WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2011 – Volunteer organizations that improve
the lives of service members and their families must continue their
leadership in today's challenging times, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen,
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today at the Newman's
Own Foundation Awards ceremony held in the Pentagon's Hall of
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and
Thomas Indoe, right, Newman's Own president, present Chad Weikel,
Knights of Heroes Foundation recruitment director, the 2011 Newman's
Own Award at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, Sept. 2, 2011. The
Knights of Heroes provides an annual support summer camp for boys
and girls who have lost a father during military service. DOD photo
by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley
Six nonprofit military support organizations were awarded a total of
$75,000 for their work to better the lives of service members and
their families, courtesy of Newman's Own Foundation and the event's
cosponsors: the Fisher House Foundation and Military Times.
“We must make sure these programs continue and expand to make a
difference for our military and their families,” Mullen told the
audience of Defense Department officials and nonprofit military
“The families of the
fallen, families whose lives have changed forever, and the veterans
who are coming back by the hundreds of thousands must be cared for,”
Mullen continued. “The veterans who have served in Iraq and
Afghanistan will return to the communities and we've got to contact
them [to] make sure they're going to be OK.”
military veterans have kept Americans safe, Mullen said.
“And we need to make sure we're doing everything we can to make
their lives better,” he added.
The chairman thanked the 186 organizations that competed
for the awards and the six that took top honors. Mullen's
wife, Deborah, was among the judges, which also included
Lynne Pace, wife of retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, a
former JCS chairman, and Mary Jo Myers, wife of retired Air
Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, also a former JCS chairman.
“It was tough competition and that's a good thing,”
Mullen said. “Thank you for your consistent, persistent
Mullen praised the military-support work of sponsors Ken
Fisher and his family of the Fisher House Foundation, the
Military Times staff, and Newman's Own Foundation.
The six winning organizations received amounts totaling
$75,000, with the Knights of Heroes Summer Camp, Knights of
Heroes Foundation, in Colorado Springs, Colo., taking the
highest honor and corresponding $15,000 award.
Knights of Heroes Summer Camp supports boys and girls who
lost their fathers to the war. It is a one-on-one mentoring
program for children between the ages of 11 and 17 who are
invited to attend at no cost.
-- Little Heroes, of the Armed
Services YMCA, Fort Campbell, Ky., offers a school program
for 3- and 4-year-old children of deployed military parents.
-- Teddy's Child Watch, of Armed Services YMCA of
Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, is a child care
service available at no cost to service members and
immediate family while attending appointments at the
-- National Guard Employment Program,
Helping our Heroes at Home, of the Military Spouse Corporate
Career Network, Lake St. Louis, Mo. helps military spouses,
wounded warriors and their caregivers.
Subsidies, Military Women in Need, Los Angeles, provides
housing assistance and resource and referral services..
-- Wounded Warrior Family Care Program, Quality of Life
Foundation, Woodbridge, Va., develops and implement
strategies to improve the quality of life for those
individuals affected by limiting barriers.
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
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