Troops First Foundation
Each month in this section the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems highlights a different charity that benefits military veterans and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day and to back that up, our parent company – OpenSystems Media – will make a donation to each charity we showcase on this page.
This January 2015 we featured Troops First Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers programs and events for wounded warfighters and their families that focus on mentoring, relationship building, reintegration, and looking forward.
While visiting deployed troops in the Middle East with a group of college basketball coaches in 2005, Rick Kell met with several Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) patients. After several visits, friendships were formed, and Kell decided he wanted to give back in a more meaningful way. He spent two years gaining insight on Warrior Care, and started brainstorming ideas for programs to assist OEF/OIF veterans. He shared his experience with fellow troops advocate and popular golf broadcaster, David Feherty, and together they created Troops First Foundation (T1F) in 2008.
Feherty hosts several I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Days) per year, including activities like golf, deer and pheasant hunting, cycling, and other trips to various locations. T1F has also created several initiatives, such as:
Operation Coaches and Warriors – This initiative provides a Wounded Warrior with a personal message from his/her favorite college basketball coach (inspired by Kell’s love of the sport).
Operation Front Door – A housing grant initiative developed to assist OEF/OIF combat-wounded veterans secure home ownership.
Operation Proper Exit – This initiative is for Wounded Warriors who are thriving in recovery and are capable of returning to theater so that they may leave on their own terms. This program stages a meet-and-greet tour to forward operating bases with a group of fellow recovered soldiers.
Operation V.I.P (Visit Important People) – This program is for the patients of the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. This initiative is responsible for scheduling a celebrity or sports figure to visit the hospital and create connections with the patients to raise spirits and help with the healing process.
To learn more about T1F and its initiatives and information about donating, visit www.troopsfirstfoundation.org.
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