• 66°

ECU student from Salisbury cooks up something for the troops

Special to the Post

GREENVILLE – “Support Our Troops,” was a little more than just a trendy bumper sticker for East Carolina Senior Kevin Robinson of Salisbury.

In spring 2013, the first annual “Cookout for America” or “C4A” took place, drawing in a crowd of more than 120 people. During the event, Robinson, who has been said to be a master of the grill, cooked up homemade barbecue, hot dogs, burgers and fixings, and all proceeds were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“I’d say the first cookout was definitely a successful. We were nervous because it was our first philanthropy event in a couple years but we managed to raise over $2,000, which I think was a good start,” said Robinson, who is now the president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, the organization that hosts the cookout.

“The following year we were able to increase our attendance by roughly 30 percent and our donations by more than 50 percent, bringing our total to more than $5,000 and this year we’re aiming to keep that uptrend going and hopefully rake in at least $4,000,” said Robinson.

Robinson chose the Wounded Warrior Project because of his best friend, Lt. Noah King of the United States Marine Corps, who was deployed to Camp Leatherneck in the heart of Afghanistan.

“Through correspondence with Lt. King, I found out how dangerous it is really and how little the media portrays it,” said Robinson. “You see something about a soldier getting injured on the news maybe once a week, it barely makes a headline, but in reality since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 6,800 of our nation’s servicemen have died there with more than 50,000 wounded and more than 300,000 with traumatic brain injuries.”

Those are only the physical repercussions of war. The Wounded Warrior Project helps a lot with the silent injuries. An estimated 400,000 soldiers are diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, which occurs after you’ve gone through a very emotional trauma that involved the threat of injury or death. After hearing these numbers, Robinson felt that having a philanthropy event to benefit one of the programs whose sole focus is to aid the nation’s servicemen was the least he could do.

The Wounded Warrior Project offers 19 programs specifically structured to engage warriors, nurture their mind and bodies and encourage their economic empowerment.

“With the Wounded Warrior Project ,you can talk to some of the veterans and really see that your efforts aren’t for naught. You can see the effects of the programs and the effects of the counseling, and you can see that you are making a difference for these people,” said Robinson. “In the end, I think that’s one of the greatest and most satisfying feelings, knowing that you’re making a difference in someone’s life for the better.”

Robinson believes that almost anyone can help make a difference in veterans’ lives and that contributions don’t always have to be monetary. “Sometimes all these guys need is a friend or someone to talk to because the military, as good as what it is, they’re meant to get a job done and not necessarily nurture each other, so that’s something that any civilian can do.

“Even if you don’t know anyone in the military, it (the Wounded Warrior Project) is a great way to give back and you could end up really changing someone’s life,” Robinson said.

Comments

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time

News

GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending

News

Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras