Education

How a pharmacy helped sons of late Air Force captain

Jadon Turner and Brendon Turner each received $5,000 in scholarships from the Folds of Honor program which provides scholarships to children of fallen service members. The Rite Aid Foundation helped raise money for the scholarships through a nation-wide drive.
Jadon Turner and Brendon Turner each received $5,000 in scholarships from the Folds of Honor program which provides scholarships to children of fallen service members. The Rite Aid Foundation helped raise money for the scholarships through a nation-wide drive. jvicory@sunherald.com

Two D’Iberville students will have their high school tuition paid for and maybe more through a scholarship donation sponsored by the Rite Aid Foundation and the Folds of Honor organization.

On Tuesday, D’Iberville law enforcement and staff at the D’Iberville Rite Aid joined together with Dorothy Turner and her two kids, Brendon and Jadon Turner, in recognition of Rite Aid and the charitable organization, Folds of Honor.

Dorothy Turner’s husband, Air Force Capt. Michael Turner, was killed in a car crash seven years ago in Guam where he was stationed. Turner, who was 38 at the time, left his wife and two sons behind.

The Rite Aid Foundation found out about the Turners and decided to pitch in where they could. Through the foundation’s KidCents program, Rite Aid stores across the nation have been collecting customer donations. The donations are given to family members of deceased or seriously wounded soldiers through the Folds of Honor organization.

Since 2007, the Folds of Honor’s mission has been “to stand in the financial gap of the more than one million dependents adversely affected by war, providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of those killed or disabled while serving our nation,” according to its website. The scholarships are based on unmet need.

Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, started Folds of Honor after he became aware of the reality families face when a loved one in uniform is killed or wounded.

While cutting into a cake at the D’Iberville Rite Aid Tuesday, both Turner boys said they want to follow in the father’s footsteps. Eighth-grader Jadon Turner will be attending St. Patrick Catholic High School next year.

Jadon plans to go to the Air Force Academy and become an officer. He wants to study religion and mathematics after he graduates from high school.

Brendon is in the sixth grade at Sacred Heart Elementary School and, like his brother, would like to join the military. However, due to a medical ailment, he has his set his eyes on becoming a scientist.

“I like science. I’d like to go into the chemistry field,” Brendon said.

Both boys are well rounded.

Jadon is on the undefeated junior varsity football team. He plays left guard on offense and is a right end on defense. Both boys play soccer. One plays guitar and the other plays drums.

The Turners were each given a $5,000 scholarship. The money will help Dorothy Turner pay for the boys’ private school education. The Turners will be eligible for future scholarships from the organization if need be.

“A lot of places don’t understand what it’s like to be a military family. So, we’re lucky to live where we are, a place where the community understands the life style and the commitment,” Dorothy Turner said.

Paul Ingalls, Rite Aid pharmacy district manager, said when he handed out the scholarship certificates, “I’m really excited to be able to give this to you. I’m just glad there’s an organization out there to encourage this type of thing. And we’re proud to be a part of it.”

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