Mullen Praises Newman’s Own Foundation, Military Charities

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2010 — The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yes­ter­day praised the Newman’s Own Foun­da­tion and nine mil­i­tary char­i­ties that shared a $2.5 mil­lion award from the foun­da­tion.
At the annu­al “Newman’s Own Awards” cer­e­mo­ny here, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said the foundation’s role as a fund­ing stream in an era when car­ing for ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies is crit­i­cal allows mil­i­tary char­i­ties to focus on mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

The sac­ri­fices U.S. ser­vice­mem­bers have made to the nation con­sti­tute a debt that must be addressed and repaid, Mullen said. “We as a coun­try must rec­og­nize the debt these young peo­ple have cre­at­ed can nev­er be repaid, and it ought to be our con­sid­er­a­tion as the first check we write, [to] do as much as we can to repay that debt,” the chair­man said. 

“We in the mil­i­tary feel priv­i­leged to be the focus of his orga­ni­za­tion,” Mullen said of late actor Paul Newman’s foun­da­tion. New­man died in 2008. Nine mil­i­tary ser­vice char­i­ties were select­ed for con­tri­bu­tions from a $2.5 mil­lion award to con­tin­ue their work sup­port­ing ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies before, dur­ing and after deploy­ment. The foun­da­tion made the awards to the Armed Ser­vices YMCA, Fidel­co Guide Dog Foun­da­tion, the Fish­er House Foun­da­tion, the Nation­al Mil­i­tary Fam­i­ly Asso­ci­a­tion, Oper­a­tion Home­front, Out­ward Bound for Vet­er­ans, Tragedy Assis­tance Pro­gram for Sur­vivors, the USO and War­rior Gateway. 

The char­i­ties hon­ored last night and oth­ers like them pro­vide the “life-sus­tain­ing require­ments” of today’s ser­vice­mem­bers, Mullen said. “Their lives have changed while their dreams have not,” he said. But the path to reach­ing those goals has changed, he added, and the char­i­ties pro­vide essen­tial help. “Enabling them — because they have giv­en so much — is absolute­ly vital,” he said. 

Mullen cit­ed a recent increase in bat­tle­field injuries com­pa­ra­ble to the rate of those in 2004 and 2005 and not­ed the spir­it that makes wound­ed war­riors wor­thy of the efforts on their behalf. 

“There isn’t one young sol­dier, sailor, air­man or Marine who would­n’t get back in the fight,” he said. “[They knew] they were serv­ing in some­thing big­ger than them­selves.” Paul New­man and the Newman’s Own Foun­da­tion donat­ed more than $300 mil­lion to thou­sands of char­i­ties around the world, accord­ing to its web­site, which also notes that New­man was “com­mit­ted to help­ing make the world a bet­ter place.” 

The foun­da­tion donates all net roy­al­ties and prof­its after tax­es it receives from the sale of Newman’s Own prod­ucts to char­i­ties worldwide. 

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

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