Opinion

Partnership helps injured troops

An independent nonprofit fund dedicated to the well-being of injured troops and their families is partnering with the Pentagon to improve health care at military bases around the country.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is playing a key role in advancing the treatment of injured military personnel, specializing in the construction of medical centers that research and treat traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It’s well-documented that these two areas of medical care are critically needed for members of the military returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s also well-documented that the military faces potential budget cuts that could hinder its ability to properly care for all the injured Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors headed home from the war zones.

The charitable efforts of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund are timely and sorely needed.

The foundation began in 2000, growing out of the philanthropic efforts of Zachary Fisher, a New York real estate businessman. From 2000 to 2005, the philanthropic organization provided some $20 million in financial support to the families of American and British military personnel who died serving their countries. More recently the fund has built two state-of-the-art medical centers. They include:

 • A $55 million physical rehabilitation center for amputees and burn victims at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas

 • The National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md. Situated next to the Walter Reed National Medical Center, the intrepid center specializes in traumatic brain injuries and PTSD.

Together, the two medical centers have quickly gained a reputation as the nation’s top specialized hospitals for troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Having already accomplished so much, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is not done yet. It’s launched an ambitious campaign to raise $100 million to build seven to 10 treatment centers at the nation’s largest military bases, including Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The charity raises the money and builds the facilities, avoiding some of the bureaucratic red tape of a government project. Then the charity turns the clinics over to the military to staff and operate in ways tailored to the clientele they are serving.

One can’t say enough about the good work of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This is a public-private partnership that is making a difference in the lives of military personnel who have endured unimaginable physical and psychological hardships in service to their country.

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