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Move America Forward

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Move America Forward
Formation 2004
Founders Sal Russo, Howard Kaloogian, Melanie Morgan
Type Nonprofit
Purpose Support United States Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
Headquarters Sacramento, California

Move America Forward is a nonprofit military charity based in Sacramento, California. Howard Kaloogian, Melanie Morgan and Sal Russo established the organization in 2004.[1] The organization supports front-line United States Armed Forces troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.[2][3] Move America Forward has sent over 325 tons of care packages to deployed troops.[4]


Move America Forward volunteers sorting materials to put in care packages.

Sal Russo, Melanie Morgan and Howard Kaloogian formed Move America Forward in 2004.[2]

In 2005, the organization took its first trip to Iraq called Voices of Soldiers tour.[5][6] Soldiers were interviewed to share their stories in the success in the fight against terrorism during the trip.[5] That August, Move America Forward sponsored a You don't speak for me, Cindy! tour to counter Cindy Sheehan's protest at President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch and the vigils held in her support.[7] The following year, Move America Forward sponsored Trip Gold Star, the organization’s second trip to Iraq.[8] The trip to Kurdistan, including Gold Star Moms, was for the parents of fallen American soldiers to see where their sons and daughters made the ultimate sacrifice.[8] That year, the organization introduced its Care package for the troops program.[9][10] The program sends care packages including coffee, cookies, beef jerky, Gatorade, and other requested items to troops year around.[11][12]

Move America Forward held its first "Honoring our Heroes at the Holidays" national bus tour in 2007.[13] The tour traveled to over 40 cities in the United States and collected over 200,000 Christmas, Hanukkah and holiday cards for American troops.[13] That year, a third trip to Iraq was led by spokeswoman Debbie Lee. The Move America Forward delegation visited troops in Ramadi, at Camp Marc Lee named after Debbie Lee's son, the first Navy SEAL to be killed in the war in Iraq.[14] In 2008, Move America Forward sent a delegation to Guantanamo Bay to thank troops for their service.[15] The trip was organized by Kylie Williams, the official ambassador for veterans' advocacy for the State of Florida.[15] The second Honoring our Heroes at the Holidays national bus tour collected over 200,000 cards that year.[16] That year, Move America Forward hosted the first Troopathon, an online fundraiser, to raise money to send care packages to troops.[17]

K9 Care Packages, a program to support military working dogs and their handlers, was launched by the organization in October 2011.[18] Move America Forward was named "Top-rated Nonprofit" by Great Nonprofits in 2014.[19] That March, the Rogers Family Company donated coffee and tea to Move America Forward for troops.[20] Stag Arms partnered with the organization for the 2014 Troopathon in July.[21]

In March 2015, Danny Gonzalez, Move America Forward's Director of Communications shared with Sputnik that the US Transportation Security Administration's security screening methods have been defective since inception and that proposed reevaluation of screening procedures will have no effect.[22] In June 2015, Move America Forward hosted its 8th annual Troopathon fundraiser to help send care packages to American troops deployed in war zones overseas.[23] The organization raised over $280,000.[24] State Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Hulk Hogan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Geraldo Rivera, Brian Kilmeade, Dennis Miller, Adam Corolla, Herman Cain, Ted Nugent, Jerry Bruckheimer, Joe Theismann, Tony Orlando, and Nancy Grace made appearances on the broadcast that year.[24][25][26][27] Prior to the 2015 Chattanooga shootings on July 16, 2015, Move America Forward advocated for more security at military recruiting centers.[28][29] After the shooting, the organization released a statement in support of lawmakers that wants to allow military recruiters to carry firearms.[30][4][31]

Policies and Programs

Care packages ready for shipping.

The organization annually hosts "Troopathon," an 8-hour live online broadcast to help send packages to American troops.[17] The fundraiser hosts movie stars, TV personalities, elected officials, professional athletes, musicians, talk radio hosts and many other supporters.[23] Past guests have included Jon Voight, Tammy Bruce, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Sean Hannity, Duke University's "Coach K" Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Sajak, Buzz Aldrin, Mike Huckabee, Gene Simmons, Gary Sinise and John Ratzenberger.[17][32] By the end of 2014, Troopathan raised over $4.2 million in sponsorships which resulted in over 325 tones of care packages for troops overseas. Care packages include letters of support, food and personal care items.[23]

The organization has campaigned in support of John R. Bolton and restricting the distribution of Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911.[33] The organization protested William Ayers' speech at St. Mary's College in Moraga, California[34]and has protested against the Lafayette hillside memorial.[35]

In a partnership with the Jelly Belly Company, Move America Forward introduced a program where soldiers would receive specially wrapped 2 oz. bags of jelly bellies to use as gift to the native people they were in contact on a daily basis with.[36][37] Each specially marked package displays these words in English, Arabic, and Pashto language: "A gift from the America People in hope that your country will one day enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have in the United States."[36][37]



Move America Forward received a 2 out of 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.[38] Guidestar rated the organization as a Gold Participant.[39]

In 2014, ProPublica released a report accusing Move America Forward of giving a percentage of its donations to for-profit companies run by people affiliated with Tea Party Express.[40][41][9] Move America Forward responded to each allegation in the piece and dismissed them as false.[42]


  1. ^ "Calif. Gov. Davis Faces Recall Effort". 17 June 2003. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b John Stauber (20 July 2007). "Pro-War PR Front, Move America Forward, Caravanning to DC". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Carla Marinucci (14 June 2004). "Conservatives launch pre-emptive strike against documentary critical of Bush / 'Fahrenheit 9/11' called propaganda". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Time To End Ban On Military Men And Women Defending Themselves". July 17, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "The Final Chapter of My Trip To Iraq". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Mark Walker (30 June 2005). "Kaloogian headed to Iraq". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Jim Robinson (18 August 2005). "Supporters of U.S. Involvement in Iraq Plan Caravans to Texas". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Nora K. Wallace (23 January 2006). "Lompoc mom hopes to honor son's memory in trip to Iraq". Santa Barbara (Cal.) News-Press. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Ed Morrissey (5 August 2014). "Move America Forward responds to Pro Publica report". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  10. ^ John Heiner (12 August 2009). "Move America Forward". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Depot Park Hosts the 5th Annual Troop-A-Thon". 30 July 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "Want to support our troops?". 28 March 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Christie Garton (27 May 2011). "Honoring our heroes this Memorial Day". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Troopathon 7 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Pro-Troop Group Brings Holiday Cheer to Gitmo Troops". 19 December 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  16. ^ "MAF Honoring Heroes". 17 December 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Local Hero – Supporting the Troops’ Best Friends". 1 December 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Move America Forward". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Rogers Family Company donates gourmet coffee and tea to troops in partnership with Move America Forward". 31 May 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "Stag Arms Helps Raise Funds For Overseas Troops During Troopathon 7". 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "US Airport Security Review Unlikely to be Effective - Advocacy Group". March 6, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c "8th Annual Troopathon Aims to Send Care Packages to Troops Overseas". June 20, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Hosts Raise Funds for Military Charity". July 3, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Hulk Hogan". Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  26. ^ "WWE News: Hulk Hogan Taking Part in Troop Fundraiser, Xavier Woods Plays Rock Band 4 at E3, and More". June 21, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Mathis to appear on Troopathon 8". Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  28. ^ "CNN Newsroom". July 16, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Sacramento-area troops react to Chattanooga shooting". July 16, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Lawmaker wants to let military recruiters carry weapons". July 23, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Tennessee Republican introducing bill to repeal military firearm ban: Do you agree?". July 17, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Mission". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Iraq war backers proudly pugnacious; Four Iraq War Vets Detained at Pentagon". 6 September 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "Protesters outraged by Bill Ayres at St. Mary’s College, but the show will go on". 27 January 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  35. ^ "Protest or Appropriation: Pro-War Rally Lafayette Crosses Pt 3 & 4". 19 March 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  36. ^ a b "Exposures: I Care: Gifts bring comfort, help troops make friends". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Exposures: I Care: Gifts bring comfort, help troops make friends". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  38. ^ "Move America Forward". Charity Navigator. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Move America Forward". Retrieved 3 November 2014. 
  40. ^ Kim Barker (5 August 2014). "Pro-Troop Charity Misleads Donors While Lining Political Consultants’ Pockets". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  41. ^ David Weigel. "The Pro-Troop Charity That Happens to Give Millions of Dollars to “Tea Party” Consultants". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  42. ^ Leon Wolf (11 August 2014). "Move America Forward Responds to ProPublica Allegations". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 

External links