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Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

Spirit of Blue Awards LMT Rifles to the Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

Spirit of Blue Awards LMT Rifles to the Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team

Lansing, Michigan – December 21, 2018 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded an Equipment Safety Grant to the Michigan State Police (MSP) in the form of five tactical rifles valued at a combined $12,995.  The MSP Emergency Support Team received the rifles and they will use them to assist in the conduct of their duties across the state.  LMT Defense, the manufacturer of the rifles, generously donated the product, which they manufacture domestically in Milan, Illinois.  Also contributing to the grant also was Law Enforcement United who has supported Spirit of Blue’s efforts since 2016 and Eugene Adamczyk (MSP Inspector, ret.) who was instrumental in the execution of the grant.

The Spirit of Blue presented the Michigan State Police with five tactical rifles valued at $12,955.  Presenting the grant (left to right) were Mathew Pruitt, LMT Director of Sales & Marketing; Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director and Gary Blair, Board Chairman of Spirit of Blue.  Receiving the grant (left to right) were Lt. David Sosinski, Emergency Support Team Leader and Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police.

“The Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team handles over 200 high-risk calls for service each year,” said MSP Director, Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. “We sincerely appreciate the generosity of the Spirit of Blue Foundation, LMT Defense and Law Enforcement United. I assure you that your support of our team will have a significant impact across the state of Michigan.”

 

The donated LMT Defense CQB10-MARS-LA rifles feature a fully ambidextrous lower assembly, 10.5” barrel, railed hand guards, select-fire trigger group and other enhancements making it specifically suited for the Emergency Support Team’s use.  LMT Defense was founded in 1980 to provide the US military, law enforcement and government agencies with precision engineered, high quality weapons.  Since that time LMT Defense has gone on to distribute its product to militaries, national police agencies and VIP protection details in 43 nations around the world.

“We are very happy to see these amazing tools go to such a very professional and deserving agency,” stated Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation. “From the command staff all the way down to the most junior member of the Emergency Support Team, it is clear that the people of Michigan are served incredibly well.  And now this team will have will have an extra measure of capability to employ if and when it is necessary.” 

 

Statistics maintained by the Officer Down Memorial Page show that 145 law enforcement officers lost their lives so far in 2018 – a 6% increase over the previous year.  50 of those deaths were firearm related, a 12% increase over 2017.  The reality of these statistics, and the increasing number of underfunded law enforcement agencies across the country, fuel the Spirit of Blue safety grant initiative.

 

The Spirit of Blue Foundation actively encourages the public at large to honor and appreciate law enforcement officers who serve and protect our communities. By supporting the Spirit of Blue Foundation, the public can make an impact in the lives of law enforcement officers every day. To learn more about the Spirit of Blue, or make a donation, visit www.spiritofblue.org.

 

5th Quartermaster Brings Holiday Cheer with Operation Toy Drop

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

ALZEY, Germany — U.S., NATO ally and partner paratroopers participated in the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company’s Operation Toy Drop Dec. 11-14.

Capt. Rizzoli Elias, company commander, the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, gives a German child a stuffed animal as part of Operation Toy Drop at Alzey, Germany Dec. 13. Operation Toy Drop is an annual multi-national training event designed to strengthen relations with the local community and develop interoperability.

Operation Toy Drop is an annual multi-national training event. It entails sharing airborne operations, tactics, techniques and procedures, strengthening relationships with local communities and with NATO allies and partners as well as developing interoperability.

“It’s so much fun seeing other nations get in on our training and us to get on their training to see how they operate with these airborne operations, to see how we operate,” said Sgt. Kyle D. Shields, a parachute rigger with the 5th Quartermaster, Theater Aerial Delivery Company, 16th Special Troops Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade.

A paratrooper with an open parachute descends over Alzey Drop Zone during Operation Toy Drop in Alzey, Germany, Dec. 13. Operation Toy Drop is an annual multi-national training event designed to strengthen relations and develop interoperability.

“All of us use different parachute systems across the different militaries, so it’s just trying to get everybody synced up in one parachute system and make sure everybody understands that every system has a risk factor and different ways you have to steer it, fly it and turn it,” Shields said.

Holiday cheer played a major role during Operation Toy Drop.

Part of this cheer was Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and elves jumping out of an airplane and then giving toys to children from the Kaiserslautern area. Both U.S. and German children smiled and laughed with excitement as they received presents from members of the 5th Quartermaster, Theater Aerial Delivery Company, who dressed up as Christmas characters during Operation Toy Drop. The toys given to the children were donated by paratroopers participating in this event.

U.S., NATO ally, and partner service members receive Irish jump wings during a wing ceremony exchange hosted by the 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company, at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Kaiserslautern, Germany Dec. 14. The paratroopers earned their jump wings while participating in Operation Toy Drop, an annual multi-national training event designed to strengthen relations with the local community and develop interoperability.

“It’s a huge role for us to give back, especially to the local community within Germany, to all these kids and the American community that may not get as many presents as we do on Christmas,” said Sgt. Joshua A. Parkinson, an aerial delivery supervisor with the 5th Quartermaster, Theater Aerial Delivery Company. “For us to be able to do something for them while enjoying it together, then to get to watch their faces at the drop zone as Santa comes around and hands them toys from a bundle that dropped down from the sky … it’s really an indescribable feeling, but it’s something that every single jumper out here, whether they’re American or not, absolutely loves.”

Paratroopers from U.S., NATO ally and partner militaries “high five” children at Alzey Drop Zone during Operation Toy Drop at Alzey, Germany Dec. 13. During this event U.S. and German children received toys as part of Operation Toy Drop, an annual multi-national training event designed to strengthen relations with the local community and develop interoperability.

Operation Toy Drop concluded with a wing exchange ceremony, in which paratroopers that jumped with a foreign nation, would get a certificate with that country’s wings.

“For us being able to give them American jump wings and from us receiving any number of the number of countries that are here, even the British are giving out jump wings for the first time in years, for me that is absolutely huge,” Parkinson said. “It builds a real sense of these are the people to my left and right that I can count on. We go downrange, we go to a firefight these are the people we’ll be working with and for me that is absolutely everything.”

According to Shields, one of the biggest takeaways is looking forward to future operations with the NATO allies.

“We established a lot of good connections and contacts here while we were doing Operation Toy Drop,” Shields said. “That allows us to communicate with the other armies that are around us so that we can plan additional training exercises and other tactics teaching.”

By SSG Sinthia Rosario

OpticsPlanet.com Teams up With Folds of Honor to Launch 3rd Annual ‘Operation Gift’ Campaign

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

‘Operation Gift’ is a cause-based promotional campaign created to raise money and awareness for Folds of Honor®.

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 12, 2018 – OpticsPlanet.com the leading online destination for technical and high-performance gear, announced the beginning of the company’s third annual ‘Operation Gift’ campaign, an online cause-based project that helps support families of fallen and disabled service-members.

This year in partnership with Folds of Honor, ‘Operation Gift’ will focus efforts on providing educational scholarships and support to the families of soldiers killed or wounded in battle. From now through Dec. 28, 2018, a portion of proceeds will be allocated toward this effort. Additionally, after placing an order, customers will get to choose which educational gift their donation will go toward. After last year’s success in raising $63,500 in donations, this year’s goal is raise the bar even higher and raise a total of $70,000.

“Helping military veterans and their families is highly important to both OpticsPlanet and its loyal customer base,” said Emily Regel, campaign manager at OpticsPlanet, Inc. “That’s why this year we are honored to partner with Folds of Honor in an effort to be able to give the families of our nation’s service-members the gift of educational scholarships.”

The ‘Operation Gift’ program works in partnership with Folds of Honor, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. Additionally, this year OpticsPlanet has teamed up with notable brands Leupold, Vortex, Pulsar, EOTECH, Streamlight, Sig Sauer, Nikon, Surefire, Hiperfire, Leapers, Ergo, Zeiss and Steiner which are committed to help multiply the donation amount with the purchase of their products. For more information about ‘Operation Gift’ visit www.operationgift.com.

Good To-Go Again Aims to #DoBetter this Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

1 Meal for Every 2 Purchased will be Donated to Team Rubicon

[Nov. 19, 2018, Kittery, ME] — After last holiday season’s successful #DoBetter campaign that provided 900+ meals to those in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria, Good To-Go, the dehydrated gourmet meal brand changing the way people eat on the go, is once again donating 1 meal for every 2 purchased through their website during the busy holiday season. This year, meals will be donated to the veteran-led Team Rubicon.

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly provide relief to communities in need after a disaster. What started as 8 volunteers responding to Haiti’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2010 has evolved into a roster of 85,000+ volunteers able to deploy throughout the United States and the World. Between November 19 – December 31, all US orders placed through goodto-go.com will automatically be applied to the effort. Customers can also choose to donate their entire order in addition to Good To-Go’s match by entering coupon code DOBETTER2018.

“In the wake of a disaster, our teams often go in to austere environments—where there may not be food, water, fuel, or electricity – to help impacted communities stabilize and recover,” said Brian Meagher, Strategic Partnerships Officer at Team Rubicon. “Good To-Go supports Team Rubicon by giving us a way to supplement meals during our operations in these austere places, helping our teams stay well fed while we help others.”

“Wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods bring unimaginable devastation to communities who often don’t have the means, tools or skills to deal with the immediate aftermath of a disaster,” said Good To-Go co-founder, David Koorits. “First responders and medical professionals are called upon to rapidly deploy to areas hardest hit at a moment’s notice. The ability to mobilize quickly and be self-reliant in the days before support systems are up and running is crucial, and that’s where Team Rubicon plays an important role. Providing their teams with lightweight, calorie-dense, and satisfying nourishment while they’re pushing their limits to serve others, is a great way for us to be able to contribute.”

Last year, ISER Caribe, an organization on the ground in Puerto Rico, received over 900 meals from Good To-Go. The organization prepared and distributed resiliency kits including food, water filtration and lights, to those in need.

About Good To-Go

Good To-Go was started by Chef Jennifer Scism and David Koorits. Scism is an award-winning chef and long-time co-owner of Annisa, a nationally recognized restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village. Her career has long been focused on the importance of good food. She has cooked at NY Times 4-Star rated restaurants, traveled to over 20 countries studying regional foods, and along with her team from Annisa, beat Mario Batali on the TV Food Network’s Iron Chef program. Koorits has spent his career as a wilderness therapy counselor, ski patroller, wildland firefighter and nurse. The dehydrated gourmet brands’ mission is to elevate expectations of what trail food can taste like. Started in 2014, a time when the market was craving something tastier and healthier, the brand has won multiple outdoor industry awards and start-up competitions, while they continue to add people-power and production space to address demand. Today, Good To-Go is sold in over 600 stores nationwide and in Canada. More info can be found at www.goodto-go.com. For sales inquiries, please contact Amy Fullerton, amy@goodto-go.com or 603-828-9097 and for media, Kate Ketschek, kate@revolutionhousemedia.com.

About Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon is 501(c)3 nonprofit that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Founded in 2010 with the expressed goal of quickly responding to large-scale disasters, Team Rubicon has deployed thousands of volunteers across the United States and world to provide relief to communities in need. For more information, please visit teamrubiconusa.org.

Whiskey 5 – Service Dogs For Those Who Served

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

WHO:

SERVICE DOGS FOR THOSE WHO SERVED

A 501c3 NONPROFIT

Hero Labradors is a Disabled-Veteran owned 501c3 organization founded by Major Charles (Chuck) W. Ziegenfuss, US Army, retired.

We are producing QUALITY, genetically sound, AKC registered Labradors with AKC Champion bloodlines. We select, raise, and breed our girls (and one boy) to produce very high quality pups. We select service dog training programs worthy of our dogs–and we give these dogs to them, free of charge, with only their guarantee that they train them and donate them to either a disabled veteran, wounded warrior, or first responder (or their family members) who need them. It costs training programs NOTHING to receive one of our pups. Hero Labradors has zero paid employees; we are all volunteers. Hero Labradors provides for the breeding, selection, healthcare, and transportation of these dogs to their training programs, requiring NOTHING from the trainers nor recipients.

Service Dogs for those who’ve served.

WHAT:

Hero Labradors’ mission is to breed and select Labrador Retrievers of the highest quality, possessing the aptitude for service dog training, and to provide these dogs at no cost to service dog training programs. We work with selected programs who, in turn, agree to train and provide these dogs at no cost to disabled American veterans, their families, the Military Community and First Responders.

WHAT:

Hero Labradors’ mission is to breed and select Labrador Retrievers of the highest quality, possessing the aptitude for service dog training, and to provide these dogs at no cost to service dog training programs. We work with selected programs who, in turn, agree to train and provide these dogs at no cost to disabled American veterans, their families, the Military Community and First Responders.

WHEN:

Hero Labradors was created in December, 2016 after years of Major Ziegenfuss’ experiences with his own service dogs.

WHERE:

Hero labradors is located in Decatur, TX and can be contacted on the following platforms:

www.herolabradors.org

facebook.com/herolabradors

WHY:

On June 21st, 2005 Chuck Ziegenfuss was wounded by a roadside bomb while on a foot patrol in Baqubah, Iraq. He lost part of his left hand, full use of both hands, his eardrums, and large patches of skin on his legs and arms. Like many, he spent many months in the hospital trying to get well enough to return to duty, which he eventually did. In 2006 his wife bought him a Labrador, named Major after his recent promotion. Major found his own ways of taking care of Chuck, sensing his needs and became, most accidentally, his first service dog. Ziegenfuss went on to serve an additional 10 years, retiring in January 2015. Major was followed by Halia and eventually the rest of our canine family. This was the genesis for Hero Labradors.

Support SKI4theFALLEN by Buying a T-shirt

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

You can support SKI4theFALLEN by purchasing a t-shirt.

In March 2019, a few of our nation’s Green Berets will be competing in the Grand Traverse Ski Race. The Grand Traverse is a 40-mile alpine race, with a roughly seven thousand foot elevation change, through the Elk Mountains in Colorado, from Crested Butte to Aspen. Far too often Green Berets are sent into combat operations that the regular populace is unaware of, resulting in WIA and KIA soldiers. Unfortunately our Green Berets, along with their families, are many times left without help when something goes wrong. The Green Berets competing in the Grand Traverse are not doing this for themselves but want to raise awareness and financial support for their extended family, The Green Beret Regiment, through the Green Beret Association. Please follow their journey on Instagram @SKI4theFALLEN, or Facebook, Skifor Thefallen. Donations to the campaign can be made through gofundme.

Get yours at odatacticalapparel.com/collections/t-shirts/products/ski4thefallen for a Christmas delivery.

Ground Hammer Beer

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Spilling Blood in the Same Mud Since 1917.

This year saw the launch of Ground Hammer Beer in Hereford. The brand hopes to release stateside at Ft Bragg NC in early 2019, with the help of some SOF friends over there.

They brew traditional British beers made with American hops. It’s a tribute to over 100 years of standing side by side with their American cousins.

Proceeds from each beer sold go towards The SAS Regimental Association, who support the welfare of both soldiers and their families. Registered Charity No. 254393

They are looking for outlets and bars who’d like to stock it and put funds back into great causes.

groundhammer.com

Instagram:@groundhammerbeer

Ski4theFallen

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

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This coming year 2019, a few Green Berets, will be competing in the Grand Traverse Ski Race. The Ski race is a 40-mile race from Crested Butte Colorado to Aspen through the Elk Mountains with roughly a seven-thousand-foot elevation change. We are not doing this for ourselves, we want to raise awareness for our extended family, The Green Beret Regiment. We are raising funds/ awareness for WIA and KIA Green Berets and their families throughout the Nation. Far too often Green Berets are sent to combat operations that the regular populace is unaware about, themselves along with their families are left without help when something goes wrong. We have started a fundraising campaign to donate the money to the Green Beret Association. Please take the time to look at our Instagram page, @SKI4theFALLEN, or our Facebook page, Skifor Thefallen, to follow us along out fundraising campaign. You can donate to the campaign at our gofundme account www.gofundme.com/ski4thefallen
For a better understanding of the Green Beret Association please click the link: www.greenberetassociation.org
For more information on the Grand Traverse Ski Race please click this link to watch this short video.
 

A 40 mile ski race is no comparison to all of our brothers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for taking the time to read this, all donations are greatly appreciated.

Sincerely
Ski4theFallen Team
Stay Fit, Stay Flexible. Stay Humble