Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

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Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund logo.gif
Founded 2000
Founder Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher
Type Non-profit organization
Key people
Richard Santulli, Chairman
Slogan Paying tribute to and supporting those who have sacrificed for our nation

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a non-profit organization that provides support to United States military personnel and their families. The fund began in 2000 and in 2003 was established as an independent not-for-profit organization. Since its inception, the fund has provided almost $120 million in support for families of US military personnel lost in service, those who are severely wounded as well as for veterans. The fund relies on the public for donations.[1] Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund received an "A+" rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy.[2]

Family support[edit]

The fund's first initiative was to provide support to families of both the United States and British military personnel lost in performance of their duty, mostly in service in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the years from 2000 to 2005, the fund provided close to $20 million to spouses and dependent children, and to parents of unmarried members. In order to ensure that all eligible families received these benefits, the fund’s payments were coordinated with the casualty offices of the armed forces. In 2005, when federal legislation substantially increased the benefits to these families, the fund redirected its efforts.[1]

Entrance to Center for the Intrepid

Center for the Intrepid[edit]

The Center for the Intrepid was completed in 2007. The center is a $55 million physical rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio, Texas.

The Center for the Intrepid aids those who have been disabled while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other veterans who were injured in operations in the normal performance of their duties. The center, 60,000 square feet in size, provides ample space and facilities for the needs of its patients and their caregivers. The center offers the most modern physical rehabilitation equipment and includes extensive outdoor facilities.[1]

John Mellencamp at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Center for the Intrepid

On January 29, 2007 the Center for the Intrepid was officially opened. More than 3,000 people attended the dedication ceremony, including wounded and recovering service men and women and their families. Also in attendance was then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator John McCain. The ceremony featured a performance by John Mellencamp, and other celebrity guests included Michelle Pfeiffer, Rosie O'Donnell, Cher, Denzel Washington, and country music group Big & Rich.[1]

National Intrepid Center of Excellence[edit]

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates at the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence

After the successful opening of the Center for the Intrepid, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund began to tackle another issue faced by wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: traumatic brain injury, often referred to as TBI. The fund chose to address this need by constructing the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE). NICoE, which is located on the Navy campus at Bethesda, Maryland, is a 72,000 square foot, two story facility. It is adjacent to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, allowing it to work closely with the Uniformed Services University, the National Institutes of Health, and the Veterans Health Administration. On June 24, 2010 NICoE was dedicated and began its important work with patients of TBI and post traumatic stress and their families. NICoE provides services for diagnostics, initial treatment plan and family education, introduction to therapeutic modalities, referral and reintegration support for military personnel and veterans suffering from these issues. In addition, NICoE conducts research, tests new protocols and provides comprehensive training and education to patients, providers and families, while also maintaining ongoing telehealth follow-up care with patients all over the country and throughout the world.[1]

Since its opening, the center has achieved several milestones. In October 2010 the center treated its first clinical patient and in March 2011 the center became fully operational. The center hosts regular sessions to help health care professionals learn more about TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder.[3]

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence

NICoE satellite centers[edit]

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence Satellite Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia on June 13, 2013.

In January 2012, The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund announced its newest project: the creation of several additional centers that will serve as satellites to NICoE. These satellite centers will be located at some of the largest military deployment bases around the country. These centers will be able to extend the care that is currently provided at NICoE, and treat troops at many different bases who are suffering the effects of TBI. The data obtained at these centers will be communicated back to NICoE and aid in its ongoing research program. This will help staff improve detection, diagnosis, and treatment of TBI, post traumatic stress and all related afflictions. Furthermore, IFHF will also provide financial support for the research efforts at these facilities and at NICoE.[1]

Following the announcement of the NICoE satellite centers, AT&T has pledged $25,000 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. These funds will be used to install communications technology in the satellite centers. AT&T presented the donation to the IFHF on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.[4]

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund broke ground on two of the NICoE Satellite Centers on June 13, 2012 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. One year later, on June 13, 2013 the fund broke ground on the third center at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. [5][6] [7]

Popular culture[edit]

In May 2011 rock star Eddie Money announced a partnership with the IFHF. Eddie's single, "One More Soldier Coming Home", is a tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who have lost their lives while serving our country. 100% of the proceeds from this song went to, and continue to go to the IFHF.[1]

On November 11, 2011, Veterans Day, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition hosted a one-hour special: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition "Rise and Honor" A Veterans Day Special. The net proceeds raised during the show benefited six different veteran-serving organizations, with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund being one of them.[8]

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has partnered with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and produced a series of three events called "UFC : Fight for the Troops" to raise money and spread awareness of TBI.[9]

In May, 2014 players of the online war game Planetside 2, with support from the game's developer Sony Online Entertainment, held a 4-day "Fallen Heroes Charity Alert". Organizers collected around $5,000 from individual players who were solicited during specially organized in-game events and competitions under the slogan, "War is a game for us, but it sure wasn't for them." [10]

In the spring of 2008 Piers Morgan won $754,300 for IFHF on the competitive reality show Celebrity Apprentice.


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