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Military News Archive | Army veteran starts charity for spouses of injured soldiers, Military Lifestyle.
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Army veteran starts charity for spouses of injured soldiers

Efram Ramirez

Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 5:02:41 PM
Army veteran starts charity for spouses of injured soldiers.

Special Forces commander Breg Hughes was preparing to take his leave from Afghanistan to be with his wife as she gave birth to their son. However, five days before he was able to go home, Breg drove over a bomb in his Humvee and caught on fire. Thanks to Sergeant Zac Fuller, who was following in a vehicle behind Breg, he was saved and the fire was extinguished. However, he was left with third-degree burns over half of his body.

A blessing in disguise
Breg was hospitalized for four months and spent two months in an intensive care unit, as he had a difficult time speaking after he inhaled a lot of smoke from the fire. He noted to The Daily Herald that he was happy he wasn't carrying a grenade like he often did while on duty. 

"His heart stopped once in theater [in Afghanistan] and he coded again in surgery," said Breg's wife, Allison Hughes, according to the news source.

Allison gave birth to their second son in her hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., before she could travel to Texas to see her husband. The family moved to Chicago after he was released from the hospital because Breg's skin can no longer handle high temperatures.

Veteran spouse is a hero to her family and community
Allison is a retired Army Captain that started "Heels on the Ground," a charity focused on helping spouses of veterans who return from war suffering physical or mental injuries. Her organization is a collaboration with military counselor and caregiver Katherine Malavenda.  

The Hughes stressed their gratitude for the help they've received from the Green Beret Foundation, the Sentinels of Freedom and other military and civilian agencies, including the Barrington Area Community Foundation, reports the Daily Herald. 

Allison Hughes hopes that "Heels on the Ground" will be able to help caregivers and families years after the surge of initial aid and support begins to slow.

The charity uses the crowd funding website, Indiegogo, and has raised over $10,000 so far, climbing closer toward its goal of $50,000. The charity will sponsor a workshop to take place Sept. 7 in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as well as a fundraising run and informational webinars Oct. 7 and 22. The group is also planning a retreat in the spring for spouse caregivers of wounded veterans. 


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