156 Heroes

City of Fayetteville Heroes Welcome SignAs you drive into Fayetteville, N.C., the green road signs proudly declare, “This is the city of heroes.” They are correct, as Fayetteville and more specifically, Fort Bragg, is the home of the 82nd Airborne. These are some of our bravest war fighters. In time of crisis, these courageous front-line soldiers are called on to engage in some of the most dangerous battles. They are directed to literally “jump” into enemy territory and fight hand-to-hand combat to protect our nation and preserve our way of life. These soldiers are easily recognized by the distinctive AA maroon patch on their uniforms.

Most recently, another type of stealth warrior gathered in Fayetteville to prepare to enter the fray. Their mission is to make our families and neighborhoods stronger. These heroes may not be recognized in their own communities, but these front-line warriors step into the gap to protect the most vulnerable segment of our population – children.

One hundred and fifty-six foster parents assembled in Fayetteville to receive training and, more importantly, support and encouragement, for the work they do every day with abused and neglected children of our community. These brave souls also “jump” into the fray and fight daily to protect and nurture young people who might otherwise be lost in a time of crisis. With little regard for their own emotional safety, they give their hearts to kids who are lost, hurting and in need.

During this event parents were blessed with wisdom from three speakers who provided practical recommendations and emotional support to these parents. One speaker affirmed them by stating that, “As a foster parent you have to do a lot, you have to be a teacher, a medical assistant, a therapist, and a parent.” This multi-dimensional role is their daily contribution to fighting a domestic tragedy that impacts children and the welfare of our communities. Through their heroic efforts they are making life better for children and all of us, one child at a time.


You may not be ready to serve in the 82nd Airborne, but you can still be a hero and make an impact that benefits our children and preserves the harmony of our community. Please join us on the frontlines and volunteer to be a foster parent. The sacrifice is real but the rewards are everlasting.


Mike Garrell is the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.


Learn more about becoming a foster parent.


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