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Richard Asztalos

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FALLEN & WOUNDED SOLDIERS FUND INC
November 1, 2009

The primary purpose of the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund (FWSF) is to help those veterans in Michigan who return from the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns and find themselves in need of support and assistance. The FWSF is an all-volunteer organization, its members a diverse collection of concerned people from the business and private sectors. Since mid-2006 when the FWSF starting distributing funds to individual soldiers’ families, a lot has occurred. The country’s view of these wars has changed and the fervor over fighting terrorism has diminished. However, the needs of our soldiers have not dissipated, but have, in fact, increased. Over time we have seen the needs change from funds for travel of family members to the injured soldier, to addressing more basic needs of those who have been discharged, even down to the level of providing food for their families. When reviewing the individuals who have received grants from FWSF, it is telling that all are enlisted men who find themselves in tough financial straits. Often times, what they need is help on the rent and other essential expenses, such as medical supplies.

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Each of the dozens of veterans who have been personally assisted has a different story to tell. They live all over Michigan, from Portland to East Detroit, from Pittsfield Township to Wayne, we find veterans in need. When we were approached by Rick D., every possible basic need was overdue. This ranged from his car payment, his rent was three months past due, his insurance, his telephone, his water and light bills and credit cards. Rick had explained that he had been deployed in November of 2006 with the 303 MP Company to Iraq. “Our primary mission was to train Iraqi police. We normally worked out of a city called Nafiit. My platoon. . . got hit the hardest in Iraq. Eighty percent of my platoon was wounded at some point in time throughout our deployment.”

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I am the FWSF website administrator and in charge of Public Relations.