Memorial Day 2016 To all those families of service men and women who have paid the ultimate price in defending our freedom, our heartfelt syimpathy and unending gratitude. They, nor you, will ever be forgotten, especially by those of us who served by their side.
And let us teach a new generation that Memorial Day originated as a day to honor these brave heroes who died in battle, not a day to remember all that have passed by other means. Yes, we join you in remembering our dead, but never forget the true meaning and origin of Memorial Day, we owe that to those that served and fell under our Flag.
As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, let us shed light on those that will fall today to an enemy from within. This message is about those that will succumb to our enemies today, on Memorial Day, and every other day in recent history, at an epidemic rate of over 22 each and every day. While we celebrate Memorial Day in our own way, at parades, speeches, cemeteries, picnics, poolside, there will be 22 heroes in our Nation that fall to another enemy, in another battle. A battle that takes place in their mind and in their soul. A battle against depression rooted in perhaps unemployment, in divorce or lost families, in self-medication with pain killers and/or alcohol, in memories of unspeakable combat, or losing teammates in battle or to suicide after, or in unending daily hurdles they simply can’t negotiate on their own, clouded by their own darkness and despair. Many simply believe no one cares or understands
These men and women that fall today are heroes just like the rest. They deserve full honors and our unconditional gratitude. And in their memory, they deserve for us to fight this senseless epidemic just as we have fought other wars that challenge our freedom. Not one more, not tomorrow, not ever.
The Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation is one of many organizations fighting this fight. By reaching out to Veterans in crisis, by funding critical non-profits that bring our darkest Veterans into the light through a myriad of mental health and therapeutic programs, we fight by their side again. Please help us help them.
\ If you know of a Veteran in crisis, please contact us at email email@example.com. Visit our webpage at www.paveteransfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook to see the programs that are offered. Together, we can offer hope, establish self-esteem and self-worth, and begin eradicating this epidemic of Veteran suicides. For immediate assistance, contact the Veteran Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 Press 1, or text 838255.
Chairman’s Message on Volunteering. We have been receiving emails and comments about the 2016 CBS News story and the NY Times article on a national non-profit. Well, you judge using the adjective "non-profit" for yourself, we will not. We find it unprofessional to publicly bash those that help Veterans. If they are helping themselves, that is something you should discover on your own with research prior to donating. All non-profit IRS Form 990 are accessible by the public; it shows where the money goes. Some organizations spend millions on salaries, on conferences, on travel, and on their cause. If that is justified is your decision, we won't discuss the merits.
We can only share what we know to be fact. The Pennsylvania Veterans Foundation does not conduct conferences; we are too busy working. We do not pay for travel or any other compensation, our volunteers pay out of pocket. We don’t have any one that receives salary or wages or any benefits. Well, we all share the benefit of intrinsically loving what we do. You won’t see any famous people pitching for us on TV, you won’t find us on a ketchup bottle, or our logo on t-shirts and sweatshirts of brand name retailers. We don’t help just wounded, we help all veterans. We don’t help just Post 9/11 veterans, we help all eras from WW II to those in uniform. We also help surviving spouses and children. We help other PA non-profits that share our passion, our stingy spending, our volunteer work force. When you give us a dollar, we do everything possible to get all 100 pennies to the Veteran in need. Our admin rate is around 2%, we unfortunately must maintain insurance and an annual audit if we are to remain credible. Those companies charge us, although they should do it pro bono. We tried! And we won’t send you a blanket or a hat or a t-shirt if you donate to us. We will, however, send you a heartfelt thank you letter that you can use for tax purposes if you so desire.
There are a lot of great causes, Veteran support is our favorite and likewise to many of you. Use due diligence in researching where your money goes. We are sorry if you are shocked at these news clips and articles, or worse yet, are angry that you donated to these type organizations. Don’t be fooled by what you see and hear, research and then spend your precious dollars where they will be used as you intended. To help our Nation's heroes and their familes.