By Dimice H. Perry, Family & MWROctober 29, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Keith A. Campbell Memorial Library is hosting the "Our Heroes' Tree" through Nov. 16 to promote and enhance awareness of the service and sacrifice of members of the U.S. military and their Families.
This is the second year the library has participated in the program created by Stephanie Pickup, author of "The Soldiers' Tree," and Marlene Lee, author of "The Hero in My Pocket." It was created to bring awareness to the needs of service members and their Families, as well as reaching out to veterans.
The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University began working with this community outreach program by partnering with libraries in Indiana, as well as military libraries around the world with the goal to engage the military and civilian communities and foster support and involvement.
Esther B. Campbell Gates, mother of Spc. Keith A. Campbell, for whom the library is dedicated, hung the first photos to kick off the Our Heroes' Tree opening ceremony Oct. 12. She hung two small ornaments, one with her son's photo and one with her late husband, Brig. Gen. M.E. (Ink) Gates.
Susan Artiglia, a librarian at the library, also shared photos and stories of her father who served in World War II and her grandfather, who served in World War I.
At the ceremony, Maj. Jeffrey Clark, an Army nurse attending the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists program at Fort Sam Houston, stood up and recited, from memory, the Silver Star citation given to his father, James T. Clark, who served as an infantryman during the Korean War.
He spoke of his father's heroism by providing first aid to many injured Soldiers and withstanding a 72-hour artillery volley with the North Koreans.
Unfortunately, not every heroic act receives such commendations. It was his father's heroism that motivated him to serve his country for the last 24 years, not only as an Army nurse for the last five years, but also as an enlisted Marine, Marine officer and Navy officer.
"There are so many anonymous heroes that don't receive recognition, and my hat goes off to anyone who wears the uniform," Clark said. "The Heroes' Tree is a great idea."
The library invites the community to visit the library through Nov. 16 to create a handmade ornament honoring service members in their Families or community. The library has ornament templates or people can bring your own. Photos should be no more than 3-by-3 inches.
There will be a closing ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 16 for anyone interested in sharing their stories or who have participated by hanging ornaments.
For more information, visit http://www.FortSam HoustonMWR.com.