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Stryker soldier receives $50K gift from country star on Ellen DeGeneres show

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Feb. 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
February 16, 2012 12:44 pm

Sgt. Chad Sparks of Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s 2nd Stryker Brigade can focus a little easier on getting ready for his upcoming mission in Afghanistan. His visit to the Ellen DeGeneres show yesterday left his family in good hands to cope with his  nine-month deployment.

Sparks on the show received a $50,000 check from country star Dierks Bentley, who was moved by a letter Sparks’ wife wrote to DeGeneres. Watch the video here.

Ashley Sparks described her husband as “truly the man every girl dreams of, an honest, hard-working, dedicated soldier.”

She wrote that the family recently fell into some financial hardships and had begun selling household items to make ends meet.

Sgt. Sparks lost his right index finger on his last deployment to Afghanistan when a live round exploded on top of his Stryker vehicle. He regained his hand strength and is serving as a Stryker vehicle commander.

Sgt. Sparks’ appearance on the Ellen show came a day before the official Pentagon announcement of his brigade’s coming deployment, though his wife said expected to depart this spring.

“We’ve been waiting for (the order),” he said. “We’re preparing and we’re ready as we can be for when the nation calls.”

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