May 31, 2012
2011 Holiday Appeal Raised $140,000 for U.S. Troops in Need, More Than $1 million Raised to Date
For the 9th year in a row, JINSA members and non-members alike supported American troops through JINSA’s Deserving Soldiers Holiday Appeal. In 2011, JINSA raised close $140,000 toward these efforts. Since the campaign began in 2003, JINSA has raised and distributed more than $1 million.
“Please be assured that you have touched the hearts of many deserving men and women who selflessly serve their country and pay the price for our freedom on a daily basis. Your efforts validate that they are not forgotten and their sacrifices are truly appreciated by great Americans like yourselves. Again, thank you for your dedication and commitment to our Army Special Operations Forces. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the Institute’s unparalleled generosity and uncommon patriotism.” – Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Major General Sidney Shachnow, USA (ret.), a member of JINSA’s Board of Advisors, served as advisor and coordinator for this effort. The funds were raised in collaboration with other JINSA volunteers over the course of the holiday season.
Funds are distributed from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day and all of the money JINSA collected went directly to the troops identified by their unit commanders as in critical need of financial assistance so they could participate fully in the holiday season and to those in need of assistance due to catastrophic wounds. About 80% of the collected funds were distributed for the holiday season, while 20% of the funds went to severely wounded soldiers.
This year, JINSA learned specifics about one of the very deserving soldiers and a recipient of some of the funds generated by the appeal, a Green Beret on his third deployment. He was ambushed by a suicide bomber while on patrol in Afghanistan. Prior to that injury, this Sergeant had also been wounded by two other blasts. In the final bomb blast, he suffered a penetrating wound to his chest and back from a large ball bearing. He has lost 70% of his left lung and had to deal with transfusions and several bouts of pneumonia. In addition, he still has cognitive losses from his Traumatic Brain Injuries from the repeated blasts; PTSD because of his injuries and the loss of fellow soldiers in the blasts. He also suffers from chronic pain from nerve damage in his thoracic area, as well as headaches, knee, back and neck pain.
The majority of the funds were distributed to families within the U.S. Special Operations Command to include Army Special Forces, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Naval Special Warfare Command, and Air Force Special Operations Command.
Commenting about this campaign, General Sid Shachnow stated,
“Fighting two wars has put a great strain on our military. Many are on their sixth and seventh tour in a combat zone. Military members and their families are using more food stamps than in previous years. According to the Department of Defense, they are redeeming them at nearly twice the civilian rate. These families have or had a breadwinner serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries where American troops are deployed or have had a family member killed in action. JINSA provides these funds to soldiers to relieve the burden of these families at the holidays, and allow them to concentrate on their families instead of just paying bills.”
In response to the appeal, JINSA received heartfelt thank you notes from the commanders on behalf of troops and some of those individuals who benefited from the donations:
"...the real reason I’m writing you, is to tell you about today. I received an email outlining a very generous donation from JINSA for our families who could use a hand up or some holiday cheer. [I] really appreciate it and can assure you it will be well received and truly appreciated. Patriots and organizations such as JINSA really help when we need it the most. Thanks again and please pass my heartfelt admiration and appreciation to JINSA." - U.S. Navy SEAL Master Chief
“Thank you again for your generous offer to help our soldiers and their families as part of your Holiday Appeal. And thanks to that angel in the background, JINSA. Of course, all these units currently have soldiers deployed to some 57 countries around the world - including Afghanistan." - Colonel, U.S. Army Special Forces
One recipient of some of this funding, a Staff Sergeant in a USAF Para-rescue Squadron thanked JINSA Officers, Board members and Members of JINSA by saying,
“It is wonderful to see that there are folks who really do walk the walk when it comes to supporting our troops.” We at JINSA only have to say this to our troops, “thank you for walking the walk every day.”
JINSA continues to encourage the public to support the U.S. military in this time of great demands and great stresses. For further information about the Holiday Appeal, please contact email@example.com