The Budweiser Clydesdales made a special appearance last week in Roeland Park as part of an initiative to honor military veterans and their families.
The grand horses paid a visit to several Price Chopper stores in the Kansas City metro area last week as part of a partnership between the two companies to help bring scholarships to local Kansas City families of fallen and disabled military veterans.
During the celebration Friday afternoon, Price Chopper and Budweiser presented a $5,000 check to the Kansas City chapter of Folds of Honor. The donation helps support the organization’s scholarship funds.
Rocky Sickmann, a Folds of Honor, said Kelli Campbell, a Leawood resident who is one of their members, will receive scholarship funds to help support her children’s education. Her husband, Maj. Shawn Campbell, was a CH-53 Marine pilot who fell in action, leaving behind their four children.
“Bringing the Clydesdales out, it really helps to educate everybody on who Folds of Honor is and what we do,” Sickmann said. “Freedom is not free.”
Larry Pfeiffer, president of the KC chapter of Folds of Honor, said the scholarships will help support the Campbells’ private education at a local Christian school.
The partnership between Budweiser and Folds of Honor is particularly significant for Sickmann, a retiree of the beer company who himself served in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his military service, he worked at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, in 1979 and was taken hostage with more than 50 others by a mob of Iranian militants for 444 days. Eight men died in an attempted operation to rescue them, he said.
“Just as Kelli’s husband served his country, for me every morning I wake up, I think of those eight guys that gave the ultimate sacrifice — their life — to try to regain my freedom,” Sickmann said. “So for Folds of Honor, that’s why Larry and Kelli work diligently just to help create awareness. While they’re enjoying the Clydesdales, this majestic peace, they’re here because men and women are serving around the world so that they can live in peace.”