‘Hope For Warriors’ honors service members

Peoria-based Army National Guard Sergeant Eduardo Fuentes-Bueno and his four-month old son enjoy some downtime on vacation in the comforts of a pull-behind camper. [Submitted photo]

Peoria-based Army National Guard Sergeant Eduardo Fuentes-Bueno and his four-month old son enjoy some downtime on vacation in the comforts of a pull-behind camper. [Submitted photo]
Peoria-based Army National Guard Sergeant Eduardo Fuentes-Bueno along with his family enjoy camping trips and time spent outdoors, but due to injuries sustained in combat, tent camping is no longer an option. Thanks to Hope For The Warriors and its A Warrior’s Wish program Fuentes-Bueno and his family enjoyed two camping vacations in the comforts of pull-behind travel trailer rentals.

Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope to service members, their families, and families of the fallen. Its first established program, A Warrior’s Wish, honors the goals and desires of severely wounded service members, veterans, and their families.

In May, the young family of three enjoyed their first camping getaway to Lake Pleasant where they spent quality time enjoying paddle boarding and many other outdoor activities. For the family’s second vacation, they returned to Lake Pleasant in October but this time as a family of four after welcoming their son a few months earlier.

“My family and I are extremely grateful that we had the chance to have these awesome experiences,” Mr. Fuentes- Bueno said in a news release. “These trips gave me and my family mental piece, joyfulness and a unique method of relaxation in nature.”

In February 2007, Mr. Fuentes-Bueno enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served as amachine gunner. He was

stationed at Camp Pendleton with 2 Battalion 4th Marines. He deployed to Burma in support of Operation Caring Response in 2008 and completed his active-duty contract in March 2011. He moved to Arizona and joined the Army National Guard in October 2011.

In January 2012, Mr. Fuentes- Bueno volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan with the 125th Infantry Battalion in Michigan. The unit was supporting combat and training operations with the Afghanistan Police in Kunduz Province. On Feb. 26, 2012, his unit was attacked and 10 soldiers, including Mr. Fuentes-Bueno, were injured while defending their post. He was medically evacuated out of theater and eventually transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

After rehabilitating for two years, Mr. Fuentes-Bueno medically retired from the Army in June 2014 with a Purple Heart certificate.

“As a result of combat injuries, life forever changes for some military members and their families,” Robin Kelleher, president and CEO of Hope For The Warriors, stated. “Therefore, it’s an honor for Hope For The Warriors to provide Sergeant Fuentes- Bueno and his family a way to enjoy camping once again. We’re also excited to work with him as he applies for a 2018 A Warrior’s Wish for his very own pull-behind travel trailer.”

In 2017, 12 wishes will be granted through Hope For The Warriors. The wishes fulfi ll a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.

Since the program’s inception, A Warrior’s Wish has granted 170 wishes.

For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities for the A Warrior’s Wish program, contact Chrystal Keilers at ckeilers@hopeforthewarriors. org or 832-776-9379.

To apply for a wish, visit hopeforthewarriors.org/story/19331538/a-warriors-wish and register online.

For more information on Hope For The Warriors and A Warrior’s Wish, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook or Twitter.

Editor’s note: This story was submitted by nonprofit Hope For The Warriors.

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