DoD Dedicates 2001 CFC Campaign to Fallen Army Employee
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2001 In 14 years as the Army's Combined Federal Campaign administrator, Meta Waller raised more than $30 million, DoD officials said.
Waller, an Army civilian employee, died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, said David O. Cooke, the Defense Department's director for administration and management. This year's DoD CFC ... of the National Capital Area is dedicated to those who lost their lives Sept. 11, and in particular, ... Meta Waller," he said Oct. 2 at DoD's CFC kickoff ceremony at the Pentagon.
The DoD campaign, officials noted, should conclude around Thanksgiving. This year, DoD's CFC goal in the National Capital Area alone is $11.1 million. The department's aggregate donation is significantly higher as every defense activity and military installation worldwide conducts a local campaign in this same general time period.
The Pentagon ceremony featured a bevy of distinguished guests, including Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz; Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi, who is also CFC's National Capital Area chairman; Wilhelmina J. Rolark, president of the United Black Fund and vice chairman of the United Way campaign; and many others.
During his keynote address Wolfowitz remarked that the terrorists' attacks on the Pentagon and New York City had failed.
"No one can come into our house and destroy its true foundations," Wolfowitz said. "Those foundations are the ideals on which we built our military services and we built our country."
The deputy secretary praised Cooke and his team's efforts "in the enormous task" of securing and cleaning the Pentagon.
"Thus, beginning the process of restoring this grand old building to its very foundations," he said. The attack also hasn't stopped the Pentagon's renovation program, which is slated for completion in 2012.
In the wake of the terror attacks, "America's ideals do indeed remain solid, intact, in this building, in New York City, and across the nation," Wolfowitz emphasized. "We've seen countless instances that prove it -- selfless Americans turning toward the Pentagon in the first desperate moments after the attack; young soldiers combing through the wreckage, looking for answers for families and friends.
"And, in New York, rescue workers giving the ultimate sacrifice, so that others might live."
Americans reached out to one another after the attacks, Wolfowitz said, adding, "that reaching out has been one of our most powerful means of healing our national wounds."
Donations provided to DoD's CFC campaign, Wolfowitz noted, will play an important role in helping people affected by the terror attacks, "or almost any other tempest that life can bring."
It is significant, he remarked, "that almost every agency providing national and local relief in the wake of Sept. 11 is part of the Combined Federal Campaign."
Given the scope of the devastation that occurred at the Pentagon and New York City, the need for donations from entities like CFC will be great for some time to come, Wolfowitz said. He added that DoD's people "outdid themselves" last year, donating almost $12 million.
"Now is the time for all of us to dig into our pockets and pocketbooks, to help exceed our goal for the Combined Federal Campaign, once again," he said.
Rolark said DoD's CFC campaign would not only address the needs of the victims and families of the terror attacks, "but also the needs of the attendant communities, because you know that the communities are really and truly suffering, too."
The District of Columbia "is losing $10 million a day," she said, as a result of the Pentagon attack, which has adversely affected the area's tourism and hospitality industries.
Kickoff ceremony attendees Mario Lopez and Harold Carr, Washington Headquarters Services' CFC campaign manager and co-manager, respectively, said this year's campaign is especially poignant because of the terror attacks against the United States.
Payroll deduction is a good way to contribute to CFC, Lopez remarked, explaining, "that allows folks to contribute over the long term without having to contribute a large amount up front." He added, however, "we're interested in any kind of contribution."
This year, Lopez said, contributors may elect to use their pledge cards to give to terrorism relief organizations identified by the CFC as well as to designated charities. Key workers, he added, can help donors with specifics.
Keith Craig, Office of the Secretary of Defense CFC campaign manager, noted this year's campaign "has been made more relevant" because of the terror attacks.
DoD CFC Director Steve Kelly remarked that in addition to Army, Navy and Air Force relief organizations, "every other disaster relief organization, whether locally or nationally, is in the CFC." People can therefore donate to disaster relief organizations directly through the CFC, he added.
Kelly expressed confidence that DoD's National Capital Area campaign would collect more than $12 million. DoD's overseas CFC, he added, should also do well.
"It seems everybody knows someone affected by the attacks," he concluded.