For the second year in a row, the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes (CSAH) and The American Legion are joining forces to ensure that 2,000 military veterans and servicemembers – severely wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq – get to enjoy a special meal at Thanksgiving with those closest to them.
During the week of Nov.14, the two non-profit organizations will be mailing out 2,000 gift checks worth $60 each to disabled veterans or servicemembers across the country, so they can use the money to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. The funds come from charitable contributions made to the CSAH, which has been providing emergency financial aid and other support services since 2004 to veterans injured in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
"Our donors feel very strongly that these brave men and women should not only be assisted with rebuilding their lives, but also recognized for the sacrifices they have made to defend our freedoms. And what better time to do that than on Thanksgiving?" said David Walker, chairman of the CSAH's board of directors. "We are very grateful to The American Legion for helping us identify so many deserving recipients of these checks, and enabling us to deliver them promptly and efficiently."
Peter Gaytan, executive director of The American Legion in Washington, said, "Once again, we are honored to join with the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes in such a worthwhile undertaking. Thanksgiving is a time when all Americans take stock of their many blessings. One of those blessings everyone should appreciate is the dedication of our men and women in uniform who protect our country's liberties with their lives."
In addition to this year's joint initiative with The American Legion, CSAH will be providing another 1,000 checks of equal value to severely wounded veterans and servicemembers listed in the organization's own records. That will bring the number of Thanksgiving gift checks the CSAH has distributed since 2009 to nearly 8,000. The Connecticut-based organization also provides wounded servicemembers with checks of varying amounts for other holidays, such as Christmas and Easter.