America Supports You: Official Donates Salary to Help Wounded
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2006 Civil servant Ronald A. Rosenfeld demonstrated his heartfelt commitment to helping wounded troops in dramatic fashion -- he donated $150,000, the equivalent of his annual salary, to the Walter Reed Society.
Ronald A. Rosenfeld, chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, donated the equivalent of a year's salary to the Walter Reed Society as a way of personally helping wounded war veterans. U.S. Government photo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image)
About two years ago, a Catholic monsignor told Rosenfeld and his wife, Patty, that war-wounded servicemembers from Iraq and Afghanistan were receiving outstanding medical treatment at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but that money was in short supply for certain quality-of-life items.
Without hesitation, the Rosenfelds decided to help.
"Through such generosity of donors like yourself, the Walter Reed Society has been able to assist many, many deserving wounded warriors and their families while they are receiving care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center," retired Col. Janet R. Southby, the Walter Reed Society's president, wrote in a letter to Rosenfeld. Southby is a retired former chief nurse at Walter Reed.
The society helps families of wounded servicemembers with expenses while loved ones recover in this high-cost area. Founded in 1996, the society has soared from nine to more than 560 members.
Rosenfeld became chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board, an independent agency in the executive branch that oversees the safety, soundness and mission of the 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks, in December 2004. Before that, he was president of Ginnie Mae, a government corporation that promotes nationwide access to mortgage credit. The organization is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A couple of years ago around Christmas time, Rosenfeld said, he and his wife, Patty, were having dinner with a clergyman who told them about his frequent visits to Walter Reed and the wounded war veterans he met there.
"He told us that while they get outstanding medical treatment, there really isn't adequate resources for other things that are important to them, like family visits, education and other things to enhance their quality of life," Rosenfeld said. "That gave me the opportunity of saying, 'Well, we'd like to help out in those areas.' The vehicle that we subsequently discovered was the Walter Reed Society.
"Those young men and women are incredibly brave, and our country owes them at great debt of gratitude to make what is obviously going to be a very difficult life a little bit better," Rosenfeld said. "I'm fortunate from my other prior life experiences to be able to afford to do it, and I'm just very happy to do it."