For Immediate Release
April 10, 2003
|Contact: Angela Recio
Foundation Established to Support the Children of Fallen U.S. Service Members|
Money Will Be Provided to Help Support and Educate Children of U.S. Service Members Killed in Operation Iraqi FreedomSANTA BARBARA, Calif. – April 10, 2003 – Dan O'Dowd, Chief Executive Officer of Green Hills Software, a Santa Barbara-based company, announced today that he has formed the Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation to provide the children of U.S. service members killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom with additional money to supplement the government's military death benefits. The Foundation was started with a $100,000 contribution from O'Dowd and will raise additional funds through public solicitations. O'Dowd will fund a grant matching program in which every dollar raised by the Foundation will be matched by him until the first $500,000 is raised. One hundred percent of the donated funds will be given to the intended beneficiaries – the children of U.S. service members who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom. O'Dowd will pay all of the Foundation's operating expenses.
The inspiration for the Foundation was television news coverage of the children of soldiers killed in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These children will be shouldering the largest burden of the U.S. war effort with the loss of their mother or father. Understanding that the loss of a parent and wage earner would place a financial hardship on these children in addition to the emotional hardship they would have to bear, O'Dowd set his sights on supplementing the benefits provided by the government in order to provide additional help for the children as they are raised and educated.
The Foundation plans to launch its fundraising activities in Santa Barbara and surrounding communities. A successful local fundraising program will provide needed momentum for national fundraising.
The Foundation will also actively encourage the CEOs of other companies across the nation to get involved, either by contributing to the Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation or by establishing similar foundations in their communities. The Foundation's goal is to provide funds sufficient to properly raise and educate all the children of U.S. service members lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I believe that the last wish of any parent who falls on the battlefield would not be a medal or a parade, but that their children would be taken care of," said O'Dowd. "That's why we named it the Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation."
About Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation (www.ghs.com/lastwish.html)
Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation is a non-profit, non-political organization created to provide supplemental funds – in addition to the U.S. government's military death benefits – to help with the raising and educating of minor children of U.S. service members killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
About Dan O'Dowd
Dan O'Dowd is Chief Executive Officer of Green Hills Software, a leading company in the area of real-time operating systems and software development tools for embedded systems. He is a resident of Santa Barbara with his wife, Amy, and their two children.