ensure that future generations never forget that sacrifice and what better way of doing so than by giving thanks to those whose courage and commitment can never be questioned.”  

To show your support of our Armed Forces, table sponsorships for this exclusive event are available for purchase on a first come basis. Sponsorships will enable organizers to fund the cost for military attendees and high school students. 

For more information or to reserve your participation, visit www.ArmedForcesTHX.org.

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