Earlier this month, Sarah Merriman was invited to the eighth annual San Antonio Spurs Military Appreciation Night.
Really, that would have been good enough.
Sarah is the mother of 3-year old twins, and her husband — Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Vincent Merriman — is serving in a combat zone in Africa.
Having a chance to bask in the glory for a moment during a stop in play was a nice treat, and a fitting tribute to an American hero.
While her husband is serving his country abroad, Sarah Merriman is no less heroic.
She’s battled juvenile rheumatoid arthritis her whole life. Moreover, just in the last year, she broke her leg and had knee surgery — all while raising two young daughters.
A night out to see the Spurs take on the Washington Wizards was something special.
Until it became something truly epic.
Not long ago, Sarah’s SUV finally broke down, so she’s been borrowing a neighbor’s car to drive her girls to school.
With her husband gone since July 2017, money has been tight, and things were getting desperate. But that was all about to change thanks to USAA, the Spurs, Lone Star Auto, and Wish for Our Heroes — an organization that helps troops in need.
“Presented to the public on a concourse overlooking the court during a timeout in the game between the Spurs and the Washington Wizards, she thought she’d have a moment in the spotlight, a chance to brag about her husband, Texas Army National Guard Sgt. Vincent Merriman, who is serving in a combat zone in Africa,” the San Antonio Express News reported.
As Sarah was celebrating her husband, a curtain behind her opened … and her life changed.
There it was — a brand new Dodge van.
Sarah had previously reached out to Wish for Our Heroes, but had no idea anything was going to happen that night.
She was overcome with emotion, and understandably at a loss for words.
“I cried at first, but now I’m just in shock,” she said later.
Former Army Captain Jeff Wells, who founded Wish for Our Heroes, said the families left behind are often forgotten.
“You would have depression, one spouse or another, you would have a soldier who’d go home on leave and his children wouldn’t recognize him. …You would have marital problems,” Wells said. “I saw that happen over and over and over again.”
Thanks to the Spurs and Wish for Our Heroes, the Merrimans now have one less thing to worry about.
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