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Saturday, June 15, 2024


Women’s Auxiliary Donates Computer to Army Veteran


By Leslie Truluck

STONE HARBOR — Veterans Day came a little early for one county service woman, who received a new laptop, courtesy of Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 331.
Auxiliary President Barbara Blake and member Joan Kramar, council-elect, presented U.S. Army veteran Suzanne Haskins, of Ocean View, with a new laptop computer here Nov. 6.
Kramar chaired a spaghetti dinner Sept. 20 at the Stone Harbor Yacht Club in which proceeds are used to purchase computers and printers for service members.
Stone Harbor resident John Heitmann, a Macintosh consultant of “Macsultants,” provided one Mac laptop donation and a second computer donation will be bought with funds from dinner.
Haskins was in the U.S. Army for 21 years and during that time she was stationed in Germany, Korea, Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Brag, N.C., and, most-recently, she was deployed to Afghanistan from the U.S. Army Reserve.
“It was an adventure,” she said. “I joined because when I had my oldest son I wanted to give him a better life.”
Haskins retired in 2007 as a Staff Sergeant (E-6.) She met her husband, Steve, in Korea where they were both working on the same motor pool military vehicle repair shop. Steve retired in 1998 as a Sergeant First Class (E-7) after a 20-year career in the military.
“You’d be surprised how much I miss it,” he said.
“It’s a large part of your life, it is your life, for a long time,” Suzanne said.
“It’s all about camaraderie and connecting with the other soldiers,” Steve added.
Suzanne stayed at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. for 18 months after a vehicle she occupied came under fire Aug. 11, 2005.
The driver, her good friend, was killed.
“The only reason I’m alive is because I’m short,” Haskins told the Herald.
She said the tall driver blocked shots on her left and a steel plate in the rear of the vehicle also protected her. She said she doesn’t remember much of the attack. Afterwards, at the main base in Bagrum, Afghanistan she suffered four aneurisms and a stroke.
“I’m very fortunate. God didn’t want to take me yet,” she said.
She took medical discharge in 2007 and received a Purple Heart.
The Haskins family has a strong history of military service as far back as World War I, in which both of Suzanne’s grandparents fought, and one received a Purple Heart.
“It’s an honor to receive this computer. It will come in handy to help the kids in school,” she said.
The auxiliary plans another computer and printer donation for a second county veteran.

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