Today, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies joins the nation in expressing our gratitude for the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces.
Over 21-million veterans live in America. Despite their service – and often because of it – these veterans face profound challenges:
- More than 4.3 million veterans receive federal disability payments.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs compensates more than 865,000 veterans for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Nearly 48,000 veterans are homeless on any given night – about 8% of the total homeless population. Half of them have a serious mental illness. 70% have substance abuse problems.
- More than 8,000 veterans die every year from suicide, nearly 20% of all suicides in the United States.
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies partners with many of this region’s passionate donors to help local veterans, supporting them through a number of different funds. With scholarships, memorials, and fundraisers, we’re helping to educate and honor veterans right here at home. These funds provide veterans with wheelchairs and access to life-saving services. They provide scholarships to veterans’ family members. They work to make sure communities understand and recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women who make up our military.
We helped fund a documentary about Sgt. Michael Strank – a Franklin Borough native who became a part of World War II history when he and his unit raised a flag on Iwo Jima, inspiring a world famous sculpture of the moment.
We contributed to a memorial of Lt. Col. Boyd Wagner, who was raised in Nanty Glo and grew up to be a WWII fighter ace with the US Air Force. A re-creation of his fighter plan is mounted in front of Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, preserving his story for future generations.
If you’d like to honor local veterans through the Community Foundation, here are a sampling of funds that you may want to support:
- The Sergeant First Class Raymond Richard Buchan Memorial Scholarship Fund and Veterans Education Project: a scholarship for students who have made a commitment to serve in the military or have a veteran in their family. This scholarship is named for a Westmont graduate, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007.
- Bedford County Veterans and Citizens for Heroes Fund: a fund providing high-tech wheelchairs to veterans in need.
- The World War II Commemorative Committee Fund: to fund the maintenance of a veterans memorial park in Windber.
- Korean War Monument Fund: to support the completion of a Korean War Monument for Bedford, Pa.
- WWII Monument Preservation Fund: to provide for the maintenance of the WWII statue dedicated on September 6, 2014, located near the corner of Penn and Juliana streets in Bedford, Pa.
- Vietnam War Monument Fund: to support the completion of a Vietnam War Monument for Bedford, Pa.
- Patriot Park Foundation Fund: to enhance and support the development and maintenance of Patriot Park near the Flight 93 Memorial, to honor all post 9-11 veterans.
If you would like to support a different veterans-related need, consider creating a fund of your own. To find out how we can help, contact Donor Services Officer Paula Hencel: firstname.lastname@example.org, (814) 536-7741, ext. 111.