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Missouri CUs crank it up for HFOT soldiers
BRANSON, Mo. (10/7/09)--Country music stars The Bellamy Brothers and Lee Greenwood ended the Missouri Credit Union Association's annual convention with a concert to raise awareness and funds for Missouri's first recipient of a specially adapted home built by Homes for Our Troops (HFOT).
Click to view larger image SSG Robert Canine, his brother Jamie, Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) Founder/President John Gonsalves, Rep. David Day (R-148) and credit union representatives meet with singer Lee Greenwood (center, back row) before a concert to raise awareness and funds for HOFT homes for disabled veterans.
Click to view larger image The Bellamy Brothers met HFOT President/Founder John Gonsalves and Army SSG Robert Canine backstage during a fundraising concert at the end of the Missouri Credit Union Association's convention and exposition in Branson, Mo. Canine will receive a specially built home from HFOT. (Photos provided by the Missouri Credit Union Association)
The concert was the first opportunity for Army Staff Sergeant Robert Canine, recipient of the Missouri HFOT house, to meet with Missouri credit union representatives and HFOT President/Founder John Gonsalves. Credit unions are sponsoring the project. Canine lost both legs below the knee in May 2009 when his Humvee was attacked in Iraq. A native of Mexico, Mo., Canine is walking again on prosthetics and undergoing physical therapy. He, his wife Jennifer and 8-year-old son Sebastian plan to reside in Columbia, Mo. United CU, Mexico, provided information about HFOT to Canine's family. "This entire experience almost seems too good to be true," said Canine. "When I think about what Missouri credit unions and Homes for Our Troops are doing for me and my family, I just try not to cry. I am so thankful for everything." Mid Missouri CU, Fort Leonard Wood, helped bring 25 local soldiers representing the base's Warrior Rehabilitation Unit to the concert for free. Brent Sadler, Mid Missouri chief operating officer, noted that when the HFOT concert coincided with the credit union convention, "it only made sense to reward some heroes that have actually been overseas protecting our nation by giving them the red-carpet treatment." Both the Bellamy Brothers and Greenwood met with credit union representatives, Canine and his brother Jamie, and the Warrior Rehabiliation Unit soldiers before the concert. Greenwood told the group, "It's a great thing that you are doing. I commend you for all of your hard work in helping these soldiers." Credit unions in Colorado and Minnesota also worked with HFOT and the national presidential conventions to build homes in those states for veterans wounded overseas.


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