The Taylors Free Medical Clinic is dedicated to providing quality free health care to eligible individuals in a culture of caring

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When the crowd surrounding Taya Kyle dwindled during the reception, I approached the Author of American Wife  with a degree of anxiety. As she stretched out her hand I responded by telling her that as a veteran of almost three decades of military service, I had a great deal of respect and admiration for military wives and their  many sacrifices for their families and their country. I was somewhat startled when she responded with a big hug for this old soldier. The words had touched a tender spot behind the tough shell surrounding this woman who had been hardened by an eventful  and painful life.

Mrs. Kyle was introduced to the packed house of Taylors Free Medical Clinic supporters by Dr. Tony Beam who discussed his emotional reaction to the Clint Eastwood directed movie depicting her husband’s life as the sniper with the most sniper kills in US military history, She had no small role in his life and the movie. DrRebeccaSmith-1She began her talk with some  humorous stories about her personal experiences with Eastwood during the making of the movie. “He was exactly what you would expect,” she said.

She was not looking for a husband, but asked God that if it was to be to send her someone real nice. She met Chris and he was the nicest man she had ever met. It took a while for her to find out what he did in the Navy.   He gave her misleading stories such as taking care of dogs for the Navy.  They were married and had two children. It was during his second deployment that reality struck home. “Our friends were being killed.” She was crying with the widows and for the widows. She attended emotional funerals as the bodies of their friends were brought home to their families and the widows were presented with American flags, as children cried for the fathers they would have no more.  She began pleading with him to get out of the Navy Seals and come home. It was during his fourth deployment in the heat of battle that he decided to come home for good.

Chris wrote the book American Sniper because he knew someone was going to write his story and he wanted to get it right.

Things were going well with the book sales, guest spots on national television and speaking engagements plus quality time with the family when tragedy struck.

Chris and a friend were murdered by a deranged veteran and Taya became One of those military widows she once cried with and for.

She has recently published a book titled American Wife and is spending time with her children in Texas while not on a book signing or speaking tour.

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Karen Salerno, Executive Director of the Taylors Free Medical Clinic added to the delightful evening with a program that emphasized the ministry and work of the Clinic. One of the patients of the Clinic gave a personal testimonial regarding how the volunteers at the Clinic have helped to preserve her life that had been near its end due to lingering medical problems, loss of a son in war and abandonment by her husband with no job or support system. Director Salerno explains how the Clinic can help such cases.

“Our patients come to us so wounded and weary from the battle of life. While we strive to provide them with quality medical care, we also walk alongside them in their journey to find healing. We long for our patients to know the precious peace found in a heart that belongs to Christ and to experience the rest that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 11:28 when He says, ‘Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.’”

Taylors Free Medical Clinic was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization in the State of South Carolina on October 2, 2004, and opened for business on July 25, 2005.

The Director explains that,  TFMC patients are good people in need of help, surviving on limited resources. They exhibit great courage simply trying to get through each day. Since opening in 2005, “we have been able to meet the needs of the uninsured in our community.

Post214Commander-AmericanSniperWife-1“Our current patient population is 47 percent Caucasian, 33 percent Hispanic, 16 percent African-Americans, 1 percent Asian, 1 percent Native-American, and 2 percent other. Volunteer translators serve each hour the clinic is open to the public.”

Seventy-four percent of contributions to the Clinic come from individuals. Eight-percent comes from Churches and eighteen percent from foundations.

Eighty percent of contributions go to programs and client services. Thirteen percent is spent on fund raising and seven percent covers the cost of management services.

Gifts can be mailed to Taylors Free Medical Clinic, 400 West Main Street, Taylors, South Carolina 29687.

Russell, C. Ashmore, Jr., is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Rebecca S. Smith, MD is Medical Director (volunteer).