`Help Wounded Tar Heel Troops` Initiative Kicks Off in North Carolina

Released on: September 12, 2008, 9:06 am

Press Release Author: Ashlie Lanning

Industry: Non Profit

Press Release Summary: Statewide fundraising initiative will provide financial
assistance to more than 12,000 wounded North Carolina service members

Press Release Body: RALEIGH, N.C. – September 11, 2008 – “Help Wounded Tar Heel
Troops,” a statewide initiative to provide assistance to wounded troops and their
families in North Carolina, kicks off in Raleigh today with presentations from
wounded soldier J.R. Martinez; Tony Civello, CEO of North Carolina-based Kerr Drug;
and Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue. The three spoke this afternoon during a kick-off
event held at the North Hills Kerr Drug store, and were joined by wounded North
Carolina troops and their families.
The “Help Wounded Tar Heel Troops” program is a statewide fundraising initiative
aimed at providing financial assistance to wounded troops and their families. The
American Legion, a nonprofit community support organization for wartime veterans
will administer the funds. Money raised will be distributed specifically to North
Carolina soldiers and families.
Kerr Drug is the first N.C.-based retailer to adopt the “Help Wounded Tar Heels
Troops” program. Kerr Drug stores will accept cash donations and will also sell car
magnets designed for the program. All proceeds go directly to the fund.

North Carolina accommodates seven military bases and the country’s fourth largest
military population. An estimated 12,000 wounded troops and their families are from
or reside in North Carolina.
“As many pause on September 11th to remember those who lost their lives in the
terrorist attacks seven years ago and the sacrifices made by American troops ever
since, few realize that the battle has just begun for more than 400,000 wounded
troops who return home to devastating financial burdens,” said CEO Civello. “Kerr
Drug is proud to lead this campaign and we urge our customers to participate so that
those heroes who have sacrificed so much already can begin to rebuild their lives.”

North Carolinians can participate in the “Help Wounded Tar Heel Troops” program in
several ways:
• Donate funds at www.HelpTarHeelTroops.com or any Kerr Drug location between now
and the end of the year.
Visit http://www.HelpTarHeelTroops.com to purchase t-shirts and car magnets. All
who donate $3 or more will receive a free “Help Wounded Tar Heel Troops” car magnet.

• North Carolina-based retailers are asked to contact
mailto:info@helptarheeltroops.com to adopt the program in their stores.

Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue, a strong supporter of the military in this state,
called on citizens and other businesses to support this effort to help wounded
service members.

“Across our state thousands of members of our armed forces have returned to their
families severely wounded – only to find a battle of financial and medical burdens
waiting. Together we can raise millions of dollars – and we can help our wounded
warriors rebuild their lives and their families,” she said.
J.R. Martinez, spokesperson for Help Wounded Tar Heel Troops, was 19 years old when
his Humvee ran over a landmine in Iraq. He suffered 3rd degree burns over 40
percent of his body and has undergone over 30 surgeries. He has since crusaded to
help other wounded veterans and has been featured on Oprah, Entertainment Tonight
and in PEOPLE magazine.
“When a troop is injured, his or her family often leaves behind their job and home
to stay by their loved ones’ side during recovery, suddenly reducing their household
income. So, these families tend to rack up major credit card debt just to get by
and suffer from other financial nightmares like home evictions, utility shut-offs
and car repossessions,” explained Martinez. “These are families living right here
in this state. They live on your street and stand behind you at the checkout line.
Without the generous support of North Carolinians through this campaign, these
hardships will continue. On behalf of the thousands of families right here in your
own backyard, I urge you to applaud their sacrifice with a helping hand.”
In addition to rehabilitations for physical wounds, post traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), wounded troops and their families fight a
new battle on the home front. Many face skyrocketing unpaid medical expenses,
utility shut-offs, car repossessions and home evictions. Consequently, divorce and
suicide rates are considerably higher among the same population.

• 400,000 troops from the current wars have come home suffering from physical
wounds, PTSD and TBI.
• Wounded heroes have an average loss of income of $1,837 per month after their
• 45 percent of spouses or parents of a wounded hero lose or quit their jobs in
order to care of them.
• More than 53 percent of wounded troops reported a change in their child’s behavior
since they were injured. Children of deployed and injured service members are more
likely to react with depression, anxiety, withdrawal, anger, hyper vigilance and
sleep problems.
• The average disabled hero takes 12 to 15 medications per day. Financial
assistance from the government can be slow in coming, taking four months to two
years to arrive, resulting in unpaid medical expenses.
• 85 percent of wounded heroes incur more than $5,000 in credit card debt after
their injury.
• More than 22,000 veterans have sought help from a special suicide hotline in its
first year alone. Roughly one in five soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan
displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, putting them at a higher risk
for suicide. .

# # #
About Kerr Drug:
Kerr Drug is one of the most recognized and respected names in the chain drug
industry. With its roots in the Carolinas and headquarters in Raleigh, Kerr Drug is
taking the vision of community pharmacy farther than any other drug chain. The
company has placed its future on its unique ability to provide patients, the medical
community, and health plan sponsors, access to the most comprehensive and convenient
health and wellness offering in the industry. With a mission to be the most
comprehensive provider of pharmacy and related health care services, while
continuing to be the most reliable provider of health related and convenience items,
Kerr is currently providing services that far exceed the traditional drug store mix.
For more information, please visit www.kerrdrug.com

Web Site: http://www.helptarheeltroops.com

Contact Details: Media Contact:
Ashlie Lanning

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