Aggie veteran helps give Gold Star families once in a lifetime shopping spree

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 2:52 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Academy Sports + Outdoors and Texas A&M presented Aggie veteran and current student Chris Thompson and his family a $5,000 shopping spree at the College Station Academy store; however, instead of keeping the shopping spree for themselves, the family paid it forward to military families at Special Operations Warrior Foundation. On Wednesday, one of the families got to shop at the store with the Thompson family.

There were many reasons the Thompsons chose to help out the families at Special Operations Warrior Foundation. According to Army veteran Chris Thompson, one of those was to make sure families of fallen service members are not forgotten.

“People forget that there are families that are associated with those service members we’ve lost and you know we want to make sure that they are not forgotten,” said Thompson.

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation works with families who’s parent made the ultimate sacrifice or was severely wounded.

“I couldn’t believe his [Chris’] generosity,” said Lisa Delong, a Scholarships & Family Outreach Counselor at the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. “Chris said ‘this is what I want to do. Do you have any families in mind?’ and immediately I thought of two that this could be a great gift for.”

According to Academy Sports + Outdoors, the two families selected split the $5,000. One family is based in Colorado and the other is a Texas family.

Representing the Texas family is Texas A&M junior Jake Worrell, who lost his father in 2006. He got the chance to shop on behalf of his family.

“I’m a little bit excited, but like I said super grateful for people like Chris and his family that kind of don’t forget and think about the people that were left behind,” said Worrell.

According to Worrell, the experience was not just about shopping.

“I made a new friend today,” said Worrell. “Chris and his family. It’s just so much more than me being able to pick out a couple of things for myself and my brother. I get to hang out with someone that is truly special for a long time, so very grateful for that.”

Following the shopping spree, Academy surprised the Thompson family with $1,000 to have a shopping spree of their own after seeing the family’s generosity to others.

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