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Old December 10th   #1
Samir
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Thumbs up Sergeant First Class Brandon Lloyd – A Trip Report

From Jack Stokes of the NABMS:
Quote:
When we met Sgt. Brandon Lloyd, a 34-year old true American hero, it was dark, dreary, windy, cold, and very wet; weather good only for ducks and Texas drought area.

Pat Holmes, a retired Army vet from Huntsville with a heart of gold, had chosen to respond to a request from Dr. Ken Stone, of Staunton, MA for someone in the Alabama car clubs to find a car for Brandon, a wounded warrior of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his family, wife Natalie, daughters Avery (6 yrs), Lucy (2 yrs), and Presley Blaze (expected in mid-December). Natalie unfortunately had lost the family car in an accident near Huntsville while traveling back from their home in Mobile the day before the tornadoes. Brandon had returned from the war zone to Fort Campbell, where he continues to recover from severe wounds as a result of experiencing 19 IED’s exploding under vehicles in which he was traveling. As a result of his injuries, they have had to move into base housing at Fort Campbell.

Pat donated his personal car, a 1999 Chrysler Concorde LXi (with a solid engine, transmission, drive train, and sound body) to the Lloyds. Since there were several mechanical and electrical issues with the car, people from two churches (St. Thomas Episcopal Church and All Saints Lutheran Church, of Huntsville), the North Alabama British Motoring Society (NABMS), Bill Hutton of Clarksville, TN, and Dr. Stone contributed funds to improve the car’s safety, reliability, and operability. Additionally, High Cotton Solutions (Ashley Linares) of Huntsville donated a large foamcore thank you card with the words, “Thank You for All You Have Given Us, Brandon” on the front and “We appreciate your sacrifices and are grateful for your service! You and your family will remain in our thoughts and prayers,” on the back. Most all of the contributors wanted to and did sign the card for Brandon and his family providing their own sincere messages. And Century Motors of Huntsville, affiliated with NABMS, donated a large red ribbon for the car transfer ceremony.

After repairs and new tires, battery, and starter motor, the car was washed, waxed, and detailed, then fit-checked with the thank you card and ribbon attached. On Monday, December 5, 2011, Pat Holmes, accompanied by Jack Stokes, drove the car to Clarksville, TN to meet Brandon and Natalie for the exchange. Unfortunately, heavy rains set in coming through Nashville, and it was pouring when we arrived at Clarksville and Fort Campbell. We stopped at the Army uniform and supply store just outside the main gate at Fort Campbell, our planned meeting place. Our meeting with Brandon (as Natalie had fallen ill with the flu that day) was in the pouring rain, but the large card was in place, along with the bright red ribbon on a very wet car. Brandon, supported by a cane, was duly impressed and emotional, and he humbly accepted the gift from Pat. The car was perfect for the 6 ft+ Brandon and easy for him to drive. After accepting the car, Brandon was compelled to give back to us, so after an excellent Chinese buffet lunch and processing the car onto the Fort Campbell property, Brandon gave us tributes and some written information about himself, so we could better understand who he was and how important this gift really was to him and his family. He then toured us around Fort Campbell, telling us of the historical, operational, and logistical aspects of this famous Army base. He had been a senior combat paramedic in the famous unit known as the “Band of Brothers” (from World War II), but due to his severe injuries and continuous medical treatment had been transferred to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Fort Campbell. Though wounded himself but desiring to help others, Brandon currently administers to younger combat casualties, working diligently to prevent suicides and attempting to tide depression and re-entry issues among the returning infantrymen. He is now processing out of the Army on a medical discharge and has been put in for the Silver Star, the last of his many awards for valor and bravery. There is consideration that the Lloyds may move to Huntsville and become a member of our community. It would be an honor to have them here with us.

Though the weather was miserable, the day was fantastic. Observing this very honorable American hero accepting gifts from many people who do honor and respect him for who he is and what he has done was extremely touching to both Pat and me and will leave a lasting impression on us which we hope to share in this epistle. Just trying to understand how a human could be exposed to so much trauma and survive, let alone be vertical and mobile (albeit with a cane) is incredible. How such a human having gone through this could have such a positive, grateful, humble, and caring attitude is simply amazing. But Pat and I learned that we were in the company of the perfect soldier, a man willing to totally defend our country even with his life, yet simultaneously have great sympathy and caring for his family, for those under his command, and for those returning from war in wounded conditions; one who fully appreciates the unexpected and never requested gift of an automobile, who is elated that so many people wanted to participate in making it happen – well, this is a special person. Both Pat and I agree – and we hope you will agree also – that this was a once in a lifetime good thing to do. I personally am glad we were a part of it, along with each of you. We all need to continue to stay in contact with the Lloyds and any other returning war vet, to help them as we can, to let them know what they have done is really appreciated, so we will not have to know what these young men and women experienced and must now live with. We need to fully recognize the cost of freedom. People are hurt, people are killed so that we can be in a free environment. So, when you have a chance, thank Brandon again (as you have already done), thank a vet, thank the wounded warrior.

Please see Brandon’s bio attached with this message.
Jack Stokes;
Huntsville, AL



What a great story.
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Old December 10th   #2
cletusberontwood
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Truely awesome to give back to those who have given so much.
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Old December 10th   #3
Samir
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From Jack:

"Please credit Melissa Wells of Fort Campbell for the photograph of the Lloyd family. She is published in the September 2011 issue of "Fort Campbell MWR Life" magazine, a monthly publication for the people of Fort Campbell. The photo of Bandon after the IED hit was given to me by Brandon and may have been a staff photo."
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