He faithfully served our country. He continues to battle cancer. He lives each day with a spirit of courage, resilience, and gratitude.
Courage: In 1968, when Tyree Childs was twenty years old, he received lifechanging news – his number was up. He’d been drafted to fight in the Vietnam War and soon joined the Army.
Tyree was sent to Vietnam in 1969 to serve in the 64th Quarter Master Battalion and the 512th Quarter Master Battalion in Long Bing as a Petroleum Storage Specialist, running tank refuels for vehicles, airplanes, and helicopters. His work required travel to Saigon and other areas as this Soldier provided invaluable assistance to keep US machines up and running.
Resilience: In 1970, at the end of his deployment, Tyree faced a close call with the enemy. Tyree’s dog, a Chow-Chow, alerted his unit as Two Viet Cong approached, forcing Tyree and his fellow service members to bravely fight for their lives.
The Viet Cong fired on Tyree and four fellow service members along with using satchel charges – highly dangerous demolition devices whose primary components are dynamite. Tyree and his team fought back, preventing the enemy from placing a satchel charge on a tank in an attempt to blow it up. But having the wisdom to foresee a situation like this after a firefight had broken out only the night before, Tyree had cleared the shrubs and grass around the base’s perimeter, taking away the enemy’s ability to hide. Though Tyree’s unit suffered a causality, the Viet Cong were soon defeated.
Years later, Tyree received more lifechanging news, another war he’d been called up to fight – he had cancer, three different types from his time served working with fuel in Vietnam. Once again, Tyree prepared for another fight for his life.
Gratitude: Determined not to be defeated, Tyree began treatment, and the hospital bills soon became a vast expense. That’s when Tyree was introduced to The Fund by a mutual friend, and The Fund immediately stepped in to help.
When asked what The Fund means to Tyree, he said, “The Fund feels like God’s work.”
The Fund provided funding to assist with Tyree’s medical treatments and bills, sent him a massage chair to help ease his painful neuropathy, and provided Tyree with a specialized bike for exercise.
“The Fund is a blessing and a godsend for me,” said Tyree.
And for everyone at The Fund, Tyree is a constant reminder of what it looks like to live each day with a sense of hope and joy. Throughout his acts of service and selfless dedication to others, he’s a shining example of courage, resilience, gratitude – a hero we’re proud to call a member of our Fund family.