Troops First Foundation
Each issue in this section, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight 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. To back that up, our parent company – OpenSystems Media – will make a donation to every charity we showcase on this page.
This issue we are highlighting Feherty’s Troops First Foundation, an 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was created to develop, operate, and support wellness, quality-of-life, and event-based initiatives for post-9/11 combat-injured warriors. Cofounder and executive director Rick Kell – together with his friend, former pro golfer and broadcaster David Feherty – founded the Troops First Foundation in 2008 as a way to provide Iraq and Afghanistan warfighters all over the U.S. with targeted, specific programs that were not being offered anywhere else.
The Troops First Foundation offers a number of programs for these combat-injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, including providing housing assistance for the vets and their families; “Operation Warrior Call,” which connects returning service members with returned warriors back home and community members to give them a critical support network as the nation combats the veteran suicide crisis; and “24-7 Battle Buddies,” a service-dog program that matches canines to wounded post-9/11 veterans. Each 24-7 Battle Buddy is specifically trained to aid the warriors with their everyday needs and help them successfully navigate daily life.
The foundation also sponsors “Operation Proper Exit,” which enables wounded warfighters who are thriving in recovery and are capable of returning to theater the opportunity to meet with currently deployed troops, in many cases to the site where the returned warfighter was injured. These trips, say foundation officials, often bring the veteran a measure of closure and offer the current troops a unique perspective.
For more information on the Troops First Foundation, please visit www.troopsfirstfoundation.org.