Before Thanksgiving 2018, Karalee Sievert, a Navy veteran and the Senior Personal Lines Agent at Zellner Insurance Agency, met a Combat Casualty Visiting Nurse named Ramonia, who worked at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) in Jacksonville.
Touched by the stories of veterans in hardship, Karalee shared the information with our company staff. Shortly after, we created a small fund-raiser to which all our employees contributed. On December 3rd, my husband and CEO of Zellner Insurance, Jeff Spadafora, Karalee, and yours truly, Xiomara Spadafora, Vice President, had the privilege to meet 1st Sgt. Michael Lippencott, an active member of the Marine Corps who became the recipient of our Christmas donation.
Sgt. Lippencott is a father of four. He joined the Marine Corps in 1996 in Chantilly, VA, and since then, he had completed seven tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan for the operations Iraq Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn.
Needless to say, the wounds of his sacrifice to defend our country’s freedom are not only the ones he bears on his body, but also the ones on his soul. Since then, Jeff and Michael stayed in contact and have forged a special friendship. Michael retired in June after almost 23 years of service and continues to recover physically.
Two thousand nineteen passed, and before Thanksgiving we learned about Suzie, a Navy veteran and single mother of a three-year-old boy. She had recently moved from New York and needed her car fixed so she could look for a job.