Friday, October 31, 2014

Team Hope For The Warriors Member Runs His Last NYC Marathon

West Point student and Queens native Jack Rosenhammer will be running his last New York City Marathon this Sunday, November 2. He plans to be active duty Army after graduating this year.

Before attending West Point, Jack lived in Middle Village, Queens his entire life. Despite having no running experience under his belt before running the NYC Marathon, he still finished. On what it meant to him to run it as a New Yorker, Jack said, “I’m not a fan of running, but that’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

Jack joined Team Hope For The Warriors® in 2010, participating in the NYC Marathon with a full rucksack.
He attended St. John’s University in Queens for two years before attending West Point, where he applied four times. He knew he needed something special to set him apart to get accepted. After Google searching charities that would allow him to volunteer with the NYC Marathon, he found Hope For The Warriors®. “I just wanted to find the easiest way to join the Marathon without running, so I figured I could ruck it,” Jack said. “I rucked it for two years and thought my participation and motivation would get me into West Point.” The Academy saw how dedicated Jack was to enroll and finally accepted him.

With four NYC Marathons and a West Point Half Marathon under his belt, Jack has become quite a dedicated runner, especially to this beloved Marathon.
“I actually would like to train now that I’ve seen I can do it. I have to put in a little more effort, even just to beat my time from last year.”

He went on to say:

[As a New Yorker] This is our race, this is our thing, people talk about it and it’s a big deal for us. It’s the Superbowl of running. I’ve seen people there that I’ve gone to high school with, and just all these people come out. I remember my second year running the Marathon, just before you cross over the bridge to the Bronx, my feet were hurting and some kid walked with me for five or six blocks and I was eating his oranges. Random strangers come out to support; one guy grabbed my hand when I was struggling and ran with me.
Last year’s marathon was especially near and dear to Jack. He got engaged at mile 25.5 in Central Park South just before entering the park again. He and his fiancĂ© plan to marry after Jack’s graduation in 2015.

Having supported Hope For The Warriors® all through college has established Jack as quite the leader. He has made it his mission to stick out amongst the crowd to bring attention to not only Hope For The Warriors® but also the growing needs of our military.

“I support the service. You see people running for different reasons and charities, but nobody on the sidelines is paying attention to that. When you see someone who sticks out in the crowd they think there are people out there that actually need help.”

We wish Jack all the best in the NYC Marathon, as well as with his final year at West Point. Hope For The Warriors® is extremely grateful for his representation of our mission over the years and we’re excited to see all his future holds!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#tbt New York City Marathon 2010

This photo is of the first time our Team Hope For The Warriors® participated in the NYC Marathon, which is this Sunday, November 2. This was the first group of runners at the pre-race dinner (note: the man in the green shirt in the back right and woman in black on the far right end met running for the Team that year, and have since got married and just welcomed their first baby!). 

Good luck to all the runners and volunteers this Sunday!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wall of Honor

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Each year on Veterans Day, Hope For The Warriors® honors the thousands of Americans who have served this country—past and present.  These are the men and women who have raised their right hands and recited the words above. We honor veterans spanning multiple generations throughout this country. 

Who do you honor?  Do you honor a parent or grandparent, sibling or child, spouse or friend who has served our country?  Perhaps you took the oath too—surrounded by friends and comrades who served with you through times of war and peace. Sadly, the service of some led to the ultimate sacrifice. This Veterans Day, we honor their memory.

This year, I am pleased to share the Wall of Honor.  The Wall of Honor will highlight those veterans that each of you remember, honor, and respect.  Throughout the month of November, when you make a donation to Hope For The Warriors®, we hope that you will also include the name of a service member or veteran in the Tribute Section. That name will be added to the Wall of Honor for all of our supporters to read. 

Double Your Donation

One veteran’s name on the Wall of Honor is John Stewart Morton, Jr. After completing his service in World War II, this noble veteran went on to serve another 25 years in the Maryland National Guard. 

For the third consecutive year, The John Stewart Morton, Jr. Gift Fund has offered Hope For The Warriors® a gift matching opportunity. His family will match donations, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000, until the end of the year. This gift matching campaign has been a great success the last two years.  Thank you for all of your support!

The John Stewart Morton, Jr. Gift Fund matching funds campaign has been bolstered this year by an additional $15,000 from the Andrew & Lillian A. Posey Foundation. The two foundations will match your donations, dollar for dollar, up to $40,000.

We hope that you will support us by donating today and share with us the name of a service member or veterans who is important to you.  Thank you for your support!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

#tbt Marine Corps Marathon

This Sunday is the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Team Hope For The Warriors® has participated in the Marathon for years, and we're excited to be part of it again this weekend. For more information on the Team's involvement in the Marine Corps Marathon, visit the race site

Friday, October 17, 2014

Give HOPE, Share HOPE: The Community of Kingwood, Texas Honors the Fallen

Today's blog is written by Chrystal Thompson, Hope For The Warriors staff member. This month we have been sharing stories of how our supporters Give HOPE and Share HOPE.  The families of Kingwood, Texas are wonderful examples of this.  To get involved in the 4th Annual Kingwood Fallen Heroes Memorial Golf Tournament, send an email to

On April 26, 2014, I attended the 3rd Annual Kingwood Fallen Heroes Memorial Golf Tournament in Kingwood, TX. 

The 501c (3) organization honors the fallen heroes of the Kingwood community to remember those that were killed in action while serving their country and to raise funds in support of organizations like Hope For The Warriors®.  The three fallen heroes that the organization has recognized throughout the past three years are Sgt. William Meeuwsen, USA KIA, LCpl Luke Yepsen, USMC KIA, and Sgt Brandon Bury, USMC KIA.

All three graduated from Kingwood High School.  William, who went by Bill, was killed on November 23, 2005 when his unit came under direct fire during combat operations near Baghdad, Iraq.  Luke was killed on December 14, 2006 while conducting combat operations in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.  Brandon was killed on June 6, 2010 while on patrol in Southern Afghanistan.  All were young, honorable, and strong men who were survived not only by their parents but also by loving family members and friends.  All three were killed serving our country.

In a media release leading up to the 3rd Annual Kingwood Fallen Heroes Memorial Golf Tournament, Scott Mitchell, said we will forever miss these three fine young men who gave their lives so we may continue to enjoy the many freedoms that come with being an American citizen. This tournament celebrates their strength and courage; and yields a promise that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.” 

After meeting and speaking with Scott and his father Don Mitchell for the first time, I realized that this event would be nothing like what I have experienced before. This year, 180 golfers participated in the tournament, coming from surrounding cities like Humble and Atascocita, and as far north as Dallas and Norman, Oklahoma.  Among the golfers, there were family members who came to the reception following the tournament.

The reception included an awards ceremony, raffle, silent auction and dinner.  The raffle and silent auction items were donated by members of the community and local businesses. The Houston Area Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. chapter helped in the buffet line, serving food that was catered by Monterey’s Little Mexico- a local restaurant chain whose fund raising coordinator, Jarrod Glowacki, went to high school with two of the fallen heroes. The guest speaker this year was David Cantu, the Harris County Veteran Service Officer, who shared his hopes of serving those veterans that come home with physical and psychological wounds from serving overseas.

Seeing the degree of community coming together to celebrate the lives of three men who gave the ultimate sacrifice while honorably serving their country was very surreal.
My counterpart, Gus Cabarcas, Community Development Coordinator with Hope For The Warriors®, came down from Dallas for his second year.  For the past three years, Kingwood Country Club, known as The Clubs of Kingwood, has opened their championship courses and “best in Texas” green fairways to the event.  This year’s beautiful opening ceremony included a memorable twenty one rifle salute from the local Marine Corps Reserve Unit, 1st Battalion 23rd Marines prior to the shotgun start.

The weather was great along with the turnout. Once again Scott, Don, their families, and the volunteers did a great job putting this event together.  I first met Don and Scott in March of 2013 and from the start I saw their commitment to this event and how hard they work to make this possible.  The one thing that I remember the most is, how the community of Kingwood comes together once a year starting the night before to remember the sacrifices that were made by their three local patriots.  – Gus

The night before the tournament, the Glowacki family hosted a pre-registration dinner at Monterey’s Little Mexico in Humble, with a percentage of proceeds going towards the Kingwood Fallen Heroes.  Amber Johnson, Critical Care Coordinator for Hope For The Warriors®, described the compassion shown from the local members of the community, businesses, cities, and organizations, as truly inspiring.  The Hope For The Warriors® relationship with Kingwood Fallen Heroes started with Amber. 

In 2010, after being told the news that no mother will ever be prepared to hear, Terri Bury received a visit from her close friend, Nancy Johnson, Amber’s mother in-law.   Immediately Mrs. Johnson called her daughter in-law and within minutes Amber was in touch with Mrs. Bury, offering emotion support, sage advice, and travel arrangements for family to say their goodbyes to Brandon at his memorial services in San Diego and Kingwood. 

Soon after, Scott, Brandon’s best friend, decided to host an event to honor Brandon, Bill, and Luke.  Looking back on the first Kingwood Fallen Heroes Memorial Golf Tournament in 2012, Amber shared a scene that will always remain close to her heart.

“The patriot guard lined most of the trails leading up to the golf course with flags. It was breathtaking to travel through this mile-long trail onto the course with six-foot t tall American flags catching the sun on either side.  It took so much time and effort for them to set it up but that is how everyone is during this event. They don’t care how much time and effort it takes to get the job done right to properly honor the three fallen men. It is truly an event where everyone comes together.”

This year, the tournament benefited a total of three nonprofit veteran service organizations: Hope For The Warriors®, The Houston Area Chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. and Operation Military Embrace, Inc. Hope For The Warriors® received $30,000 from the Kingwood Fallen Heroes Memorial Golf Tournament to support programming for post-9/11 combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen.

Scott Mitchell presents donation to Chrystal Thompson after the tournament

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#tbt Jacksonville Run For The Warriors 2009

Today's photo honors Don Gray (Right), who has given and shared HOPE to our organization for years. Don, a veteran, served on the Hope For The Warriors® Board of Directors, introduced us to other organizations for fundraising efforts, donated his boat for A Warrior's Wish®, started the Sailing Initiative for recovering veterans, and so much more. He is truly an inspiration and testament to what just one person can do to Give HOPE and Share HOPE and we are so pleased to acknowledge all he has done for Hope For The Warriors®, our service members, and military families over the years. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Give HOPE, Share HOPE: Scott's Journey to Honor the Fallen

This story proves that one person can make a huge impact when they Give HOPE and Share HOPE. I hope that Scott inspires you as much as he inspires each of us.

Scott is no stranger to giving and serving. He has already served his country honorably for 23 years in the Army. But in 2012, Scott was looking for a way to honor a fallen friend, Chief Warrant Officer Alexander “Scott” Coulter, USA KIA.

Scott decided the best way to honor his friend was by running marathons. He began a quest to complete a marathon in each state--50 marathons in 50 states total--before his 50th birthday. Through each race he wore a sign with Coulter’s name, honoring his friend. As he began his racing odyssey however, Gold Star Families—families who have lost a family member in combat—would reach out to Scott, thanking him for his tribute. As each person has reached out, Scott has added their names to Coulter’s.

Scott has already completed marathons in 49 states. On December 14, 2014, he will run the Honolulu Marathon, finishing the goal he started more than two years ago to honor fallen service members.

What seemed like a simple goal to honor one friend has snowballed into support to so many other fallen heroes and to their families. Through his racing, Scott has also raised awareness to the needs of families of the fallen and support to Hope For The Warriors®.

Scott’s story is an inspiration to anyone looking to build action and impact within their community. Scott is just one person with a big heart. He never aims to win his races, but rather to enjoy his experiences and happily carry out his mission to honor fallen service members and families of the fallen.

“It’s humbling to realize what started as single marathon to honor my friend has become a journey to honor not only him but numerous other heroes as well." --Scott Sunday

More information about Scott can be found on his Facebook page.

Throughout the month of October, we will share more stories about supporters like Scott. For more information on how YOU can Give HOPE and Share HOPE like Scott, visit the campaign page here.