Sawaya Values Award May HONOR Winners Terry Cooper and Elder Granger
Terry Cooper received the news that no mother of a serviceman should have to hear. Her son, Lcpl Thomas Slocum, was the first Colorado veteran killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Since that time, this Gold Star Mother has reached out to every Colorado family she could locate who lost a son or daughter.
“We had so much backing when my son died, we had nothing but support, but being the first, my husband and I always had the fear that other families wouldn’t get the same support. So we decided to reach out to every family we could find,” says Cooper.
“Terry has been a champion for Mothers and families of those killed in action. For many years, while her health permitted, she attended the graveside services at Fort Logan of Colorado of Colorado servicemen killed in action,” said Rick Crandall who submitted this nomination.
Terry suffers from multiple sclerosis but is still able to visit her son’s grave. When she does, she also leaves flowers on the graves of other soldiers who have died in service to their country.
When asked what we could all do to honor our fallen soldiers Terry said, “Like so many others, I didn’t used to think anything of Memorial Day and the 4 th of July as more than a three day holiday or camping trip when it is so much more. Now I have a personal interest in it, honoring my son and his service. We are losing so many soldiers every day. If nothing else, I wish we would do more to honor them on those days.”
Michael Sawaya said, “Terry Cooper not only honors her son but all the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. She also honors their families. Our definition of Honor is a person who has the highest reputation for upholding all basic human values, especially when difficult or crisis situations arise. Terry’s commitment to and compassion for parents of servicemen and women who have been killed certainly fits the definition of upholding basic human values in the most beautiful way. “See more at The Sawaya Law Firm Channel on YouTube video.
As part of the Sawaya Values Award, The Sawaya Law Firm is making a $250 donation to the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Terry Cooper’s name.
Major General Elder Granger enlisted when he was only 17 years old. Serving in Iraq, Dr. Granger rose through the ranks to become the deputy director of TRICARE which is the health care program that serves uniformed service members, retirees and their families worldwide.
“If you let the troops know you will take care of them, they will take risks for our nation because they know they will get the best healthcare,” said Dr. Granger. I saw myself as a conductor who put together a wonderful healthcare system or orchestra to support those who put themselves in harm’s way in the name of liberty.”
Major General Granger received numerous awards during his service to our county, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, and the meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters.
“He is truly one of a kind, not because of his degrees and awards, but because of his inner self and his selflessness that he gives to others. While he exemplifies so many values, I have chosen the honor value because of Dr. Granger’s dedication and thirty-five plus years in the Army,” said Connie Dumont who nominated Dr. Granger for the Sawaya Values Honor Award.
Michael Sawaya said, “Major General Dr. Elder Granger exemplifies honor through a lifetime of giving back to his country. Healing our servicemen and women is a very high calling and such an important task. Our definition of honor is a person who has the highest reputation for upholding all basic human values, especially when difficult or crisis situations arise. Dr. Granger’s service, along with the service of all our military should be honored on a daily basis. “See more at The Sawaya Law Firm Channel on YouTube video.