Local Army recruitment centers start HERO campaign
Military members working out of the Lee Highway recruiting office say they have been overwhelmed by the support from the community since the July 16 shootings. Now, they want to give back.
The Army recruitment center is launching a new 'HERO' campaign, aimed at helping others and educating the public on the benefits of a military career.
"I'm extremely proud and especially after the incidents this summer, I saw how the community came together and they supported one another," says SFC Kyle Kuta, the Cleveland Center Leader.
"As soldiers we're very resilient. We'll get through everything and be that much stronger," says SFC Robert Dodge, the Chattanooga Center Leader.
"That's the whole purpose of our initiative is to ensure that we connect the United States Army, your Army, with the people of Chattanooga," says CPT Peter Ahching, Commander over the Chattanooga recruiting center.
Commander Peter Ahching says he and his comrades are forever grateful to Chattanooga and the surrounding communities and that is why they want to give back.
"The HERO campaign stands for: Helping Everyone Reach Opportunities. And we have those opportunities and we wanted to make sure that we share it with everybody," says CPT Ahching.
Starting this month, the Army is asking you donate canned food, winter coats, and toys.
"We're using our army centers as collection sites," says CPT Ahching.
"We're ambassadors of the Army to the United States public so it's very important that we connect with our community and show them that, hey, we're more than just a fighting force. We are people. We're in your community. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you every day," says SFC Dodge.
On top of making new connections, they also want to let potential future soldiers know how they can have a lasting career in the military.
"Right now we're searching for the best and the brightest," says CPT Ahching.
Ahching says the Army offers a wide range of career paths and the opportunity is there for the military to pay for college expenses and provide a path to home ownership with VA loans.
"We find that a lot them do not know about these benefits," says CPT Ahching.
He and others say they are so proud to serve.
"I've been doing it over 15 years now and I wouldn't change a thing," says SFC Kuta.
"We're here to wish everybody in Chattanooga and Cleveland a happy Veterans Day and thank you for all the love and support," says CPT Ahching.
The HERO campaign stretches all the way from centers in Manchester, down to Cleveland, Chattanooga, and North Georgia. Again, they are asking for canned food, winter coats, and toys.
They say the public is welcome to bring donations by during the week between 9am and 5pm.