By CW4 (Ret) Sheren Roberts
On 3 August 2019, the AGCRA Rocket City Chapter co-hosted their 5th Annual Black Tie Charity Ball (BTCB) with the Legacy for Korean War Veterans Foundation (L4KWVF) and the Army Space Professionals Association (ASPA).
The Annual Black Tie Charity Ball fundraising event provides financial support to selected Tennessee Valley nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to all Veterans and serving Soldiers and Civilians – Active Duty, Retirees and their Families. This formal event is dedicated to enriching the quality of life of our Soldiers, Veterans, and Families.
To date the BTCB has raised over $65,000 for local Veteran organizations in the Tennessee Valley. This year’s guest speaker was Mr. Ronnie Chronister, Senior Vice President for Contracts at Dynetics Incorporated and the former Deputy to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command / Army Forces Strategic Command (SMDC / ARSTRAT). Mr. Chronister’s speech was heartfelt and poignant. He emphasized the importance of Veterans to tell their stories so that future generations will remember the sacrifices made and honor those who served before us.
This year’s proceeds benefited four deserving local organizations: Forever Young Senior Veterans in Alabama, Rolling Thunder, Still Serving Veterans, and Women Veterans Interactive.
Forever Young Senior Veterans in Alabama’s mission is to bring honor, healing, and hope to Senior Veterans in the North Alabama area. The all-volunteer staff works to end the silent suffering of WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans by granting their unfulfilled dreams, returning them to the places where they fought, and giving them the opportunity to heal from unresolved combat stress and other issues related to their service.
In attendance from Forever Young Senior Veterans in Alabama this year were 12 WWII Veterans, 2 Korean War Veterans, and 3 Vietnam Veterans. The Rocket City Chapter sponsored 8 WWII Veterans from Forever Young Senior Veterans to attend the event.
Rolling Thunder’s mission is to publicize the POW / MIA (Prisoner of War / Missing in Action) issues, to educate the public that many American Prisoners of War were left behind after all previous wars, to help correct the past, and to protect the future Veterans from being left behind should they become POWs or MIAs, and to helping American Veterans from all wars.
The mission of Still Serving Veterans is to serve and honor Veterans and their Families by empowering them to build meaningful lives through connections, to fulfilling careers, benefits, and services; and to proactively strengthen Veteran communities through leadership and collaboration.
The mission of Women Veterans Interactive (WVI) is to meet Women Veterans at their points of need through advocacy, empowerment, interaction, outreach, and unification. WVI addresses the unique, and often unrecognized, challenges facing our nation’s 2.3 million Women Veterans as they return to civilian life.
Also in attendance were 10 Veterans from the Tut Fann Veteran’s Home in Alabama (6 Vietnam Veterans, 3 Korean War Veterans, and 1 WWII Veteran). The Rocket City Chapter sponsored 8 Veterans from the Home to attend the Ball.
This event continues to grow in attendance each year. The Rocket City Chapter members work tirelessly throughout the year to make this event special for all attendees, emphasizing the importance of taking care of our Veterans and their Families and preserving our history for future generations.
The Rocket City Chapter BTCB Committee includes CW4 (Ret) EuGene Roberts, President; CW4 (Ret) Sheren Roberts, Vice President; SGM (Ret) Charlie Hardin, Vice President for Marketing and PAO; MSG (Ret) Chenita Henderson, Treasurer and MC for the event; SFC (Ret) Cedric Thomas, Executive Vice President for Operations and DJ for the event; and Tora Henry, Vice President of Ceremonies and Special Events.
As members of the AG Corps it is our duty and responsibility to remain relevant in our communities, to support Veteran Organizations and assist former Veterans using our military HR knowledge. Not all MOSs are privy to the knowledge and benefits that the AG Corps possesses. Be that Champion in your community or to that one Veteran, you never know the impact that your knowledge can have on someone’s life.
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