2016 was a challenge to find the perfect candidate and I needed two months and to have the priviledge to talk to Army Spc Brent Hendrix about the honor. Much more detailed information will be forthcoming after our April, 2016 event for Brent. "Hoss" is a young man who has overcome horrific injuries, yet I don't consider him injured, I consider him whole for what he has done since 2006. Brent has endured over seventy-five surgeries and at 6'7" stands taller than ever before with a special orthopedic right leg, which is but one of the challenges he faces daily.
He will graduate from Cincinnati State University and move on to The University of Cincinnati in the fall. Nobody on the planet could qualify how many lives he has touched by being Brent or by his inspiring public speaking, which he does often. His story will be given just due very soon, but he has already affirmed what I see in the best of everyone I consider to be great.
The first recipient of this award was Ms. Betty Gooten. I met Betty at the VA Hospital and her charisthma and 92 years of age seemed more like 42. I bestowed The Soldier of The Year award on her for her service during WWII, but especially because of her 22 years of volunteer work at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Betty joined The US Navy in 1944 went to boot camp at Hunter College in the Bronx, N.Y. and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Farragut, Idaho. Betty also, worked as a pharmacists mate second class in the medical dispensary at Bremerton, Washington.
Betty was recently nominated for the Martin Luther King Award. She is beautiful and full of life. America is safe with this veteran around.
On Monday, May 15th, 2017 Senator Joe Uecker was my guest speaker at the 2017 My GI Foundation Soldier of The Year Banquet. Senator Uecker has been kind enough to attend two events I have hosted for my veterans. He has represented the 14th District since 2013 as a Republican member of the Ohio Senate.
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