America Supports You: Texas Group Packages Morale for Troops
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 25, 2007 The nearly 500 servicemembers who pass through the United Service Organizations lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas each day receive a warm greeting from “Defenders of Freedom.”
More than 100 golfers participated in the "Tee It Up Fore the Troops" golf outing May 21 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, to benefit Defenders of Freedom and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s USO. Among the participants were soldiers from Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Marines from the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. Three Iraqi war veteran amputees also participated. Courtesy photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Defenders of Freedom is a member organization of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, which spotlights and facilitates support for U.S. servicemembers by private individuals and groups and the nation’s corporate sector.
Donna Cranston, Defenders of Freedom founder, said members of her group greet servicemembers passing through the USO lounge in conjunction with leave, and that the group raises funds to send care packages to deployed servicemembers.
Defenders of Freedom’s Web site offers a form that allows servicemembers to request a customized care package and specific items they’d like to receive, Cranston said.
In addition to sending care packages, the group works to encourage wounded servicemembers, especially those with no support, and provide them with needed items. Families of wounded servicemembers also are offered both physical and emotional support, Cranston said.
To cover the costs of this support, Cranston said, the group holds fundraisers.
On May 21, Defenders of Freedom and the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport’s USO teamed up for a golf outing called “Tee It Up Fore the Troops.” Cranston said the event raised $20,000, which will be divided between the two charitable organizations.
America Supports You membership has served the group well when it comes to meeting needs that don’t fall within Defenders of Freedom’s mission statement, Cranston said.
“When I get requests I can’t fill, it has been wonderful to be able to suggest the America Supports You Web site, or to give them the name and number of another group I have met,” she said.