The following organizations are well known to me through personal experience and truly worthy of your time and resources.

/ Philanthropy

jeff-bolton-stacy-strong

#StacyStrong

facebook.com/EODCKentonStacy

America’s Gold Star families are a national treasure who have given all there is to give, and Phil and Lisa serve them in an extraordinary way by painting portraits of their fallen military children. I met them more than 10 years ago when they were first called to serve these families, and in the many years since that time I’ve seen their devotion and love poured out in full measure to both families of the fallen and those who continue to serve. Raising funds for portraits of our fallen military members is a difficult task because our logic says we should use our funds to take care of the living and the wounded. But in my experience, it’s vital to the families, and to the health of our country, to immortalize those who have given their lives for our nation. The incredible, life-like portraits give families a beautiful, tangible, memory of their fallen sons and daughters.

American Fallen Soldiers Project

americanfallensoldiers.com

America’s Gold Star families are a national treasure who have given all there is to give, and Phil and Lisa serve them in an extraordinary way by painting portraits of their fallen military children. I met them more than 10 years ago when they were first called to serve these families, and in the many years since that time I’ve seen their devotion and love poured out in full measure to both families of the fallen and those who continue to serve. Raising funds for portraits of our fallen military members is a difficult task because our logic says we should use our funds to take care of the living and the wounded. But in my experience, it’s vital to the families, and to the health of our country, to immortalize those who have given their lives for our nation. The incredible, life-like portraits give families a beautiful, tangible, memory of their fallen sons and daughters.

Educational Media Enterprises

educatemedia.org

EME serves an important role for America and the world as a provider of educational documentary programming. In an increasingly complex 21st century world, EME television programming focuses on subjects such as the military, space, cyber and artificial intelligence. The series focus on the role of often complicated subjects among the interconnected nations of the planet. This vital programming is purposefully produced in the non-profit environment to create conversations and foster open discussions among citizens and nations.

Gary Sinise Foundation

garysinisefoundation.org

Actors aren’t typically known for their compassion or humanity and that’s ok – they’re entertainers – not paragons of virtue. But when you see people whose careers reward them with notoriety and fortune cut so hard against the norm to serve military families, you can’t help but notice. And so it is with Gary Sinise. He’s my kind of guy when it comes to honoring our military and their families – tireless and authentic. Over the last ten years I’ve seen his organization increasing in size and scope for a very good reason — their efforts are allowing for efficiency and growth in serving our military families. Gary leads a terrific group of people pressing hard for good.

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

cavflight.org

There are few sights as moving in the air as seeing warbirds in flight, and the visceral sights and sounds of American metal hurtling through the sky reminds us all of heroes and honor. While some aircraft are displayed “static”, meaning they’re unable to fly, the Cavanaugh Flight Museum (CFM) is known primarily as a flying museum, and a large number of their aircraft fly at air shows and thrill crowds across America. The museum’s Vietnam Combat Search and Rescue routine, which I narrate live, is an incredible new air show attraction that debuted in 2017. I have the blessing of volunteering at the museum for the past several years, and it’s an honor to be involved with men and women who are dedicated to keeping the aircraft flying for veterans, their families, and American citizens. The museum always needs volunteers – jump in with a great group of people and you’ll get far more than you give.

Defenders of Freedom

defendersoffreedom.us

This is a tough one. Donna Cranston, the founder of DOF, is an exceptional human being who dares to venture where most people are the most uncomfortable – at the bottom of the barrel. She and her small band of fighters meet military veterans at their lowest point – wherever that may be – a meal, a rent payment, an electric bill, at the hospital or at the bottom of an empty alcohol or pill bottle. Her work isn’t sexy, exotic or cool like some programs – it’s gritty, hard, and absolutely vital. In many cases DOF is the last stop for veterans who have lost their way and simply don’t know where to turn. Donna is a deeply compassionate lioness for our struggling veterans and I can’t recommend her or DOF more highly. She’s the mom who doesn’t give up, even in the hardest times.

Honor Our Marines

honorourmarines.org
veteransmemorialparkpensacola.com

The United States Marine Corps is known for its motto, “SEMPER FI!”, which translates from Latin to English as “Always Faithful”. One of those always faithful Marines is a guy named LTCOL Will “Razz” Rasgorshek, USMC (ret.) A Marine aviator himself, he became highly motivated to honor fallen Marine aviators and crews after the loss of personal friends aboard a Marine Corps helicopter in 2007 (MORPHINE 12, see Seven Stars Foundation below). The result is a spectacular monument named the Marine Aviation Memorial Tower (MAMT) located at Veterans Memorial Park in Pensacola, Florida, the home of Naval aviation. The Tower is a beautiful place for Marine families to gather, grieve, honor, and celebrate their fallen loved ones. The Tower grounds are undergoing a planned phase two expansion in the near future and I encourage you to become involved in the effort. Marine aviation is an exceptionally difficult business, and yet our young men and women keep volunteering to fly to support Marine grunts and Army soldiers. The expansion of the Tower will ensure that we always have a proper place to honor them when they fall.

Seven Stars Foundation

sevenstarsfoundation.com

I always think of a specific Bible verse in Isaiah when I think of Joe and Laurie Landaker and their Seven Stars Foundation. In the verse God promises those mourning in Israel that “he will give them a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.” From the wreckage of Marine casualty evacuation mission call sign MORPHINE 12, which resulted in the deaths of five Marines and two Navy Corpsmen including their son LT. Jared Landaker, they have brought forth incredible beauty for ashes. The Seven Stars Foundation raises money to send hundreds of children of military members to camps across America for a week each summer. These children often have parents on long deployments with long separations, and it’s very difficult to measure the impact on their lives. Everyone agrees it’s very, very difficult for kids. When they gather together at camp with other kids like them it’s both helpful and healing. The life of Joe and Laurie’s son and his fellow crewmembers continue to have impact with their efforts and that’s an incredible legacy. I proudly volunteer for them.

Operation Care International

operationcareinternational.org

There may be no greater call for humanity than to take care of widows, children and the poor; homelessness encompasses these people and so many more. Operation Care International (OCI) serves a remarkable number of homeless in the United States and abroad. One of OCI’s signature events, The Birthday Party for Jesus, brings homeless people together once a year at Christmas to serve them with food, shoes, blankets, coats, medical care, toys, eye glasses, foot washing and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The return on investment (ROI) at OCI is phenomenal and you’ll be enriched by being involved with them. I’ve volunteered with OCI since 2014 and am a better human being for the experience.

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