Please Help… This US Iraq War Veteran Urgently Needs Assistance

** This post will stay on top of Gateway Pundit throughout the weekend **
Updates are posted below.

Many of our heroes serving in Iraq came home to celebrations and warm embraces.

MSG Rhys Wilson from northwest Missouri came home from Iraq to find his wife Theresa diagnosed with 4th stage neuro-endocrine cancer, unusual for a woman her age. The cancer has metastasized throughout her body.

MSG Rhys Wilson is pictured here with his wife Theresa and family.
At left, with the short hair is his Marine son who is currently serving in Iraq.


(click on image to enlarge)
The Airman was brought back from Iraq to assist with his wife and her 8 year old who has undiagnosed heart problems. (They have a total of 6 children in their blended family, five are pictured here.)

The maintenance treatments (3 shots per day) cost $6000.00 per month and they have to advance those costs and then get them reimbursed by insurance. The actual treatment is close to $20,000.00 and is only available in Basil, Switzerland. She is under the care of an oncologist from the University of Iowa and from Columbia, Missouri. This treatment is not covered by insurance, nor will airfare, lodging or food so the family is looking for frequent flyer miles as well.

Operation “On Spirit’s Wings.”

State Representative Colonel Jack Jackson (USMC-Ret.) Chairman of the House Veteran’s Committee in Missouri and strong veteran supporter tipped me off to this story last week. Since then, I have had several discussions with Pat Rowe Kerr, Ombudsman for the Missouri Veteran’s Commission, who does an outstanding job with helping Missouri veterans in need of assistance, a job she loves and puts her whole heart into.

Pat spoke with Carole Farnham who runs the site Operation Undergarment which is a grass roots clothing drive to provide injured and sick soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen that are deployed in combat zones with clothing items to make their hospital stays more comfortable. Carole agreed to set up her PayPal account to accept donations to help with this emergency.

The PayPal account at Operation Undergarment HERE is now accepting emergency donations for this family. It is the “Operation Undergarment” account but all donations are currently being forwarded to the Wilson family.

To clarify, The PayPal account has the “Undergarments” name. All of the donations collected at this account will go to “On Spirit’s Wings”.

** The Paypal account is taking donations until April 10th. After that date, please send donations to the address listed below. **

Since the drive is for the wife of Airman Wilson, it is called
“Operation On Spirit’s Wings”

96% of all contributions go to the family (3.9% to PayPal).

Pat Rowe Kerr told me that through some fundraisers, the local community was able to raise $16,000 for Airman Wilson.

I am hoping and praying that the blogosphere can match that total of $16,000 this weekend!

I know that is a very high goal, but I still believe in prayer no matter what others may say!

Please help me share this request with your blogger friends and e-mail contacts you have.

Regardless of your donation, the Wilson family from northwest Missouri will really need your prayers. Please remember them in their time of need.

Contributions may also be sent to the state agency:

The Missouri Veterans Commission
“Operation on Spirit’s Wings”
Attn: Pat Kerr, Veterans Ombudsman
205 Jefferson Street, 12th Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Previously on Assisting Our Military:
Missouri Soldier Sacrificed for Country, Now He Needs Help
Missouri to Help Iraqi War Veterans
Missouri Veterans Seek Help for Family of Iraq War Guardsman

Previous Posts Honoring Military Heroes:
Ohio Honors Their Heroes
Texas Honors A Hero
Georgia Honors its Heroes
Illinois Honors A Hero
Missouri Honors an Army Hero
Missouri Welcomes Home a War Hero
Utah Welcomes Home a Hero
A New Jersey Hero
After 61 Years, Nevada Honors a War Hero
Patriot Guard Riders Welcome Home TN Hero, Cpl. Rusty Washam
Mount Vernon, Illinois Welcomes Home Its Soldiers and Heroes

Update: (Friday 10:45 PM CST) The post has been up for one hour and so far $475 has been raised for this family!

Update 2: As of Saturday evening the total is $1816.44! And, as you may know, Saturday is usually a slow internet day, especially since it was so nice out!
Thank you all for helping this family!

Update 3: (7:00 PM CST, 4-1-06) Sara at The Squiggler writes in with this story:

I hope everything works out okay for the Airman and his family.

Thirty plus years ago, I was a young Navy wife and I became quite ill during one of my husband’s WestPac deployments. I ended up hospitalized for nearly an entire Summer. It was a nightmare. I was new in San Diego and knew no one and with the ship gone, I had no one at all to help me.

Back then they did not provide family suppor
t like they do today.
My son was six at the time and the day I went for the doctor’s appt. that landed me in the hospital, he was at a neighbor’s for babysitting. It was supposed to only be about 3 hours and suddenly, I wasn’t able to come home at all.

I couldn’t afford to pay an outside sitter for 24 hour care and my neighbor, a nice enough woman, was not equipped to have a six year old full time. I had to ask my sister-in-law to come from another state and take my child or else let social services take him. Money was the big problem, I didn’t have any.

So, when I hear any stories concerning military families with health and money problems, I want to help as much as I can.

Update 4: (Saturday Late Night) Total is at $2,576.83! Terrific!

Update 5: (Sunday PM) Thanks to All Things Conservative, who is also raising money for veterans this weekend, for sending news about a great new veteran’s site set up in January… Veterans for Freedom.

Thanks also to The Anchoress, Punditguy, All Things Conservative, The Squiggler, Disunreconnected, The Amber and Chaos Blog, Betsy’s Page, Fausta’s Blog, The Real Ugly American, and others for your support.

Wow! Blackfive, one of the best military blogs on the internet, is directing support to the Wilson family. Mudville Gazette another of the internet’s best military blogs is also linking to help out this family.

Update 6: (Monday 4-3-06 AM) 3 day total of $3175.64!

Update 7: (Monday PM) If you have questions about Mrs. Wilson’s condition or the family’s situation please contact Pat Rowe Kerr, Ombudsman for the Missouri Veteran’s Commission, she would be happy to answer them for you. Colonel Jack Jackson is another resource.

Update 8: (Monday Late Night) 4190.27 is total as of now!

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