Editor's note: The mission of nonprofit Soldiers' Angels is to provide aid and comfort to America’s service members and their families. Soldiers' Angels supported the journey that came to be known as "108 Hours" to help one Gold Star family cope with the loss of their son, SGT Mike Stokely, to a roadside bomb in Iraq. The hope was that sharing the story of his father Robert's unique and compelling journey would help other Gold Star families heal, and allow the American community to appreciate and understand the sacrifices made by both service members and their families.
Robert wanted more than anything else in the world to see the land and meet the people of Iraq, and to walk over the very ground where his son died. Knowing that the imminent departure of American troops from Iraq would make his journey much more difficult, Mike turned to Soldiers' Angels. With the support of Americans from all across our country, Soldiers' Angels turned Robert's quest into a reality, and with the help of HLN, the story of Mike's sacrifices and Robert's quest for solace is being shared with the American public with the honor and dignity the story deserves.
Since its inception in 2003, Soldiers' Angels has used the Internet and emerging technologies to engage the patriotic American public around the world, bridging innumerable gaps in critical services in order to lighten the burdens of military personnel and their families. More than 300,000 "Angel" volunteers have participated in the more than 30 long-term military support projects of Soldiers' Angels, including care packages sent to more than 1 million deployed men and women; more than 20,000 First Response Backpacks delivered to the wounded at forward/battlefield care facilities; and more than 8,000 laptop computers given to recovering wounded warriors through Project Valour-IT.
As military personnel return from the front lines in increasing numbers, Soldiers' Angels is continuing to focus on assisting veterans and their families as they adjust and build post-combat lives with projects ranging from Operation Harmony (music therapy) to Operation Veteran Outreach (connecting donors directly with families in need).
"108 Hours: A Father's journey to Iraq" will air Sunday, November 11th at 8pm ET, with encore performances on Monday, November 12th at 7pm and 10pm ET.