Magazine article Public Management

Generosity Begins at Home

Magazine article Public Management

Generosity Begins at Home

Article excerpt

Every once in a while, an event can touch the heart of a community. The way his hometown of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, said thank you to 24-year-old U.S. Army Specialist Bryan Anderson is one such story.

Rolling Meadows resident Bryan Anderson enlisted in the army two years after graduating from Rolling Meadows High School in 1999. While in high school, Anderson was a gymnast, and he wanted to become a Hollywood stuntman after completing his second tour of duty in Iraq.

A roadside bomb during a routine patrol with the 411th Military Police Company in Baghdad changed everything in October 2005, and Anderson's personal tragedy created the opportunity for a community's great act of generosity. In the explosion, he lost his right leg at the hip, his left leg six inches below the hip, and his left arm below the elbow; and the explosion also mangled his right hand. He was taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for a long and painful recovery.

HOMETOWN HONORS A HERO

The Rolling Meadows Rotary Club decided to raise funds for the family. Although the Rotary Club has only 20 members and Rolling Meadows only about 24,000 residents, a fund-raising team that included friends and members of the Anderson family set what they considered an ambitious goal: to raise $25,000. Anderson learned about the event and requested special permission for release from the medical center to come back to his hometown to attend the dinner. He wanted to make a special, surprise trip to thank everyone.

After the event, contributions continued to pour in. …

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