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GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — In June, Dollar General will be partnering with Procter & Gamble to celebrate soldiers making a difference in their communities after returning from service as part of its Every Day Heroes program, the dollar channel operator announced Monday. Dollar General will feature decorated veteran Sparky Edwards in a national campaign thanking the nation’s military across the country.
“Sparky exemplifies the Dollar General Every Day Hero, not just through his bravery and military service, but through his commitment to community,” stated Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s EVP and chief merchandising officer. “Through his perseverance in the face of adversity and his enduring commitment to family, education and volunteerism, he is the embodiment of what it means to be an Every Day Hero.”
Photo of Sparky Edwards
Once an at-risk teenager, Edwards turned his life around with the help of the Thunderbird Youth Academy, one of the National Guard’s 34 Youth ChalleNGe academies. The program helped him earn his GED and prepared him to enter the military where he served tours of duty in South Korea and Iraq. Today, Edwards is a successful business owner and is pursuing his Ph.D. He credits TYA with saving his life.
“I went from being on track for a jail cell to being a decorated war veteran, business owner, former senior federal government employee and soon-to-be Dr. Sparky D. Edwards,” Edwards said.
According to Edwards, TYA also taught him the importance of volunteer work. Today, he continues to volunteer with organizations working with at-risk youth and is currently mentoring young people through the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program in Northern Virginia.
“We offer a second chance for at-risk youth,” said Gen. Craig McKinley (ret.), chairman of the National Guard Youth Foundation. “These are kids who are struggling in school and making poor choices. They look up to Edwards as a role model and proof that you can turn your life around.”
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