We are a group of dedicated Texans who have formed a Texas based tax-exempt/non-profit 501(c)(3) military support organization, Operation Military Embrace, Inc., (OME) to assist America’s seriously injured and ill Warriors and their families in their time of need.
OME was formed by a husband/wife team, Jerry & Debbie Reed, President & Secretary/Treasurer, respectively, and a close personal friend who is a Gold Star sister, Brenda J. Kaiser, Vice-President. The President is a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War having served in Northern I Corps with the 1st Marine Air Wing, Marine Air Group 13, VMFA-314 in Chu Lai, RVN from 10/’67 - 11/’68 in support of the 1st Marine Division, while the Vice-President is the younger sister of Cpl. George Allen Alford, Jr., a Marine hero who was killed in action in Northern I Corps 31 July 1968 while serving with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division. The President and Secretary/Treasurer have two sons and both sons have served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, thus, this group of corporate officers has a close connection to our Warriors and their families as the Officers of OME have each experienced the effects and the never-ending pains of war. OME is committed to preventing this generation of great Warriors from experiencing the hostility and disrespect painfully visited on those who served in Vietnam by an ungrateful country.
Our team of Officers, comprised of Brenda, Jerry and Debbie, began a crusade in December 2005; to make sure our seriously injured Marines, Corpsmen, Sailors, Airmen and Soldiers were not forgotten. That crusade began with a post-Christmas visit to Brooke Army Medical Center (formerly BAMC but now called the San Antonio Military Medical Center, i.e., SAMMC) in San Antonio, Texas, in late December 2005. We were alerted to this need by the sister of a young Marine who had been a patient at BAMC following the loss of both of his legs in an attack in Iraq. The sister of the wounded Marine stated that there were many injured outpatients who had to stay at BAMC for physical therapy during the week, but they were bored and forgotten. Our team then contacted others who have a love for our selfless men and women in uniform and we caravanned to BAMC with very simple gifts: gift bags full of home-made cookies and goodies including a favorite of our service personnel, specially made Texas beef jerky, along with music CDs, Digital Video Discs of some great movies, magazines and other items that our wounded would appreciate.
From December 2005 through 17 May 2012, the Officers, Directors and Volunteers of Operation Military Embrace, Inc., have corporately visited our wounded Warriors and their families at BAMC/SAMMC 44 times. Besides visiting the in-patients, we bring needed donated items to the Warrior & Family Support Center (the W&FSC relies 100% on donations) and the Fisher House and we set-up and serve breakfast to the injured out-patient Warriors and their families on a Monday morning following roll call while operating the nation’s only free Post Exchange (a store). Early in our history, we operated a free P-X, held a drawing for valuable new items, served a free breakfast and hosted a group dinner for wounded Warriors and their families every month, however, the economy deteriorated and we are now hosting one very significant free P-X, drawing and free breakfast just in advance of Christmas each year. The Christmas 2011 visit featured in excess of $165,000 in all new goods for the free P-X & drawing & free breakfast hosted by OME for Wounded and ill Warriors and their families recovering at SAMMC. We now make quarterly scheduled visits to SAMMC during which time we visit and attend to the needs of the injured Warriors and their families and we host a group dinner for the recovering Warriors and their families and top off the year with the Christmas free P-X, drawing, breakfast and group dinner. OME has presented wounded Warriors with NCO swords with their name and rank engraved on the sword in addition to other motivational items to demonstrate appreciation for their sacrifices and to encourage them with their difficult recoveries.