Browning makes Christmas special for paralyzed veterans


Mary Lee Browning shows some of the items she has purchased as gifts and door prizes for the Veteran’s Christmas Party (the Browning Party) event at the Memphis VA this Saturday. (Photo by Gwen Sisson)

“My house looks like the North Pole,” said Mary Lee Browning.

It began as a labor of love. And now, the Browning Christmas is a special tradition at the Veterans Administration office in Memphis, Tenn.

Mary Lee Browning created this special Christmas Party to help veterans during the holidays after her son, Tracy Browning, became a paralyzed veteran at the age of 21. He is now 44. Tracy was injured while serving in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Offut Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb. Tracy became a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and served as the Mississippi Liaison Officer for several years.

The main office for the Mid-South Paralyzed Veterans is located in the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The VA Hospital in Jackson does not have a spinal cord unit, so veterans from Mississippi who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan are sent to the Memphis VA.

“That is why this Christmas Party is held at the Veterans Hospital in Memphis,” Browning said. “But I do include all Veterans that come to the party, not just the paralyzed Vets.”

And this Saturday, Dec 3, the tradition continues. The Paralyzed Veterans Organization will prepare a special Christmas luncheon and the “Browning Christmas” (as the veterans call it) will follow. Continue reading