As many of you know, West Virginia has one of the highest per capita rates of Veterans within our population.  This undoubted patriotic support from our citizens has been proven time and again when many are called up for duty.  Although West Virginia does have some systems in place for returning Veterans, there is still much work to do.  This is where Operation Welcome Home steps in and is why this month, Jamie Summerlin has been chosen to receive recognition.

Operation Welcome Home works to remove common barriers faced by returning Veterans who have selflessly served our country.  The group provides a location offering rehabilitiation services; both physical and mental, mentorship, employment services and so much more.  Operation Welcome Home has been in operation in Morgantown since 2010.  Working with the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia University, PACE Enterprises and a number of other groups and volunteers, Operation Welcome Home has assisted hundreds of Veterans throughout our region.

Jamie Summerlin, a former Marine, has consistently worked to promote and enhance services to our Veterans through a number of programs and hundreds of volunteer hours.  Most locals may know him from the 100 day “Freedom Run” across America he devised to show support and raise funds for The Wounded Warrior Project, Vet Connect and Operation Welcome Home.  The memorable trip allowed him to connect with Veterans and their families along his route across the country.  Summerlin has continued his work through his service to Operation Welcome Home, recently appointed as Chief Exective Officer of the Board of Directors, where he develops and promotes programs and events aimed at providing the services our Veterans need.

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Jamie resides in Morgantown, with his wife, Tiffany, also a Marine Corps Veteran and their two children, Nicholas and Shayna.  A nationally recognized author and speaker, Jamie travels the country promoting overcoming boundaries and inspiring others to reach for their goals.  His continued dedication to sharing empathy and care with his fellow Veterans makes him an excellent candidate for the Celebrating Volunteer Award.

“When you volunteer, it’s something that you’re passionate about and you can wake up every morning and feel good about doing it and at the end of the day, put your head down knowing that you made a difference,” said Jamie Summerlin to WBOY.

“I am in awe of the dedication and inspiration that Jamie provides to our Veterans.”  Gretchen Ross of WBOY stated.  “His determination to ensure that every Veteran receives the services and support they need is constantly reflected in the volunteer work he does.  As a reporter, I see and hear about heart breaking stories of returning Veterans and how they can be treated, and I am glad that there is someone like Jamie in our community to help take care of those that honorably serve our state and our country.”

“Our military men and women are the cornerstone of our democracy and should be treated as such,”  said Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group.  “I am honored to recognize an individual that has not only dedicated himself to serve our country, but is also dedicated to the service and support of other Veterans.”

“It is those in our community like Jamie that make me proud to be a part of it.  I can only hope that through continued support, that our Veterans and their families receive the services that they so desperately need.”

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The Celebrating Volunteers awardees receive public recognition for not only themselves, but their organization.  They also receive a $500 contribution to the organization they represent in their name.  Gretchen Ross of WBOY TV and Tim Miley of The Miley Legal Group work together to select the awardee from the many nominations received from the public.   The volunteer selected will have demonstrated their commitment to an organization through volunteerism and support.

“I am an avid supporter of volunteerism in our communities,” Miley stated.  “The Celebrating Volunteers program is a way that we can recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals across our region.”

We look forward to recognizing a number of worthy individuals while giving their organizations a part of the spotlight.  The program will continue recognizing volunteers throughout the coming year.  In order to nominate a volunteer to receive this award, please visit MileyLegal.com and click on the Celebrating Volunteers logo.

For more information on the Operation Welcome Home, please visit their website at www.WelcomeHomeWV.com and for more information on the “Freedom Run” visit www.FreedomRunUSA.com.