The American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) fundraising drive is around $100,000 short of the goal set by National Commander James Koutz.
American Legion Family members and others have contributed a little more than $646,000 since Koutz announced OCW as his major fundraising initiative during his year as commander. The goal is to raise at least $750,000 by the time the next commander is installed at National Convention in late August.
"During my travels as commander, I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of Legionnaires, Auxiliary members and Sons of The American Legion," Koutz said. "Your donations have helped our wounded warriors as they recover from various physical injuries, illnesses and mental trauma they suffered while defending our freedom."
One hundred percent of OCW donations go toward assisting recovering servicemembers in warrior transition units (WTU) and severely injured veterans in the Heroes to Hometowns program. Heroes to Hometowns, now under the OCW umbrella, is a transition program that provides a support network and coordinates resources for those servicemembers.
OCW donations are used to purchase rehabilitation equipment and entertainment for wounded servicemembers in WTUs and military hospitals. For example, in the past year, donations have been used to purchase:
Golf, archery, basketball and softball equipment for use in the sports adaptive therapy program at Fort Jackson, S.C.
ADA-compliant picnic tables and benches for Fort Campbell, Ky.
Kayaking and fishing equipment, and electronic dart boards for Fort Drum, N.Y.
Kitchen items such as pots, pans and silverware for those staying at the WTU in Fort Bragg, N.C.
In September, donations will be used to provide lunch and a day at Six Flags San Antonio for Brooke Army Medical Center patients and their families.
"With the continued generosity of the Legion Family, we will be able to continue providing these items that truly make a difference to our men and women who need our help," Koutz said. "I thank you for your kindness. And so do our recovering warriors."