Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spirit of America: Soldier Deployed in Afghanistan Organizes Buddy Walk

by Lisa Graas, editor --

On October 2, 2009, Sgt. Samantha Allen, currently deployed in Afghanistan, organized a Buddy Walk to promote awareness about Down Syndrome. Reportedly, this is the first ever Buddy Walk event to be held in a combat zone. All proceeds benefited Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society and National Down Syndrome Society.

Via PRLog, a great story:
Shannon and James Hurst (parents of five month old Jaxson Hurst) met in
2006 at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah while serving in the 3rd ID. They fell
in love, got married and settled down in Savannah to start a family. When their
second child Jaxson was born with Down syndrome in 2009, the Hursts' immediately reached out to LDSS for support and began learning everything that they could about the condition to ensure that Jaxson would have the proper support to live a fulfilling and healthy life. They quickly learned about the upcoming Buddy Walk in Savannah and decided to get involved.

Shannon Hurst began discussing the Buddy Walk with her sister Samantha
Allen. Allen, who is stationed in Afghanistan with the National Guard, was
disappointed that she would not be able to join the family in Savannah for the
walk. Sergeant Allen decided that she wanted to get involved to raise money and
awareness among the troops and organized a Buddy Walk of her own in Afghanistan to honor Jaxson and others with Down syndrome.

DVIDS provides a video report below:

If you'd like to organize a Buddy Walk, or consider a donation (perhaps in Sgt. Samantha Allen's name?), please visit

Hats off to Sgt. Samantha Allen and all those who participated in this event!

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