Volunteers Plan Events in May to Support Military Awareness


Two local military support groups, Soldiers Around The World and the Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center Inc. have joined forces in May to support special activities in Military Awareness Month.

SAW is a military support group started by Tammy DeFord from Livonia.  The organization collects non-perishable items and hygiene products and ships them to individual soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen deployed overseas.  Shipping the packages is a major expense and donations are used to pay for the shipments.

Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center Inc. operates the Freedom Center military lounge at Gate A43 in the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport for traveling military, family members and veterans.  They also recently opened a second lounge in Troy to support of new recruits and their family members.  The Troy Freedom Center also has a family support group that meets in Berkley.  For more information, contact Sal at sal.haji@mifreedomcenter.org.

Volunteers from the two groups are planning the following special activities in May:

  • May 5 – A movie presentation of SSG Travis Mills – A Soldier’s Story. A hero from Vassar will be speak. Join the free event at 6:30 p.m. at VFW Post 9222, 3025 Coolidge Hwy. in Berkley.  The movie tells of his story of perseverance fight to be a husband and a father again, after an IED explosion in Afghanistan left SSG Mills a quadruple amputee.  Travis is one of five surviving quadruple amputees in America.  To attend,  call 248-703-5907.
  • May 10 – Kroger US Military Day.  SAW and Freedom Center volunteers will collect food, clothing items and financial donations at Kroger stores in Livonia, 30935 Five Mile Rd.; Northville,17447 Haggerty Rd.; Plymouth, 44525 Ann Arbor Rd.; and Westland, 36430 Ford Rd.
  • May 17 – Northville High School fifth Annual Armed Forces Day Baseball Program.  Starting at 11 a.m., the Northville Mustangs Varsity Baseball Team will host two games versus Lakeland and Allen Park High School teams in recognition of our veterans and members of our Armed Forces.  The event will also showcase military vehicles, games, an obstacle course and other activities.  Free hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, soft drinks and ice cream will be offered in return for donations of non-perishable items or monetary donations.
  • May 26 – At the Dearborn Memorial Day Parade, Freedom Center volunteers will march alongside of three convertibles.  The parade begins at 10:30 a.m.  The Solemn Ceremony will commence at 11:30 a.m., followed by a Star Veteran’s picnic with live bands. Students from Livonia high schools, Northridge Church in Plymouth and Valassis Communications in Livonia are assisting.

Additional information on Freedom Center is available at: MIFreedomCenter.org.  Donations to Freedom Center can also be made on their website by using PayPal.

Donations to SAW can be made to the Freedom Center, with a memo line designating SAW.