Fawn’s Lake Veterans Group Nominates Hero’s Bridge for Fundraiser Beneficiary

Gary Morgan’s Leonberger, Jambo, had just completed his AKC Canine Good Citizen title and needed to be evaluated so he could become a certified therapy dog. As fate would have it, his training instructor was Kim Beahm, a Hero’s Bridge Paw Patrol volunteer. This connection would ultimately lead to Hero’s Bridge being nominated as a fundraiser beneficiary.

Jambo had to be observed while volunteering as part of the certification process. During a Hero’s Bridge Paw Patrol social, Kim took Gary and Jambo to the Arbors at Culpeper. It was the 21-year-old Army veteran’s first experience with the organization. And it made an impression.

Kim shared the Hero’s Bridge mission and what she knew about the organization. Intrigued, Gary reached out to become more involved, and in November 2022, he completed the Hero’s Bridge volunteer orientation.

Since then, Gary and Jambo have made a total of 65 visits on behalf of the Paw Patrol program and other organizations in Culpeper and Spotsylvania. He isn’t sure who benefits most: the veterans, the staff, Jambo, or him. Some residents in the memory care units don’t often remember people, but they light up when they see Jambo.

Gary shares a lot in common with the veterans he meets with. He was a paratrooper and likes to say he has 85 more take-offs than he does landings in military aircraft. While assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division in the early 1990s, he was a participant in the Joint Task Force preparing to invade Haiti. One hour before he was scheduled to parachute into Haiti, a diplomatic solution was reached. He retired in December 2002 as a Lieutenant Colonel.

His second career was with the Department of Defense Inspector General, the Naval Inspector General, and the Marine Corps Inspector General before spending 12 years as the Inspector General of the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency of the DOD before retiring in December 2020.

An avid golfer, Gary was excited to join the famed Fawn Lake Country Club when it opened to the public to increase membership. In 2019, he participated in the Fawn Lake Veteran’s Group Annual Golf Tournament, which donated proceeds to two organizations.

While playing with the Veterans Group chair, he asked how the beneficiaries were chosen and was told to submit a nomination, which he did for Hero’s Bridge in May 2022.

The Veterans Group was looking as far south as Richmond for suitable charities that served local veterans. By the end of the summer, Gary received a call that Hero’s Bridge had been selected.

As part of the event, Hero’s Bridge set up an informational table and benefited from the silent auction. A few weeks later, Mark Johnson, representing the Veterans Group, presented Hero’s Bridge with a check for over $13,000.

Hero’s Bridge appreciates the force of nearly 150 active volunteers who serve as ambassadors for the organization throughout their daily activities. Their efforts amplify its mission and put the organization on the radar of like-minded groups that we may not have an audience with otherwise.