WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2006 – Country music star Tammy Cochran has enlisted to perform at the Freedom Walk in Aurora, Colo., on Sept. 9, according to event organizers. Cochran is slated to perform at the Aurora Municipal Center, along with recording artist Allen Asbury, as well as the Kory Brunson Band, North-40 and other artists and groups. "Tammy Cochran is so generous to come and join us for this special event, and we are happy to have her," said Leo Pacheco, executive director for the Beacon of Hope Outreach Center, which is sponsoring Aurora's Freedom Walk.
Aurora's Freedom Walk also will feature Iraq war veteran Army Staff Sgt. Paul Brondhaver, who suffered almost 300 wounds after his convoy was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade. "We invited Staff Sergeant Brondhaver to come and speak about what's really going on in Iraq from his perspective, which is really positive and encouraging," Pacheco said. "We also invited, but he hasn't confirmed yet, actor Berry Pepper from 'We Were Soldiers' and 'Saving Private Ryan.'"
The Aurora Freedom Walk is free to participants, but registration is required. People interested in participating can visit the Beacon of Hope Outreach Center's Web site, he said, or call 303-290-7412. Registration is open until Sept. 4. Similar Freedom Walks are being held across the nation to remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, and to honor America's military veterans, past and present. These local events parallel the Washington, D.C., Freedom Walk, scheduled Sept. 10 and sponsored by the Defense Department's America Supports You program. America Supports You spotlights ways the American people and the nation's corporate sector support U.S. servicemembers.
As of this morning, DoD officials said, 86 communities in 39 states have registered Freedom Walks at DoD's Freedom Walk Web site. Organizers expect 5,000 people to participate in Aurora's Freedom Walk, slated to begin at 10 a.m. at the future Colorado Freedom Memorial.
Walkers will be serenaded by special musical tributes and will be able to enjoy various food vendors and visit with event sponsors along the route. "Our sponsors have all very much declared their support for the troops," Pacheco said, noting many businesses are displaying their patriotism by their support of Aurora's Freedom Walk.
"The (Aurora) Freedom Walk has a lot of great potential, and it's going to be a huge event," Pacheco said. Founded in 1995, the Beacon of Hope Outreach Center is a non-profit organization that provides financial, physical and emotional assistance to disadvantaged families and at-risk youth. Through its Operation Hope program started in 2003, Beacon of Hope has provided care packages, financial aid and other support to more than 10,000 military members and their families. Information for people interested in organizing Freedom Walk observances in their communities is available at the America Supports You Freedom Walk Web site.