Hold My Hand started in 2010, when U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Rusty Dunagan became our nation’s 23rd surviving triple amputee when he encountered and IED (Improvised Explosive Device) during a routine patrol abroad. Rusty Dunagan’s Aunt, Susan Porter, learned there were not any organizations in place in which wounded warriors were welcomed home in Oklahoma, so Susan decided she would do this. Susan said she wanted Rusty to know that the State of Oklahoma was there to support him and hold his hand.
Susan created Hold My Hand with Larry Van Schuyver, who is no stranger to service and helping his fellow man. Larry was awarded a Purple Heart AND a Silver Heart while serving in the U.S. Navy. Susan and Larry have been working together since the start of their first event titled, “Hold My Hand-A Hometown Hero Tribute Event.” During the first event and second events, an auction was held in order to help defray the cost of the newly purchased vehicle for Rusty Dunagan and his seven family members—one which would accommodate the weight of his wheelchair and wheelchair lift.
Hold My Hand merged with The Oklahoma Wounded Warrior and Disabled Veterans Support Team in one cohesive duo to bring more attention to the numerous challenges facing our wounded and disabled veterans with focus on meeting those needs. To date, 32 ramps have been installed and 17 homes have been modified for easier wheelchair access. In addition, our wounded and disabled veterans have received varying medical equipment due to the extended wait time to receive replacements from the VA medical Centers in Oklahoma. For the past 5 years Hold My Hand-The Oklahoma Wounded Warrior and Disabled Veterans Support Team have provided food baskets to the families of our wounded and disabled veterans during Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons.
I am thrilled to be awarded the title of “Ms. Elite Woman of Achievement,” for my work with wounded and disabled veterans. I will carry my message across the U.S. garnering more awareness and support for the growing needs of our veterans. Please see my contact page for more information on how I can reached for speaking and/or singing engagements.
Larry Van Schuyver