In 2021, The American Legion Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program provided 27 grants totaling $285,000.
A few of these grants provided servicemembers and veterans with:
- fitness equipment to use in the comfort of their home or to be active outside (kayak, elliptical strider, golf clubs);
- food and shelter as they hiked hundreds of miles for veteran suicide awareness;
- a rowing boat, oars, rack and trophy to compete in the Head of the Cuyahoga Regatta in Cleveland;
- an engraving and cutting system to help those visually impaired make leather and wood-working goods, such as wallets or cabinetry;
- clothing and toiletries during their stay and recovery at VA medical centers;
- a week of recreation with their families at Warrior Retreat at Bull Run in Virginia;
- warm clothes and winter coats for those homeless.
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany received a $6,000 OCW grant for clothing needs to its Chaplain’s Closet, which provides clothes and other comfort items for ill and wounded American servicemembers recovering at the medical center. The Chaplain’s Closet serves more than 200 servicemembers each month, wrote U.S. Army Chaplain Maj. Rickie E. Wambles Jr., to The American Legion. And because it’s not funded by the Department of Defense, it relies on donations.
“Thank you for your generous donation to the Chaplain’s Closet,” Wambles continued in his letter. “Your donation will be used for direct support of our Wounded Warriors taking good care of their daily needs in life, making them as comfortable as possible.”
The OCW program was established in 2007 to provide relief for active-duty military personnel recovering from wounds and illnesses at VA health-care facilities and transition units, and to purchase and deliver items not normally provided by the federal government, such as art and sports therapy equipment.
Learn more about how to apply for an OCW grant or donate to the program at legion.org/ocw. One hundred percent of donations go toward grants.