New York Times: In Veterans’ Aid

New York Times
November 8, 2012

By James Dao | New York Times | | November 8, 2012

GATHERING over a kitchen table and glasses of wine in early 2003, a group of officers' wives at Camp Pendleton, Calif., cobbled together a plan for helping Marines injured during the invasion of Iraq.

First they distributed snacks and toiletries at hospitals, then they bought plane tickets and special equipment for wounded Marines and their families. Volunteers all, the wives assumed that the war would end in 2004, allowing them to go happily out of business.

But the war not only continued, it expanded – and so did their endeavor. Today their organization, the Semper Fi Fund, has nationwide reach Read the rest of this entry »

North County Times: Wounded Marines help raise $300K in ride

October 31, 2012

By Linda McIntosh | North County Times | | October 31, 2012

Camp Pendleton Marine Lt. Col. Tres Smith was one of three injured servicemen who accompanied 65 cyclists earlier this month on a 430-mile fundraising bike ride from Scottsdale, Ariz., to Camp Pendleton that raised $300,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, which supports injured Marines and their families. Read the rest of this entry »

Marines help build fence for wounded warrior’s home

Volunteer Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines
October 25, 2012

By Amanda Wilcox | The Daily News | | October 25, 2012

Johnny McCallon felt forgotten.

He served his country for 16 years and suffered a traumatic brain injury after an improvised explosive device blew him out of a second story window during a tour of duty in Iraq. He later developed post traumatic stress disorder in addition to back and leg injuries he sustained during the blast. As a result, he was medically discharged from the Marine Corps in 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

North County Times: Actor Gary Sinise as "the new Bob Hope": Advocate for wounded troops performing at Naval Medical Center San Diego

October 19, 2012

By Gretel C. Kovach | North County Times | | October 19, 2012

Some of actor Gary Sinise's most memorable roles have been public servants injured in the line of fire who found solace in the healing power of relationships.

As Lt. Dan in the 1994 movie "Forrest Gump," he played an angry Vietnam War veteran whose friendship with the title character helps him make peace with life as a double amputee. In the television series "CSI: NY," Sinise is a police detective who leans on his girlfriend to recover from a gunshot wound.

His interactions with real-life men and women on the front lines or struggling at home to overcome disability inspired another major role – globe-trotting fundraiser, entertainer and advocate for military and law enforcement personnel. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 Olympic Opportunity Fund winners announced

October 18, 2012

By U.S. PARALYMPICS | | October 18, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Today the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and Veterans Affairs announced that more than $2M in grant funding has been awarded to a total of 97 organizations in support of Paralympic sport and physical activity programs for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

The Olympic Opportunity Fund is provided through a partnership between the USOC and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 were provided to USOC partner organizations to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically and visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sport programs. Read the rest of this entry »

North County Times: 430-mile bike ride with wounded Marines raises $300,000

ride 430 riders approaching finish line
October 16, 2012

By Linda McIntosh | North County Times | | October 16, 2012

Camp Pendleton Marine Lt. Col. Tres Smith was one of three injured servicemen who accompanied 65 cyclists on a 430-mile fundraising bike ride from Scottsdale, Arizona to Camp Pendleton that raised $300,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, which supports injured Marines and their families. Read the rest of this entry »

Norwich’s Semper Fi Club Raises $4,000 in Levy Challenge

October 11, 2012

By PRWeb | Danbury News Times | | October 11, 2012

The money raised will go to the Semper Fi Fund, and $2,000 will go towards the Walter N. Levy NROTC Scholarship.

Northfield, VT (PRWEB) October 11, 2012
Norwich University's Semper Fidelis Club raised $4,000 to be split evenly between the club and an NROTC inaugural scholarship from this year's Walter N. Levy Challenge, a Marine endurance race held on campus last month. Read the rest of this entry »

Around Annapolis: Ripley Race holds youth running clinic

ripley race clinic runners
September 28, 2012

By Diane M. Rey | The Capital | | September 28, 2012

Jon Brianas wants to inspire young runners to reach for more than just medals and trophies.
On Sunday, he gave a pep talk and led warm-up exercises to kick off a new six-week running clinic to encourage more youth to participate in the upcoming Ripley Race and promote its message of public service.

"This is an opportunity to connect the youth in our community to our nation's veterans and the sacrifices they make for our freedoms while encouraging children to participate in a healthy and active lifestyle," Brianas, race co-founder, said in a release. Read the rest of this entry »

Woodbridge Bike Tour To Support The Semper Fi Fund

September 28, 2012

By New Jersey Today | | September 28, 2012

WOODBRIDGE – On Sunday, Sept. 30, Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac and the mayor's Wellness Campaign will host the "Tour de Woodbridge Bike Tour" with a portion of the proceeds of this year's ride benefiting the Semper Fi Fund. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the best of bounty suspension, New Orleans Saints Joe Vitt will coach wounded veterans

Joe Vitt and New Orleans Saints
September 21, 2012

By Mike Triplett | The Times-Picayune | | September 21, 2012

It should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever met Joe Vitt that he's not well-equipped to handle a six-week suspension away from coaching. The football lifer can rarely even manage six hours of sleep without heading back into the office.

So the New Orleans Saints assistant head coach has found a remarkable way to turn this whole sordid bounty mess into a positive.

Vitt will head to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Monday, where he plans to live around the clock for the next few weeks while working with wounded combat veterans from the United States armed forces through the Semper Fi Fund program. Read the rest of this entry »

Clark Lake woman runs ’emotional’ 50K event, raises money to help injured U.S. soldiers

September 20, 2012

By Tarryl Jackson | M Live | | September 20, 2012

BROOKLYN, MI – On Sunday, Joei Ellis went on a 50K run that ended up being a tearful and emotional one for her.

The Clark Lake resident was thinking about Cpl. Patrick "Pappy" Matisi, one of her son's comrades who was critically injured in July 2011 in Afghanistan and almost didn't survive. Read the rest of this entry »

The Huffington Post: Taylor Morris, Quadruple Amputee, Dances With Girlfriend Danielle Kelly

Picture 1
September 17, 2012

By Katherine Bindley | The Huffington Post | | September 17, 2012

Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly's love story is a captivating one: Morris was hit by an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan and became one of the few surviving quadruple amputees, but that didn't stop him from dancing at a recent wedding with the girlfriend who has stayed by his side throughout his recovery Read the rest of this entry »

Military Press: Semper Fi Ride For Heroes Completed

Ben Maenza
August 22, 2012

By Military Press | | August 22, 2012

On Friday August 10th, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund Ride For Heroes arrived at its final destination in a two-month coast-to-coast journey as cyclists Dennis McLaughlin, John Gerlaugh, Troy McLeheny and Ben Maenza crossed the finish line in Del Mar Beach, Calif. Since embarking upon the trek in June, the riders have been making their way across the country on recumbent trikes to bring awareness to the needs of wounded veterans, ultimately raising $92,000 for the Semper Fi Fund. Read the rest of this entry »

"Ride for Heroes" rolls through Combat Center

August 10, 2012
Ride for Heroes team continues their journey

Photo By: Lance Cpl Ali Azimi

By Lance Cpl Ali Azimi | DVIDS | | August 10, 2012

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – The Ride for Heroes team's journey began in St. Augustine, Fla. They have traveled across the southern paths of the United States to their final destination – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

On July 31, the Ride for Heroes team arrived at the Combat Center on their way to the ocean.

Upon their arrival, the Combat Center showed their support with Marines standing at the gate to greet the tired cyclists. Read the rest of this entry »

North County Times: "Ride for Heroes" to reach Pendleton on Friday

Members of the Ride for Heroes team ride to their next destination (150)
August 7, 2012
ride for heroes member biking cross-country

By Mark Walker | North County Times | | August 7, 2012

Four recumbent tricycle riders who departed St. Augustine, Fla., in early June for fundraising trip for the Oceanside-based Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund are scheduled to arrive at Camp Pendleton on Friday afternoon.

Three of the participants in the "Ride for Heroes" are former Marines, including a double amputee Afghanistan veteran. Read the rest of this entry »