America Supports You: ‘Eagle’s Watch Foundation’ Supports Troops, Families
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2007 The “Eagle’s Watch Foundation” maintains a low-flying profile as it employs a bird’s-eye view in finding ways to support U.S. servicemembers and their families.
Established on June 6, 2003 –- the anniversary of D-Day – the foundation sponsors celebrity visits to wounded servicemembers, sends care packages to deployed troops, and performs many other military morale-building deeds, said David E. Minyard, the non-profit foundation’s president and chief executive officer.
Myriad contacts keep him in touch with the needs of military members and their families, Minyard said. “There needs to be someone that can react quickly to the needs of those defending freedom,” he said.
The foundation partners with the America Supports You campaign, a Defense Department-sponsored program highlighting the ways Americans are supporting the nation’s servicemembers.
“America Supports You helps remind citizens of the service performed by and sacrifices of U.S. servicemembers as they defend the nation against terrorism,” Minyard said.
Eagle’s Watch usually eschews publicity for the many good deeds it has undertaken on behalf of servicemembers and their families, Minyard, a Pentagon civilian employee and a former special operations servicemember, said.
“If we’re doing something good, someone else can beat the drum,” he said.
The foundation also helped furnish residences of wounded servicemembers; chartered buses to take wounded servicemembers and their families to sporting events; provided military families all-expenses-paid “get-away” vacations; and paid for the installation of five stained-glass windows inside the Pentagon’s Sept. 11, 2001, Memorial Chapel.
Minyard routinely visits military bases, like Fort Bragg, N.C., to cheer servicemembers with presents and food. And, he has donated thousands of dollars of his own money over the years to assist military members and families who are in need.
Another Eagle’s Watch project involves a 4-by-5-foot painting of the Pentagon that includes images and names of the 184 people who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack. Minyard said he has personally paid $500 to $800 for several duplicates of the painting that have been sent to U.S. military commands worldwide.
“I’d like people to just focus on the images and the building,” Minyard said. “I feel that it keeps people’s minds sharp to remember 9-11.”
Art Horn, Minyard’s friend, assists Eagle’s Watch as the foundation’s resources director. “He just asked if I could help him, and so I’ve been volunteering time as I can,” said Horn, who is also a DoD civilian employee.
“Providing hope in times of need” describes the foundation’s work as well as the ideology of its founder, Horn said.
“He just finds and helps those that he meets, whether it is in the Pentagon or wherever he is at,” Horn said of his friend.
U.S. servicemembers should know that “what they’re doing is important to us and that we support them and are behind them 100 percent,” Horn said.
People who want to contribute to the foundation can send donations to: Eagle’s Watch Foundation, P.O. Box 256, Vienna, Va., 22183. The foundation is also part of the Combined Federal Campaign.