DES MOINES, Iowa (UPI) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday he raised $6 million for 22 veterans organizations at the event he held to counter the latest debate.
Trump held the event Thursday night in Iowa to coincide with his boycott of the televised GOP debate after a dispute with Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly.
Most of the veterans groups appear to have been surprised by the news of donations from Trump’s foundation, though it is not clear how much money each group received. Many are based in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
American Hero Adventures
This group offers excursions for combat veterans, as well as former police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Veterans and their families can participate in “bonding activities” meant to relieve stress through archery, hiking, white-water rafting, camping, hunting and more.
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust
DAV assists veterans in applying for federal benefits and connects them with services through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The group also lobbies Congress on behalf of veterans.
“While we are grateful for this support, it is our sincere wish that all who seek public office will provide the American public with substantive information on their vision for the future of veterans’ healthcare and benefits. We hope all candidates will support our cause,” Dick Marbes, DAV president, said in a statement Friday. “We will use these funds to ensure our fellow veterans receive the care they have earned through their service and sacrifices. The receipt of a donation from Mr. Trump’s foundation does not imply an endorsement for his political campaign.
Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House provides housing for the families of wounded veterans while they receive treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals around the country. They also run a program that allows people to donate frequent flyer miles to families of injured veterans who can’t afford the airfare to visit them in the hospital, and a similar program that accepts donated hotel points. Another program offers scholarships for children of wounded and fallen veterans.
Folds of Honor
Folds of Honor also offers scholarships for spouses and children of wounded or fallen veterans.
Homes for our Troops
Homes for our Troops builds mortgage-free homes for disabled veterans that are adapted to suit their disabilities. The group has built more than 200 homes.
Honoring America’s Warriors
This group provides teams of veterans in dress uniform to attend the funerals of fallen soldiers. The teams perform traditional military salutes depending on the status of the deceased.
Hope for the Warriors
This group performs several services for veterans. It aids in the transition of active duty veterans to home life, the workplace or educational settings. It performs casework to connect veterans with medical services available through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another program gets veterans involved in sports as a means of recovery, even adaptive sports for veterans with disabilities. The group also holds events to celebrate veterans all over the country.
K9 for Warriors
Veterans suffering from combat-related disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder or other trauma often benefit from therapy dogs. K9 for Warriors helps provide them and performs a dual service by training rescue dogs.
This Manchester, N.H.-based shelter provides a means for veterans to transition out of homelessness. Liberty House offers employment and housing assistance, as well as case management.
Keith Howard, executive director of Liberty House, told CNN on Friday he was contacted by Trump’s campaign, but wasn’t told how much money the shelter would receive.
Mulberry Street Veterans Shelter
Another shelter, based in Des Moines, Iowa. It’s part of the Central Iowa Shelter Services’ Veterans Outreach program.
Navy SEAL Foundation
Families of Navy SEALs receive a number of support services from the Navy SEAL Foundation, such as summer camps for the children of deployed SEALs, transition assistance for SEALs returning home, scholarships and tuition assistance for SEALs and their families and much more.
This group focuses on support for military families, particularly ones going through financial hardship. Operation Homefront offers food assistance, auto and home repair and moving services, among many other services. The group also operates Operation Homefront Villages, which are transitional housing communities for veterans returning home from abroad, as well as their families. Hearts of Valor, another initiative, offers support for caregivers of wounded soldiers.
Partners for Patriots
This is another group that connects disabled veterans with service dogs.
Projects for Patriots
This group, started by the Home Builders Association of Greater Siouxland, Iowa, remodels homes for disabled veterans and makes them more adaptive, depending on the type of disability. The first beneficiary of the project was Todd Landen, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and was wounded by a roadside bomb. Trump met Landen at a campaign event in Sioux City in October, and vowed to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A third group that provides service dogs for veterans, based in Urbandale, Iowa. The group posted on Facebook Friday morning:
“With surprise, gratitude and sincere thanks, Puppy Jake Foundation is honored to have been selected as one of the charities to help veterans by Donald Trump. A reminder that PJF is nonpartisan. While at this point, the amount is not known, this extraordinary generous support will further enhance the mission to provide professionally trained service dogs to wounded combat veterans, at no charge to the veteran.”
Racing for Heroes
This group organizes veterans auto-racing teams in Mill Hall, Pa.
Support Siouxland Soldiers
Another Sioux City, Iowa-based organization that focuses mainly on preventing homelessness among veterans through offering rental assistance and housing grants. The group also sends care packages to soldiers deployed abroad and Christmas presents to military children.
Task Force Dagger Foundation
TFDF aims to fill gaps in services provided by the Army, Department of Defense and the VA. They also assist in paying medical bills for illnesses or injuries not covered by the VA or Tricare for veterans and their families.
The Green Beret Foundation
This group offers services specifically for members of the U.S. Army Special Forces. Wounded Green Berets can receive financial assistance and a rucksack full of gear for an extended hospital stay. Other services include supplemental care for victims of traumatic brain injuries and PTSD, as well as helping families of Green Berets pay for funeral costs. The Green Beret Foundation also created Steel Mags, a support group for the wives and sisters of Green Berets.
Trump donated $10,000 to the group in 2014.
Veterans Airlift Command
This network of volunteer pilots provides air transportation for wounded veterans and their families.
Warriors for Freedom
This fundraising organization holds events for veterans and their families to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury and PTSD. The group posted on Facebook Friday morning: “Thank you, Mr. Trump for supporting incredible heroes across our nation.”
This group aims to prevent suicide among veterans. Its name comes from a 2012 VA report that found an average 22 veterans commit suicide daily in the United States. Representatives from the group presented Trump with an “honor ring” at the event, meant to be a reminder of the struggle veterans face after returning home. Conservative news site Townhall noted Trump removed the ring later on in the evening.
The group tweeted Thursday evening: We’re not saying that #22KILL supports #Trump… We’re saying that Trump supports #22KILL
Copyright 2015 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.