Mullen Praises Military Support Organizations

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2011 — Vol­un­teer orga­ni­za­tions that improve the lives of ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies must con­tin­ue their lead­er­ship in today’s chal­leng­ing times, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said today at the Newman’s Own Foun­da­tion Awards cer­e­mo­ny held in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes.

Six non­prof­it mil­i­tary sup­port orga­ni­za­tions were award­ed a total of $75,000 for their work to bet­ter the lives of ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies cour­tesy of Newman’s Own Foun­da­tion and the event’s cospon­sors: the Fish­er House Foun­da­tion and Mil­i­tary Times. “We must make sure these pro­grams con­tin­ue and expand to make a dif­fer­ence for our mil­i­tary and their fam­i­lies,” Mullen told the audi­ence of Defense Depart­ment offi­cials and non­prof­it mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tions.

“The fam­i­lies of the fall­en, fam­i­lies whose lives have changed for­ev­er, and the vet­er­ans who are com­ing back by the hun­dreds of thou­sands must be cared for,” Mullen con­tin­ued. “The vet­er­ans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan will return to the com­mu­ni­ties and we’ve got to con­tact them [to] make sure they’re going to be OK.”

The nation’s mil­i­tary vet­er­ans have kept Amer­i­cans safe, Mullen said.

“And we need to make sure we’re doing every­thing we can to make their lives bet­ter,” he added.

The chair­man thanked the 186 orga­ni­za­tions that com­pet­ed for the awards and the six that took top hon­ors. Mullen’s wife, Deb­o­rah, was among the judges, which also includ­ed Lynne Pace, wife of retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, a for­mer JCS chair­man, and Mary Jo Myers, wife of retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, also a for­mer JCS chair­man.

“It was tough com­pe­ti­tion and that’s a good thing,” Mullen said. “Thank you for your con­sis­tent, per­sis­tent ded­i­ca­tion.”

Mullen praised the mil­i­tary-sup­port work of spon­sors Ken Fish­er and his fam­i­ly of the Fish­er House Foun­da­tion, the Mil­i­tary Times staff, and Newman’s Own Foun­da­tion.

The six win­ning orga­ni­za­tions received amounts total­ing $75,000, with the Knights of Heroes Sum­mer Camp, Knights of Heroes Foun­da­tion, in Col­orado Springs, Colo., tak­ing the high­est hon­or and cor­re­spond­ing $15,000 award.

The Knights of Heroes Sum­mer Camp sup­ports boys and girls who lost their fathers to the war. It is a one-on-one men­tor­ing pro­gram for chil­dren between the ages of 11 and 17 who are invit­ed to attend at no cost.

Orga­ni­za­tions award­ed $12,000 include:

— Lit­tle Heroes, of the Armed Ser­vices YMCA, Fort Camp­bell, Ky., offers a school pro­gram for 3- and 4-year-old chil­dren of deployed mil­i­tary par­ents.

— Teddy’s Child Watch, of Armed Ser­vices YMCA of Alas­ka, Joint Base Elmen­dorf-Richard­son, is a child care ser­vice avail­able at no cost to ser­vice mem­bers and imme­di­ate fam­i­ly while attend­ing appoint­ments at the hos­pi­tal.

— Nation­al Guard Employ­ment Pro­gram, Help­ing our Heroes at Home, of the Mil­i­tary Spouse Cor­po­rate Career Net­work, Lake St. Louis, Mo. helps mil­i­tary spous­es, wound­ed war­riors and their care­givers.

— Emer­gency Sub­si­dies, Mil­i­tary Women in Need, Los Ange­les, pro­vides hous­ing assis­tance and resource and refer­ral ser­vices..

— Wound­ed War­rior Fam­i­ly Care Pro­gram, Qual­i­ty of Life Foun­da­tion, Wood­bridge, Va., devel­ops and imple­ment strate­gies to improve the qual­i­ty of life for those indi­vid­u­als affect­ed by lim­it­ing bar­ri­ers.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)