Thanks to the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, my wife was able to spend 6 months with me at Fort Knox, Kentucky. I was medi-vaced from Afghanistan in 2012 where I ended up at Fort Knox. My family lived in Michigan. It was a 7 hour drive for my family to visit me. My wife was still working and her income was very important to our financial situation. Because I was from the National Guard, we were unable to get support from the Army to help my family move down to Fort Knox to help take care of me after surgery. The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund stepped up and helped my family with the move. I had spent 21 months at Fort Knox. The 6 months with my family was the best thing that could happen. I was able to spend time with my daughter who was starting kindergarten. I missed nearly 3 years of my daughters life. The 6 months was a true blessing and only made possible by the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund.
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.