July 26, 2006--Posted at 11:40 pm
JONESBORO-- As the 875th trains in Wisconsin for the war in Iraq, family members here at home are praying for their loved ones' safe return.
Heroes come in many forms... But it was a hometown hero that gave an 875th family a very important message.
Audrey Ward's tribute to her husband, an 875th soldier, is simple... A heartfelt message in red, white and blue... She takes it with her wherever she goes.
And although it might not seem like much, it helps her get through the days without him.
"The first couple of nights were really hard. We didn't sleep a whole lot," 875th wife Audrey Ward says.
It seems Audrey and her son aren't the only ones that take this painted window to heart, it's a message that touches a lot of people.
One of those made even a trip to the gas station seem special.
As Audrey went to fill up her tank, she never imagined what would happen when she got inside...
"We got up to the register and the guy told us that someone had already paid for it. Of course, I argued with him for a little while. I thought he was just playing. He said that some guy had seen the writing on my car, and thought he would pay for my gas to help my family out because my husband was gone," Ward says.
Suddenly Audrey's painted message seemed clear... My hero... Something even a stranger can't go without noticing.
"I was surprised and very emotional about it. It shocked me to think that someone could do something like that for our family... To help support us," Ward says.
Audrey left the gas station without seeing the strangers face or hearing his name.
"The man at the register said it was a man wearing a black shirt with black hair," Ward says.
She regrets she didn't get the chance to thank him.
But it seems this hometown hero left her a message of his own.
"It is a blessing to know that there are people out there that are willing to help support our families while our husbands and wives and brothers and sisters are gone to Iraq. If there were more people like him, it would make everything so wonderful," Ward says.
We here at KAIT, along with other business partners, are working on a plan to help bring members of the 875th home during their upcoming furlough, after training in Wisconsin, before heading out to Iraq.
And, good neighbors throughout region 8 will be able to help.