Rimes honored for service to wounded soldiers
WJBF News Channel 6 anchor Jennie Montgomery interviews Holly Rimes, the December recipient of the “Giving Your Best” award.
Montgomery poses with Rimes and her husband Randy and son Tyler.
A Barnwell County resident has been recognized by an Augusta television station for her efforts to help soldiers.
WJBF News Channel 6 selected Holly Rimes of Kline as their December recipient of the Giving Your Best award.
Rimes was chosen for her efforts in helping wounded warriors stationed at Fort Gordon in Augusta, including through the Christmas in the Country event. The annual event allowed the soldiers, who would otherwise spend Christmas alone, to spend the holiday in the country with local residents, good food and plenty of activities.
Rimes said she feels blessed to be nominated, but undeserving of the award because she did not do it alone. "This is a community award because without the community this idea I came up with four years ago would not have happened," said Rimes, citing how people from all over the state came to visit with the soldiers and make them feel at home.
She was nominated by Tom Perkins, a veteran and fellow Barnwell Countian. "I know from my years in the military that (Christmas) can be a very emotional time and has an impact on the individual," wrote Perkins in his nomination letter. "The soldiers go back (after Christmas in the Country) with a changed attitude, a new family, home, and most of all hope."
Rimes said she started Christmas in the Country after finding out about the tough times some soldiers face during Christmas, including the suicide rate tripling.
Perkins cited how the event brings joy to the soldiers, some of whom experience a lot of firsts, such as decorating a Christmas tree, opening Christmas presents or being proud to receive a used coat. "The feelings of gratitude the soldiers have is something you have to experience yourself," stated Perkins in his letter.
It's this fact and the positive impact the soldiers have had on Rimes that makes her regret they are not able to have Christmas in the Country this year due to the location being unavailable. "It hurts that we're not going to do it this year," said Rimes, who is working on a new location. "We'll definitely be back with a vengeance for Christmas 2013. I can't thank everyone enough for their part over the years. We are looking forward to next year and a bigger and better event."
Until next Christmas, Rimes encourages everyone to "please remember our veterans" and give back in other ways such as supporting Toys for Tots, which is military affiliated, she said.
Rimes will begin working directly with the Wounded Warrior Project out of Jacksonville, Fla., on upcoming projects for the soldiers.
While she thanks everyone who has helped with the event over the years, she also thanks the soldiers themselves. "I can't thank the veterans and wounded warriors enough for the lessons they've taught me," said Rimes.
Rimes' segment aired Dec. 3 on WJBF, but can be seen online at www.wjbf.com.
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