Eric Brady | The Roanoke Times
Residents came by Dominion Metallurgical in Roanoke on Wednesday to donate money so Army buddies of T.J. Conrad could attend his funeral. Any leftover funds will go toward support for his 7-month-old son, Bentley, and wife, Holly.
Money raised will be used to help pay for travel and lodging costs for six of Sgt. T.J. Conrad’s fellow soldiers. Donation are also being accepted for Conrad’s 7-month-old son Bentley.
Eric Brady | The Roanoke Times
Mike Dunford of the Volvo truck manufacturing plant in Dublin carries a bag of money the workers collected for a fund for T.J. Conrad.
The Roanoke Valley came out in force Wednesday to support the friends and family of Army Sgt. T.J. Conrad, who was killed in Afghanistan last week.
And a credit union and bank have stepped up to continue taking donations for the family and 7-month-old son he left behind.
Conrad died Feb. 23 in Nangarhar province after he and another U.S. soldier were shot by a man in Afghan military fatigues during a demonstration over the burning of several Qurans. They were assigned to the 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps based in Fort Stewart, Ga.
His father, Tim Conrad, asked Tuesday for donations to allow six of T.J. Conrad’s fellow soldiers to attend his memorial service, which is tentatively scheduled for this weekend. Tim Conrad said he was hoping for $1,500 to pay for their travel and lodging costs.
Instead, a steady stream of people poured into Dominion Metallurgical throughout Wednesday. They were greeted by a sign bearing a message from the family: “Rest assured, T.J. is smiling knowing that his Army buddies that have come to honor him are being taken care of. Thank you!! The Conrad Family.”
Dominion Metallurgical President Paul Huffman said that more than 200 people contributed money for the soldiers. A final dollar figure was unavailable Wednesday evening.
“We have raised enough money to completely cover all of the travel and all of the living expenses for the entire party coming in,” Huffman said.
Tim Conrad said he was stunned by the outpouring.
“This has been wildly successful,” he said. “It’s beyond all expectations. The best of the Roanoke Valley came out today, to honor the best. Everyone from T.J.’s high school acquaintances and the parents that knew him through their kids … to fellows with Korean War and Vietnam War hats walking in.”
Tim Conrad said that he and T.J.’s mother, Mikki Wray, are “both very grateful for the outpouring of love.”
The Roanoke Postal Credit Union has established a fund to assist Conrad’s family. The credit union is accepting donations through the mail or at its three branch locations in Roanoke and Lynchburg.
And Wells Fargo bank has established a memorial fund for Conrad’s son. Donations can be given to the Bentley Parker Conrad Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo branches around the Roanoke Valley.
If you want to contribute
The Roanoke Postal Credit Union is accepting donations to assist Conrad’s family by mail and at its three branch locations in Roanoke and Lynchburg. Those branches are located in the main Roanoke post office across from the Roanoke Civic Center, in Oak Grove Plaza at 2121 Electric Road or in Lynchburg in the main post office building at 3300 Odd Fellows Road. You can also mail contributions to the Sgt. T.J. Conrad Fund, P.O. Box 12405, Roanoke, VA 24025-2405.
Wells Fargo is also taking donations for a memorial fund for T.J. Conrad’s 7-month-old son. Simply walk into a branch around the Roanoke Valley and inform the teller you’d like to donate to the Bentley Parker Conrad Memorial Fund.
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