This year, KISS 104.1 and The Warrior Alliance teamed up to help 10 Veteran Military families in need receive the Christmas they deserve. Thanks to your help and the help of our sponsors Montlick & Associates, Six Flags Over Georgia, and Publix; we were able to collect $2,000 in monetary donations, fulfill every gift on each family’s wish list, and create an experience of a life time for the families of KISS Wish.
Meet the 2021 KISS Wish Families
The Altman Family:
James J Mexico Altman is a proud veteran of the United States Army. He served in the Mississippi Army National Guard for almost 6 years and joined the military at the age of 17 years old, serving under 13 Bravo, which is actually a cannon crew member. While attending pre-mobilization training something drastic occurred randomly. James was medically discharged due to having torn and eroding cartilage in both knees in which made the medical board deem me unfit to deploy with his unit. After 5 ½ long hard-earned years serving my country James was released from all duties on the spot. Since being discharged he has struggled with the hard task trying to maintain and assist with helping my sons’ mother.
The Ashley Family:
Bruce Ashley, is a disabled veteran and served in the United States Army. In 1989, he was involved in an accident where he crashed his tank at the National training center in Fort Irwin California. A month later I developed viral meningitis. Seven months after then he was discharged from the Military. Twenty-three years later, he finally started to receive help from the Veteran’s Administration. Bruce lives with my wife and 5 children, and 2-year-old granddaughter. In the past few months, his family has been hit hard by the Covid19 pandemic. In August, he lost his mother-in-law on August 19 due to complications from Covid. One day after her passing, Bruce’s wife became terribly ill. Once at the hospital and they ran a test and discovered his wife was diagnosed with covid pneumonia. She was very septic, and her Kidneys was in complete failure. She spent 17 days (about 2 and a half weeks) in the hospital. When she went back to the doctor, she was told that her kidneys had only returned to 30 percent. Due to this, Bruce began to behind on bills. Being the only source of income for a household 8 has made providing difficult for Bruce. He recently has reached out to The Warrior Alliance for help to support his family through these difficult times.
The Bailey Family:
Ricco Bailey joined the Marine Corp in 2013 to serve his country and have a true purpose in life. Ricco served until 2017 and got out at 100% disable, leaving him depressed because serving his country is something that he wanted to do as a career until I was able to retire. He received therapy and support from the VA since being medically retired as well as support from The Warrior Alliance within the last year during a hard time during a pandemic supporting my family with my medical needs.
Ricco is a husband to his wife, Bri, and a father of three daughters ages 7,5, 2 1/2 years old with a baby boy on the way due in early December.
The Brown Family:
Courtney Brown is a US Army Afghan Veteran of 8 years and former teacher. She is the wife of Isaiah Brown and mother to Maxwell (4) and Jaxon (2). She connected with the Warrior Alliancefor Small Business resources and support while attending business school at Atlanta Tech. Courtney has not been able to return to teaching due to severe PTSD and Chronic Fatigue.
The Choice Family:
Antonio Choice is a veteran of the beloved United States Marine Corps and served as a Warehouse Clerk during his term. Antonio experienced a major setback during the pandemic that resulted in him needing assistance to relocate his family. A father of 2 boys, Brandon 26 and Brayden 13. Choice reached out to Warriors Alliance, a local nonprofit organization that supports Veterans. Since turning to the Warrior Alliance Antonio was able to receive the assistance that was needed to help with relocation, Warriors Alliance also blessed his family with grocery gift cards.
The Coates Family:
Brittany Coates is an Army Veteran with almost 5 years 9 months of active duty service from May 2008 until Feb 2014. She also am a single mother of five beautiful children. Two boys and three girls. Haven, Heith, Hayli, Heidi, and Harli. After divorcing, It became a struggle for her to provide for my family with being unemployed. So, she reached out to the VA to see if there were any resources that could help assist me financially until things could get better for her family and that is when they introduced her to the Warrior alliance to try and seek help. She has not received any financial assistance as of yet from Warrior Alliance. Helping with her children’s Christmas wish list will be a huge blessing to them, as Brittany is still unable to work at this time.
The Craig Family:
TaMara Craig is a US Army veteran who served from 1997-2004 as a 42L (Administrative Specialist) and suffers from mental illness due to events while serving. In July, she lost her job behind her disablity. It was then that TaMara felt that she should go into business for myself so that she could be in control of her own destination. In 2006, she went to Esthetician school because I have always had a passion for skin care so she created Face-Up Skin Care Salon, in Fayetteville, GA However. However, due to COVID-19 her business has suffered greatly and her family became homeless for some time. Warrior Alliance was referred to her and Ms. Charlotte was able to provide a means for food and connect me with others for housing, food and funds. Until recently, her children had to live with friends and family. They now have our own home and are working on getting back on our feet.
The Dos Santos Family:
Andre Dos Santos, 31, is a single father of two, who served a total of six years in the US Army, in field artillery and infantry. I left the service in 2018 and relocated to Arizona with my family.
In 2019, after the passing of his wife, another service member who lost her battle against depression, he found himself battling grief as he was thrown into single fatherhood. Being born and raised overseas (Brazil, France), He had no support channel here in the US and had to deal with those challenges alone.
Although he is quite resourceful and resilient, he struggled to make ends meet for a while and had to work two jobs to maintain. Pursuing a lifelong dream as a creative writer and actor, he decided to relocate to Atlanta, GA this year. The relocation was necessary but difficult. Dos Santos and his two boys themselves homeless as he waited for his new job to start. For a few weeks, they bounced from hotels to AirBnbs, maxing my credit cards and plunging further into debt.
As he reached a breaking point and had zero resources left, he decided to ask for help, for the first time in his life. Concerned with his kids’ well-being and wanted to provide them a stable home. The Warrior Alliance is the only organization that answered the calls. They were nothing but understanding and caring and Dos Santos’s navigators, Patrick and Ashley, went above and beyond to help me secure an apartment, food, furniture and clothing. Dos Santos then started my job and was able to put his children back to school after a month hiatus.
The McCray Family:
My name is Ashley Lauren is a disabled veteran through the Army and a 18 month old son named Vega Ember. I’m a Georgia peach, I was born and raised here so we appreciate this opportunity KISS ATL. This means so much to me. My son is my purpose and my motivation in this life. We are grateful and thankful for everything good and bad because God always and forever has our best interest at the end of the day. Two phrases I live by are “Everything happens for a reason.” and “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Prayer, Unconditional love, & Understanding is what I wish for my holiday season.
The Twine Family:
Jasmine was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. She joined the United States Navy in 2011 and medically retired on Thanksgiving Day in 2014. December 12, 2013, changed her life forever. Living with an Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, and MST, and a list of other medical issues has been challenging, but she has continued to persevere through each obstacle. She started her career in the Aviation field and ended as an Assistant Command Career Counselor at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Virginia. Jasmine recently graduated from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Seeking employment with a disability has been a daunting experience. She knows that she is qualified for the job but is fearful that her mental health and disability are why she cannot secure the job. Yes, the laws protect persons with disabilities, but you choose if you have a disability on each application. The job search process has created a financial strain on the Twine household, and Christmas was not promised. The Warrior Alliance and the KISS 104.1 KISS Wish team are making Christmas happen this year at the Twine’s residence, and they are sincerely appreciative. Since a young child, Jasmine has always been an active community volunteer and continued to volunteer throughout her military career and still volunteers with organizations like The Mission Continues and Wounded Warrior Project. Jayce was born the following year after her retirement, on January 2, 2015. He’s an intelligent and fun six-year-old who is intrigued by cars. He loves science and participates in extracurricular activities, martial arts, swimming, and soccer. We are grateful to be a part of such a fantastic project and would like to thank Warrior Alliance and the KISS Christmas Wish team for allowing us to participate in this year’s Christmas event.
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