Fundraiser For Local Soldier - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/9/07-Tyler

Fundraiser For Local Soldier

An East Texas community comes together to raise money for an East Texas soldier who lost both his legs in Iraq.

Specialist Frank Fields' humvee was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq last November. For the last six months, he's been in rehab at Brooks Medical Center in San Antonio. He's back home in East Texas this weekend for the first time in three years for a fundraiser in his honor.

KLTV 7's Lindsay Wilcox reports.

For many injured Iraq war veterans, today would have been an overwhelming amount of attention.  But not for Army Specialist Frank Fields.  "It feels good just to see everybody," says Fields.

The outgoing 22-year-old was the guest of honor at a chilli cook-off and silent auction hosted by the American Legion Family in Tyler.  They're trying to raise $35,000 to buy Fields a wheelchair accessible van.

"People keep telling me, 'You deserve it' but I still feel like I just got hurt.  I'm no superman. I just feel like, I just feel overwhelmed by everything that's happening," said Fields.

The effort's being spearheaded by Kay and Larry Mims who had never even met Frank until yesterday. When they picked him up in San Antonio to bring him home, Kay had one thing she'd been waiting to say to him.

"Thank you. Thank you for your service," said Kay.

Twenty-one teams entered the competition, and the 'Whatever Floats Your Boat' group went above and beyond raising one thousand dollars to go towards Frank's van.

Bruce Johnson with the team says, "We are tremendously excited. Words can't describe how excited we are about it."

Frank says he's one of the lucky ones.  Many of his friends were hurt worse and some won't ever make it back home.

"Some people say 'Well, you lost your legs. You lost this.'  I didn't lose nothing. I lost the ability to walk, just for a little while," says Fields.

It's that positive attitude that makes so many people want to reach out and help. Today, the group raised more than 7k dollars adding to the more than 8k they already had in the bank.

If you'd like to help, you can make a donation.

Frank Fields Fund
Arp State Bank 
Chapel Hll Banch
12300 State Hwy. 64E
Tyler

Lindsay Wilcox, Reporting. lwilcox@kltv.com

 

Powered by Frankly