Tim McGraw and Operation Homefront Help Lighten an Injured Soldier’s Burden
As many of his fans know, Tim McGraw works closely with Outback Steak House and their charity, Operation Homefront. The charity was set up to help military members and their families in times of need, financially and in other ways as well. Recently, one military family shared their story of how Tim McGraw and Operation Homefront changed their lives forever.
Jaida LaDuke is a military wife and her husband, Jared, served on the front lines in Iraq. She tells the Winona Daily News that she got a call on Jan. 18, 2009, that no family member ever wants to get. An American military vehicle was bombed, and her husband nearly lost his leg — and this was just one month shy of Jared’s return home.
Minutes after the explosion, Jared LaDuke said, “I remembered looking down and seeing blood, but I didn’t know how bad it was.” He found out later that three inches of his tibia was blown away, shattering his knee. Since that day in 2009, the Army vet has had more than 20 surgeries and multiple skin grafts.
During all of this medical treatment, the LaDuke’s received financial assistance from Operation Homefront. They were given money for rent and other costs related to the soldiers recovery, which allowed them start saving money in preparation for civilian life.
Last month, Operation Homefront asked the LaDuke’s if they could be interviewed about their experience. A meeting was set up at the new apartment that the charity provided for them, and a very special guest was waiting for them when they arrived — Tim McGraw himself. McGraw showed them around their new and completely furnished apartment, and Jaida was absolutely thrilled. She said, “It was amazing, we were going to have to buy everything.”
Since Operation Homefront and McGraw’s surprise visit that day, the family has been adjusting to their new life. LaDuke continues to go to physical therapy every day, but thanks to McGraw and Operation Homefront, things are getting a whole lot better for him and his family. He says, “It saved our life completely.”