Foundation Supports Veterans Past, Present

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2007 - Veterans health care facilities have a friend in a newly formed nonprofit organization.

The Gerald T. Parks Memorial Foundation's mission is to support veterans, past and present, by providing funds to help repair and develop military and Veterans Affairs health care facilities, one of the foundation's chairmen said.

"We have just begun our initial project," Terri Pendleton said. "We received our (nonprofit) status on June 28. Since then, we have contacted the Dorn VA Hospital in Columbia, S.C., as well as the outpatient clinic in Rock Hill."

Both of the facilities have provided the foundation with a list of needs specific to each facility. Some of the items requested will help make the Dorn VA Hospital as "home-like as possible," according to the foundation's Web site.

To raise the funds necessary to fulfill its mission, the foundation will conduct a variety of fundraisers.

"Our impact will be one location at a time," Pendleton said, "but we plan to move as quickly as possible."

The organization was founded for two very special reasons. The first is as a memorial to Pendleton's grandfather, Gerald T. Parks, who retired from the Navy in 1970. "There was no one prouder to serve his country," the foundation's Web site states.

Secondly, foundation officials believe the men and women of the United States armed forces are the best America has to offer and, therefore, deserve the best, according to the site. That includes modern health care facilities to address the new types of injuries being suffered while fighting a modern war.

"We know (ours) is a worthwhile mission and a meaningful way to say thanks to veterans of all generations," Pendleton said.

The all-volunteer foundation recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. The foundation is anticipating benefiting from the exposure and credibility America Supports You provides its supporting groups.
America Supports You: Foundation Supports Veterans Past, Present [ ]