The American Legion's Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program helped sponsor a wounded warrior dinner March 21 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for 30 servicemembers and their families. The dinner, hosted by the Aleethia Foundation for the past 11 years, is a way of honoring and rewarding wounded warriors recovering from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
During the event, James Ellison, The American Legion's OCW program coordinator, conducted a drawing for two Apple iPads and presented guests with OCW caps and Amazon gift cards.
The Aleethia Foundation was co-founded in October 2003 by Hal Koster, a former Vietnam War helicopter gunner and crew chief who is now a prominent Washington restaurateur. Koster says the group was the brainchild of fellow Vietnam vet Jim Mayer. Mayer lost both legs in 1969 when he tripped over a land mine; he was only two months into his "in country" tour of duty.
The foundation’s stated mission is to "support newly injured service members with short-term therapeutic recreation, small financial grants, family emergency aid, assistive technology items, home improvements to assist with an injured service member’s mobility and other unmet needs."