BWF Annouces Second- and Third-Quarter Grantees

In 2014 BWF has invested over $2 million to help injured veterans, family members and caregivers on the home front. The grants will be distributed to 13 national and community-based nonprofits offering innovative solutions to deeply entrenched problems that can prevent post-9/11 injured service members from thriving once they return to civilian life. The grantees are located in all 50 states, with 10 nationally based programs. BWF grants are given to organizations and programs in three primary focus areas: Rehabilitation & Recovery, Education & Employment and Quality of Life. To date, the foundation has supported more than 100 grantees, reaching more than 2 million service members, veterans, families and support personnel, and has invested more than $21 million in solutions.

Program grants include:

Rehabilitation and Recovery

Warrior Canine Connection
Canine Connection Therapy Program
Location: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, and VA Medical Center, Menlo Park, CA

With hundreds of thousands of returning veterans experiencing symptoms of PTS, Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) has unleashed two powerful forces to help them integrate back into their families and communities. By enlisting service members and veterans with combat stress in the critical mission of training service dogs for their fellow injured service members, WCC’s innovative canine connection therapy program harnesses the healing power of the warrior ethos and the human-animal bond to reduce the symptoms of combat trauma. Funding from the Bob Woodruff Foundation will enable WCC to hire a medical director and additional service-dog training instructors in order to offer its canine connection therapy to more recovering warriors in treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the VA Medical Center in Menlo Park, CA.

Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (WETA)
BrainLine Military
Building a New Life: Dealing with the Social and Emotional Impact of TBI
Location: National

BWF will support WETA’s BrainLine.org, a national multimedia project focused on preventing, treating and living with the silent wounds. The website offers content relating to all areas of post-service life, from coping with injury, isolation and anxiety to intimacy and finding a new normal. Last year BrainLine reached more than 1.2 million unique visitors. With BWF’s support, BrainLine Military will connect injured service members, veterans and their loved ones to a larger support community with real successes and real suggestions for how to move forward after injury.

Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Inc.,|
Healing from Military Trauma: Retreats for Military Women and Women Veterans
Location: National

For military women, the challenges of reintegrating can be magnified when coupled with combat stress, and military sexual trauma (MST). Omega Institute has created two new, five-day fall retreats solely for military women and female service members who seek a safe environment to cope with their trauma. A grant from BWF will fund two retreats that explore a variety of healing modalities, including yoga, group dialogue, meditation, journaling and empowerment skill-building training to nurture mind, body and spirit.

Veterans Airlift Command
Flight Coordination
Location: National 

Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) provides free air transportation to post-9/11 injured service members and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. Continued funding from BWF will support the VAC flight coordination function, which matches private pilots and aircraft with veterans in need of transport.

Team Red White and Blue
Chapter and Community Program (CCP) & Regional Leadership Summits
Location: National

By connecting veterans to their community through physical and social activity, TRWB, is defining enrichment as a combination of health, authentic relationships and a sense of purpose. In more than 100 communities across the United States (and growing rapidly), Team Red White and Blue rely on only nine employees and more than 600 local volunteer leaders to drive their programs. Their Regional Leadership Summits provide the opportunity for volunteer leaders to gain professional development and experience the organizational vision, guidance and operational updates necessary to effectively deliver in their communities. The BWF grant will enable Team RWB to continue to invest in their volunteer leaders and continue to deliver the Chapter and Community Program in a rapidly growing list of locations.

Education and Employment

Augusta Warrior Project
Service Member Reintegration and Transition Advocacy Program
Location: Augusta, GA 

Augusta Warrior Project (AWP) has been instrumental in helping veterans transition out of the military. In doing so, through its expertise it has recognized the increased need for a more concrete transition assistance program for service members who need extra support after they return home from combat. BWF is funding the addition of two advocates to be located at Ft. Gordon, GA. AWP will facilitate seminars at the Transition Success Center on Ft. Gordon’s campus and proactively aid transitioning service members by soliciting wrap-around or holistic services, connecting them with critical community resources that assist with benefits, education, employment, housing and medical treatment.

Quality of Life

FOCUS Marines Foundation
FOCUS Retreat
Location: National 

The FOCUS Marines Foundation is designed and organized by Marines, for all wounded veterans. FOCUS retreats are weeklong programs designed to help at-risk veterans with their transition to civilian life. The retreats have already changed the lives of more than 300 veterans since 2010, and with this BWF grant FOCUS will put on four additional retreats in 2014-2015 serving more than 100 additional veterans. The ultimate goal of FOCUS is to provide wounded Marines and veterans from any service with the tools they need to heal, set goals and move forward with their lives.

Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine
the Veteran Metrics Initiative
Location: National 

The Veterans Metrics Initiative (TVMI), led by the Center for Public-Private Partnerships at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, engages experts from civilian academia and industry, as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, to collaboratively develop evidence-based methods to measure what truly improves veteran long-term outcomes. BWF’s grant will help fund TVMI’s public-private study known as the Veterans Metrics Initiative: Linking Program Components to Post-Military Well-Being, which will generate unprecedented information about the transition from military to civilian life experiences, and will create a “menu” of common program components.

Lakeshore Foundation
2015 Family Sports & Recreation Camp: Operation United Front
Location: National 

Lakeshore Foundation has been a leader in the veteran rehabilitation community since it opened its doors in 1973 and has since grown into an internationally renowned organization serving more than 4,000 individuals annually through fitness, recreation, sports and research. Through the creation of “Operation United Front,” Lakeshore has expanded its outreach to actively include not only injured service members and veterans but their immediate families as well, offering them a chance to escape the stresses of civilian transition in a safe, supportive environment. With support from BWF, Lakeshore Foundation plans to double the capacity of its program with an additional five-day camp to be held in the summer of 2015.

Our Military Kids
One Child at a Time
Location: National 

Our Military Kids One Child at a Time program works to address or lessen the behavioral and emotional issues experienced by children when their military parent is recovering from serious injury. They offer grants to military kids that struggle with the stresses of their parent’s deployment and road to recovery. The grants cover a wide variety of extracurricular activities from sports and fine arts programs to helping kids achieve academic success. Through past support from BWF, 450+ grants were dispersed for enrichment activities. Understanding the critical need for this unique program, BWF will again fund One Child at a Time, and through this grant an estimated 600 military family members will be reached.

United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS)
Outside the Wire (OTW)
Location: Los Angeles, CA

U.S. VETS is the largest veteran-specific nonprofit housing and service provider in the country. Since opening the doors to its first residence hall in California 11 years ago, the organization has grown to include 12 sites in six states and the District of Columbia, providing housing and other services to more than 4,000 veterans a year. Through Outside the Wire it is now helping veterans suffering from service-related mental health issues, specifically focusing on veterans attending community colleges, and operates in these establishments throughout the greater Los Angeles area. As a homeless prevention modality, support from BWF will allow U.S. VETS to train six social workers to provide counseling and resource referrals to 500 veterans and their families, encourage peer-to-peer dialogue, and provide combat-related mental health treatment.

One Mind for Research, Inc.
Supporting Veterans, Active Duty Service Members and Others Living with Invisible Wounds
Location: National

Through collaboration with Patients Like Me, One Mind’s “Supporting Veterans” initiative is building world-class online communities for veterans, service members and their loved ones who are all affected by PTS and TBI. In addition to serving as a resource tool for individuals, member-generated qualitative and quantitative data—rare but vital in determining the effectiveness of treatments—will be gathered. The “Support Veterans” online community project will accept all affected persons, patients and caregivers who want to register to use the communities, with the potential to ultimately reach an estimated 500,000 people

Travis Manion Foundation
Character Does Matter
Location: Philadelphia, PA and New York, NY

Founded in 2008 in memoriam of 1st Lt Travis Manion, the vision of the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) is to inspire others with his commitment to country and passion for community. By empowering injured veterans and families of fallen heroes to lead a service-based movement with the ethos of “If Not Me, Then Who,” the TMF is able to touch thousands of lives. TMF ambassadors will deliver a leadership boot camp course to three urban high schools during the 2014-2015 academic year. The leadership boot camp is an eight-week program for select high school students that is led by a team of veterans who serve as TMF ambassadors. Support from BWF will provide for staff training and the implementation of the boot camp at three schools in Philadelphia and New York City with the intent of expanding to other communities.