Garner Cleveland Record

Non-profit donates bullet proof vest to K-9 officer

Those attending the event on Thursday pet K-9 officer Bandit at Locked & Loaded Restaurant. Bandit, 8, will be one of the K-9 officers presented with a vest in the future.
Those attending the event on Thursday pet K-9 officer Bandit at Locked & Loaded Restaurant. Bandit, 8, will be one of the K-9 officers presented with a vest in the future. jalexander@newsobserver.com

Wade Rosar said he knows what it’s like to put your life on the line and fight to protect your country.

Rosar fought in Grenada and was shot in the spine. He is now 100 percent disabled. He knows the struggle too.

So he and his wife of 23 years, Michele Rosar, also a military veteran, are giving back to the local police department and firemen through their non-profit organization, “Friends of Hometown Heroes Inc.”

Thursday, the Rosars presented a bullet-proof vest, to K-9 unit officers and will continue to do so for the K-9 unit as they raise money. The first vest will go to officer Greg Holding and his K-9 partner, Mackie. The second vest, which is expected to be presented in May, will go to Eric Ankarstran and his K-9 partner, Gunner.

“There is so much for military personnel... but there’s nothing for our hometown heroes. Our locals.,” Wade Rosar said.

Mayor Ronnie Williams and Garner Police Chief Brandon Zuiedema were among those in attendance of the presentation.

K-9 Officer David Taylor was presented with the certificate for the vest on behalf of the K-9 unit.

“I think it is fantastic,” Zuiedema said. “I think it is just another indicator of the great support that the Garner community has for the police department and for the relationship we have with the community.”

“The default for this community, whether it be Friends of Hometown Heroes or Locked & Loaded, or whoever it is, is that they want to come forward and help the police department.”

The vests cost $700 each.

Michele Rosar said the money raised came from donations and out-of-pocket.

“But we want to give back to our community and that’s why we have a heart for doing this,” she said. “We have a heart for our community and for those who serve us that put their lives on the line to help save us.”

She said there has been a lot of support around the town considering the fact that their nonprofit has only been in existence for a few months.

Friends of Hometown Heroes officially became a non-profit in September. The Rosars are currently the only two running the non-profit. Michele Rosar said she hopes they can attract volunteers.

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