Severely Wounded Veteran & Charity Storage Lead the Way to Help Heroes Heal
By Anne Mari DeCoster
AZSA Executive Director
Whether it’s cancer, loss of a loved one, disaster, illness, or injury...life breaks everyone at some point...We’re all bound by the moment — the duty — to draw upon our inner strength in those circumstances,” says Sherman Gillums, Jr., severely wounded Marine turned Veterans advocate. He is the Keynote Speaker of the Operational Symposium of AZSA’s 20th Annual Arizona Self-Storage Conference, September 26-27, 2018.
His inspiring message will challenge your view of the world, your circumstances, and those around you who could use your help. He demonstrates by example how ordinary citizens and companies can help wounded Veterans recover, reintegrate, and reclaim their identities.
In past years, AZSA members have been generous participants in our charity focus: a Silent Auction during our conference and trade show. But this year we are expanding our charitable effort into a year-long campaign: Helping Heroes Heal. It was kicked off at the Disabled American Veterans Hall in Yuma at AZSA's Educational Workshop on January 23. But don't worry if you didn't make it to Yuma, because you can get started any time. We envision this campaign culminating in a statewide series of Charity Storage auctions in November 2018 in honor of Veterans Day.
Bias for Compassion
Now back to our inspiration: Chief Warrant Officer Sherman Gillums, Jr. was an active duty Marine for 12 years and now serves as Chief Strategy Officer at American Veterans (Sherman Gillums Jr Bio).
He says, “People still have a bias for compassion. Whenever I deployed overseas or transferred to a new duty station, many people helped me, including some who worked in this business. I had to put everything in storage. Whether it was a self-storage company or a company that packed and stored everything for me, they were all critical to my success as I transitioned.”
Four months after the September 11, 2001, attacks, as he prepared to deploy to Afghanistan with the 1st Marine Division, he sustained a cervical spine injury that ended his military career. His circumstances changed, and his need for help increased exponentially. People responded.
“Whenever I’d look someone in his or her eyes and asked for help, every man and woman I ever reached out to stopped and helped. I’ve never felt overlooked,” says Sherman.
Hearing Sherman Gillums, Jr. share his entire story is a real opportunity. Please make plans to join us for his Keynote at the Operational Symposium in the 20th Annual Arizona Self-Storage Conference, September 27, 2018.