After touring Walter Reed’s National Military Medical Center and seeing the positive effects a family’s love had on wounded warriors, Cheryl Campbell was inspired.
Cheryl Campbell started the EagleForce Warrior Foundation with one simple mission: helping veterans succeed by bringing loved ones together in their time of need.
"When you have an opportunity to tour Walter Reed, it’s clear that those who have family with them, an advocate with them, they have a sense of joy, a sense of hope and sense of future," Campbell said. "When their families are not there, you see hopelessness and uncertainly about what’s next."
RELATED: Click here for tickets to the 2019 EagleForce Warrior Foundation Gala
Campbell said that while the organization recognizes the excellent job the government does caring for wounded warriors, there are still unmet needs.
"The government pays for one family member to be with a wounded warrior, but we recognize you need all hands-on deck, you need family to self-advocate for them," Campbell said.
EagleForce Warrior Foundation is there for veterans, standing in and filling the gap.
"We provide aviation and ground transportation for wounded sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines, National Guardsmen, reservists, Coast Guardsmen, and their families as they transition to and from their initial critical care in military hospitals and subsequent treatment in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, civilian hospitals, and clinics," Campbell said.
As one of D.C.'s Top 50 Women in Technology, Campbell’s expertise and skills translate well as the foundation’s CEO. She credits her success in life to her father, a World War II veteran with the U.S. Army Corps.
"This goes to my roots," Campbell said. "The reason I am who I am in this world is because of my father and the skills he learned while serving that allowed him to become an entrepreneur and business owner."
Campbell also knows how important having a good job is to veterans who are transitioning back into their communities.
"As humans, we need to have a purpose and if we can help with transition services and put that into the home, that’s a big value added,” she said.
That's one reason EagleForce helps veterans with job training and placement.
Its partnership with Merrill Lynch provides paid employment internship programs, giving the veteran population the opportunity to train and become financial advisers and brokers. The partnership also holds veteran small business seminars.
EagleForce celebrates Veterans and their contributions to America through its Warrior Gala.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award is being given to Lt. General Robert S. Ferrell, U.S. Army Retired.
"It’s an honor, it’s a privilege," Ferrell said. "I’m very humbled to receive the award."
Ferrell grew up an Army Brat travelling around Europe and Hawaii. He was born in Alabama, and his family settled in New Jersey. They have a rich honor of serving the nation.
"My father served 22 years, a tour in the Korean War and two tours in Vietnam, his brother D-Day and another brother that was in the Air Force so it's really three generations that we have well over seven decades of service," Ferrell said.
Ferrell's mother, Georgian Ferrell, worked as a nurse while raising six children. She's retired now but still caring for people.
"My brother is suffering from PTSD from the service and she takes care of him as well as provides home care for the elderly," Ferrell said. "I got my work ethics and caring leadership from her."
Ferrell's said his first experience with the Army didn’t go so well.
"When I first tried to sign up for the Army, I was rejected," Ferrell said.
Back in the mid-70s, the Army had a height and weight scale. At 19 years old, Ferrell weighed 99 lbs.
"They told me to go home, eat healthy and come back in a couple of weeks to weigh in and in three weeks, I made weight," Ferrell said. "I realized the only obstacle in the way was me. That was the first challenge that I had for myself coming into the Army that I wanted overcome but I think from that experience to excel in everything started then."
Ferrell said this award is a reflection of what his family instilled in him -- love of country and love of family.
"I want to recognize EagleForce for its foundation and what they do in their core mission of supporting our veterans," Ferrell said. "They truly work with military service members men and women on adjusting to demands of life."
After 38 years of distinguished service, Robert retired from the Army in 2017.
He’s currently the Vice President of Federal strategy for World Wide Technology. He's married to the former Monique Doute’ of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and they have two adult sons.
If you would like to help celebrate Veterans and their contributions to America, the EagleForce Warrior Foundation’s 2019 Warrior Gala is being held on Saturday, June 8 at The Fairmont, D.C. located at 2401 M St., NW, Washington, D.C.