Today, in advance of the Fourth of July holiday, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched the first of its kind Veteran Support Fund, a groundbreaking new initiative that challenges Americans to raise $30 million in support for critical nonprofit programs and resources benefitting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. TheVeteran Support Fund, pioneered by entrepreneurs and philanthropists Philip D. Green and his wife Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, Glenn and Laurie Garland, and Jim and Patty Stimmel, establishes a centralized platform where Americans can support and donate to a consortium of effective and trusted best-in-class veterans’ organizations including IAVA, Operation Mend, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Operation Homefront and the National Military Family Association.
“Ten years ago, someone else’s sons and daughters went to war. I was able to sleep at night dreaming of my kid’s medical school graduation while another parent was up all night worrying about whether their child would survive on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan. As parents, my wife and I want to ensure that the sacrifices of these veterans and their families do not go unnoticed. Our family and children have enjoyed tremendous freedoms and success because these men and women put on the uniform—and they deserve more than a handshake when they get home,” said Philip D. Green, Co-Founder of The Veteran Support Fund and President of PDG Consulting. “Yet, our society does not do nearly enough to support them in return. Starting this innovative Veteran Support Fund is our attempt to level the playing field for new veterans and their families. All Americans, especially civilians, owe it to our veterans to make a financial sacrifice commensurate with the sacrifices that they have carried for our nation. My wife and I want to do everything in our capacity to turn the tide on giving to veterans and start a nationwide movement of Americans who can and will give back to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans because we owe them nothing less.”
“Supporting veterans isn’t charity, it’s an absolute necessity and an investment in our country’s future. After ten years of war, our nation’s military families are strained, nonprofit services are maxed out and our veterans’ community is severely under-resourced. We are at a watershed moment in the history of these wars and theVeteran Support Fund is the game-changer we need to transform support and resources at home,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “As the war winds down in Afghanistan, we need a strong foundation of trusted, best-in-class nonprofit organizations working together to deliver diverse and critical resources across our community. Through their generous commitments, the Green, Garland and Stimmel families are stepping up to meet this challenge. They have challenged other Americans to follow their lead. IAVA and our partners are indebted to these Founders of the Veteran Support Fund for their inspiration, drive and support. Together, we will transform hundreds of thousands of veterans’ lives forever.”
The Veteran Support Fund is the groundbreaking initiative of three generous and visionary families led by entrepreneurs and philanthropists Philip D. Green and his wife Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, Glenn and Laurie Garland, and Jim and Patty Stimmel. As parents, whose children never served in uniform, they are determined to rally American families, foundations and corporations nationwide to impact and transform the lives of the 2.4 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their initial founding gifts totaling $1.1 million to launch the Veteran Support Fund are made possible in part by Geisinger Health System, the Mission Health System in Asheville North Carolina and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. To learn more about the Founders of the Veteran Support Fund and their mission, visit www.iava.org/vsf.
The Veteran Support Fund currently consists of five partner organizations that touch the lives of veterans and their families in a tailored, critical way, ranging from offering free cutting-edge reconstructive surgery for wounded veterans to supporting the children and families of our fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. All partners have 501(c)(3) status with critical missions, strong financial health, seasoned leaders, broad national impact and scalable models, and a high percentage of expenses strictly devoted to programming. The five partner organizations include:
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) provides core health, education, employment and community programs to build an empowered generation of veteran leaders for our country and their local communities.
- Operation Mend provides lifelong medical support to a limited number of critically injured Iraq and Afghanistan active and retiring service members and veterans.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides ongoing emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America.
- Operation Homefront provides emergency financial aid and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.
- National Military Family Association (NMFA) fights for benefits and programs that strengthen and protect uniformed services families and reflect the Nation’s respect for their service.
The Veteran Support Fund encourages all Americans, especially civilians, to repay the special debt of gratitude we owe to veterans and their families. The Fund accepts all gifts regardless of amount from individuals, corporations, and foundations both public and private. To learn more about the Veteran Support Fund, visit www.iava.org/vsf.