A local hero received recognition and more from a military support organization last month.
Plant City resident U.S. Army Corporal Jonathan Flores was one of two wounded local veterans who each received a customized all-terrain wheelchair from Freedom Alliance during a double donation presentation on November 19 at the Iraq Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa.
Following the 9/11 attacks, Flores was inspired to serve his country and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005. On July 4, 2007, while conducting combat patrols, his vehicle was hit with a pressure plate IED and small arms fire. He was transported via medevac helicopter and transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he medically retired in September 2008. The wounds he sustained in 2007 led to the amputation of his left leg in February 2019.
He was also awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during combat.
Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon presented the customized chairs to Flores and U.S. Army Corporal James Donaldson, a Zephyrhills resident and Purple Heart recipient.
“Each of these heroes have made incredible sacrifices for our country and their sacrifice must never be forgotten,” said Kilgannon. “We hope these chairs help alleviate the pain from their wounds and provide comfort as our troops use them to access Florida’s beautiful beaches and join in other recreational activities that would not be possible without the assistance of a chair like this,” he concluded.
Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization providing support to wounded troops and military families in a variety of ways. The group has awarded more than $20 million in college scholarships to the children of heroes killed or disabled in military service and spent millions more helping injured veterans and their families with recreational therapy, Heroes Retreats, care packages for deployed troops, mortgage-free homes, all-terrain wheelchairs and much more.