I’m Cheryl Campbell, CEO of the EagleForce Warrior Foundation. Welcome to our inaugural Newsletter! My intent with this document is to keep it brief and laser focused to update you on Veteran Challenges and Foundation activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the Foundation’s Fundraising activities, we missed hosting the 3rd Annual Gala and Golf Event, but despite that, it has not diminished the need for the Foundation to help veteran’s succeed in civilian life. We continue to offer support to our nation’s wounded, injured and ill service members during the transition phase of their careers by filling gaps not covered by the parent departments of the 8 uniformed services and the Veterans Administration.
John Bushey joined EagleForce Warrior Foundation in August as the Program Director. John hails from Spencer, Iowa, and comes to us after retiring from the U.S. Navy. He served in a variety of assignments, the last of which was Director of the Navy Wounded Warrior Program here in Washington, DC. John is dedicated to supporting wounded, injured and ill service members, family members and veterans as they navigate through the complexities of transitioning from active duty to civilian life. John’s experience will be valuable as the Foundation expands to coordinate with our eight uniformed services. The foundation is happy to have John onboard.
Here are some of our recent success stories:
- A transitioning service member experienced a delay in the activation of her retirement pay, causing unexpected difficulties in her ability to pay her rent and down payment, phone bill and car payment. The Foundation stepped in to help her stand on her own two feet to begin her new civilian life.
- The Foundation provided $30,000 to Capital Caring Health to launch and support the “So No One Dies Alone” program. This initiative is a new program ensuring our Veteran heroes are surrounded by the compassionate presence of another person as they near the end of life.
- When a service member was taken gravely ill, the Foundation assisted his family in obtaining lodging at the Navy Inn as well as funds for incidentals.
- Air and ground transportation of family members to bedside of wounded, injured and ill service members
- Transition services for wounded, injured and ill service members as they adjust to their “new normal” following a traumatic medical circumstance
- Prescription savings program for medications not covered by insurance.
The effects of the pandemic on service members and veterans is of keen interest to the Foundation. A recently released paper by the Bob Woodruff Foundation presents two concerning data points where I believe EagleForce Warrior Foundation can make a difference:
- "The COVID-19 pandemic creates at least three conditions (emergent trauma, loneliness due to social isolation, and unplanned job or wage loss) that could culminate in a “perfect storm,” threatening the mental health of many veterans.
- “Veterans, especially younger veterans, have limited savings that are insufficient to support them through spells of unemployment that could last over 6 months. Before COVID-19, over one-third of post-9/11 veterans report challenges paying their bills after leaving the military; and 59 percent of veterans 35 to 44 years old had credit card debt compared with 48 percent of nonveteran households.”
An executive summary of the paper is available at https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/wp- content/uploads/2020/04/Veterans-and-COVID19-Exec-Summary-1.pdf and the entire paper is available at https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/BWF_WhitePaper-COVID19-5.0- Final.pdf.
Another area we are watching closely is veteran suicides. Multiple sources report we could lose an additional 550 veterans to suicide annually for every five percent increase in the national unemployment rate. Sources also project more than 20,000 veterans could suffer from substance abuse annually compared to pre-COVID levels. I encourage you to call, contact or visit a veteran today (as allowed by social distancing) to let them know someone cares about them. If you find a veteran in need the following resources are available for support:
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), Option 1
- Veterans Crisis Text: Text "HELP" to 838255
Thank you for supporting EagleForce Warrior Foundation. One thing the Pandemic has taught us is the value and usefulness of video and collaborative software and its importance as we strive to create a new normalcy. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us – we will always have a good listening ear. I look forward to connecting with all of you as we endeavor to support our wounded, injured and ill service members and veterans.
Please be on the lookout for updates to our main webpage at https://www.eagleforcewarrior.org and our social media sites https://www.facebook.com/EagleForceFndn and https://twitter.com/eagleforcefndn?lang=en.Donate Now