American Legion National Commander James Koutz raised his fundraising goal for Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) to $750,000 on Wednesday morning as he opened Spring Meetings in Indianapolis. That same day, departments donated more than $54,000 to the program.
Koutz had set a goal of $500,000 during his acceptance speech at the 94th National Convention in August. To date, more than $490,000 has been raised for OCW to purchase rehabilitative and entertainment gifts for the nation’s wounded servicemembers.
“Wars may end but the issues facing our wounded warriors will be with many of them for the rest of their lives,” Koutz said. “Unfortunately, amputated limbs don’t grow back, the blind may never see and the nightmares that can accompany PTSD sometimes never go away. Whether we are showing our appreciation today at a warrior transition battalion or tomorrow at a VA center, the financial support for these heroes must continue.”
The full amount of every donation made to OCW goes towards items that help wounded warriors recover and assistance to returning servicemembers in the Heroes to Hometowns program. Since January, tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts have been distributed to recovering service men and women in about a dozen warrior transition units.
Koutz has been on hand to personally distribute exercise equipment, gear for adaptive sports programs and other gifts to wounded warriors at Fort Carson, Colo., Fort Jackson, S.C., and Fort Gordon, Ga.
Thanks to the generosity of OCW supporters, such gifts to the nation’s recovering military personnel will continue.
“Budget decreases and sequester may be the new normal in Washington, but The American Legion’s commitment to our fighting men and women will never be cut,” he said.