America Supports You: Group Works to Help, Honor Servicemembers
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2007 Some folks believe they have guardian angels, but wounded servicemembers and their families also have a “Guardian Eagle.”
Mike’s Guardian Eagle Foundation offers financial assistance to military personnel and their families in need because of deployment, injury or death, the group’s founder, Robert Lehmiller, said.
“(Our) effort is to provide assistance to our military families in need and to honor our veterans,” he said of his Utah-based foundation.
Honoring veterans is a year-round effort for the foundation. In nearly every month of the year, the foundation participates in at least one event to recognize veterans and the sacrifices they and their families have made.
Operation Salute is one of those efforts.
“Operation Salute is a privately funded tribute to our military and all of our veterans,” Lehmiller said. “This traveling display goes throughout the nation attending conferences, conventions, parades, military events, and many other appearances.”
The foundation -- which is named in memory of Lehmiller’s son, Army Sgt. Michael Lehmiller, who was killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 21, 2005 -- recently became a supporter of the Defense Department’s “America Supports You” program. America Supports You connects citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.
“I hope to gather new info on fundraising and see what other groups (are doing) and how we might work together to make a better impact,” he said of the affiliation. He added that he hoped to determine if any of Mike’s Guardian Eagle Foundation’s programs were unique and could benefit other groups.