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6-Year-Old Donates Birthday Money to Injured Veterans

6-Year-Old Donates Birthday Money to Injured Veterans

Rhys Dukes is only 6 years old, but he knows to look for the helpers — and he knows to appreciate and support them. That’s why when the Michigan boy told his mom he wanted to do something to help injured soldiers, she was not surprised.

“Rhys is the boy who goes up to first responders in uniform, shakes their hand, and wants to ask about what they do and how they help people,” Kayla Dukes said.

The proud mom helped Rhys channel his desire to help into a fundraiser for Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). At his 6th birthday party, an occasion that would typically celebrate him, Rhys wanted friends to bring a donation instead of presents.

Rhys’ family and friends honored his request, donating hundreds of dollars to injured veterans and their families through WWP.

“We were really proud of him for wanting to help warriors,” Kayla said.

Shortly before social distancing became the norm, Rhys celebrated with friends and family members at an Army-themed party, complete with camo decorations and birthday cake. He also got to wear his favorite outfit: an Army jacket given to him by his grandmother.  

Kayla described Rhys as outgoing and giving. “He likes to share with his younger brother and his friends. He really wants to make other people happy.”

For someone so young, Rhys is acutely aware of the importance of kindness and depending on one another. “We take nothing for granted, especially during this period of quarantine,” Kayla said. “There are many people out there who are sacrificing for us and doing their part to keep us safe.”

Rhys’ donation is going toward a growing population of warriors. The number of warriors and family members registering with the veterans charity each week more than doubled in the weeks following the coronavirus outbreak. Since 2003, WWP has been a tireless advocate for our nation’s finest, improving the lives of millions of warriors and their families.

Support from fundraisers like Rhys is critical to providing life-changing opportunities to warriors who never pay a penny for WWP programs and services — because they paid their dues on the battlefield. In addition to mental health services, WWP offers free services in personal independence, physical wellness, adaptive sports, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care.

Find out how you can give back to wounded veterans.

Contact: Chris Obarski — Public Relations,, 904.570.0823

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

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