For Immediate Release April 18, 2016
Contacts: Cindy McGrew & Vanessa Toner 301-972-1080
Operation Second Chance gets a visit from Congressman Delaney
Congressman John Delaney stopped by the Operation Second Chance office to learn more about how he can help our nation’s injured veterans.
GERMANTOWN, MD, April 18, 2016— Since 2004 Operation Second Chance, a non-profit organization based in Germantown, MD, has worked tirelessly to provide emergency financial assistance and morale boosting retreats and activities to wounded, injured, and ill post 9/11 combat veterans and their families. Its President and Founder, Cindy McGrew, saw the need for a ‘grassroots’ organization that would never lose sight of the goal to provide relief for the men and women of our armed forces who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.
Nearly twelve years after its inception, Operation Second Chance (OSC) continues to grow. With the help of community leaders, corporate sponsors, and generous donors, OSC has been able to provide over three million dollars in financial support to wounded veterans. Through the years, the Operation Second Chance Advisory Board has stood by Cindy to find new ways to garner donations without succumbing to the costly pitfalls of advertisements. Ensuring that OSC’s overhead remains at 10%, advisory board members like Tom Plant (Paul Davis Restoration), Clark Wagner (Ride Allegheny), Bud Otis (Frederick County Council President), and others have proudly kept to the grassroots mentality and helped share the mission, one person at a time. Business owners such as Mark Matan (of Matan Inc. a commercial real estate investment firm) have also helped Operation Second Chance to maintain a low overhead by donating the office suite from which they operate daily.
The Congressman’s Visit to Operation Second Chance. In this photo from left, Walt Ellenberger , Clark Wagner, Congressman Delaney, Cindy McGrew, Tom Plant, Bud Otis, Howard Goldberg, Mark Matan. (Photo taken by Christopher Enders)
“We thought, ‘who better to help tell our story than the congressman over the district where we are headquartered in,” Mr. Plant stated. Within days of inviting Congressman Delaney to the office, a date was marked on the calendar, and the congressman was excited to learn how OSC has operated with such low overhead all these years.
Members from Ride Allegheny, a group of cyclists who ride 310 miles from Pittsburgh, PA to Gaithersburg, MD to raise funds for OSC, joined the meeting to tell their story of how they got involved with Cindy. “We started off as a group of neighborhood guys who just wanted to ride, but we realized there was so much more we could do,” said Clark Wagner, “last year we raised $450,000 dollars for Operation Second Chance.”
Upon hearing that “neighborhood guys” brought in $450,000 dollars in donations, the Congressman jumped in on the conversation, eager to learn more of the unique ways Operation Second Chance has received donations for American Veterans. As the meeting concluded, Congressman Delaney was excited to have had the chance to meet the Operation Second Chance team, as well as the Advisory Board, and offered his commitment to help further the cause. “I’d even like to ride with you,” said the Congressman, as Clark and the others leapt for a pen to sign him up.
“We are extremely excited to have Congressman Delaney’s help and support,” said President and Founder Cindy McGrew, who is no stranger to recognition from political leaders, having had the chance to meet President George W. Bush when she won the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
“Operation Second Chance is ready for the next level, and with the help of Congressman Delaney, we are sure we can get our story told to a whole new audience,” Cindy concluded.
VA is coming to a NASCAR track in your area!
VA will be at the Richmond International Raceway (RIR), in Richmond, VA,
this April 22-24, 2016, as part of an ongoing collaboration with NASCAR to
promote greater access to VA benefits and services. VA will be on site all
weekend with a Mobile Vet Center unit and a team of health and benefits
experts who can answer your questions, share information, and help you
access your VA benefits.
As part of the collaboration, RIR is offering Veterans and their families
discounted tickets for the April 23 and 24 races. Go to the RIR website and
type “Veteran Offer” into the search field and look for the “Driving VA
Benefits and Services Home” page to learn more. Click here. Or call 866-455- RACE (7223)
and mention the “Veteran Offer.” Come out and learn more about your VA
benefits as RIR celebrates the return of Sunday afternoon racing.
Military Caregivers & Spouse Educational Webinar
Tuesday April 5th
Hosted by the wife and caregiver of a disabled veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Learn about Union Institute & University which offers online programs specifically designed for busy adults, like you, who are balancing family, career and commitments.
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 there is a free online seminar about earning your degree while maintaining your responsibilities as a caregiver. In this presentation they will discuss:
-Scholarships for military spouses, dependents
-Scholarships for caregivers, spouses
-VA education benefits
-Union’s Veteran Resource Center
Registration is required. Click Here.
This is not an Operation Second Chance event.
Please contact Caregivercomfort@aol.com with any questions.
A great opportunity for couples coping with the impact of deployment, military service, PTSD and TBI. See below for details and contact information.
This is not an Operation Second Chance event.
Operation Second Chance provides grant for Scholarship Fund in memory of a Hero
For Immediate Release February 17, 2016
Contacts: Cindy McGrew & Vanessa Toner 301-972-1080
In honor of Army SPC, Wade Christiansen, OSC provides $5,000 grant towards The Wade Christiansen Purple Heart Scholarship Fund.
GERMANTOWN, MD, February 17, 2016— Since 2004 Operation Second Chance, a non-profit organization based in Germantown, MD, has worked tirelessly to provide emergency financial assistance and morale boosting retreats and activities to wounded, injured, and ill post 9/11 combat veterans and their families. It’s President and Founder, Cindy McGrew, saw the need for a ‘grassroots’ organization that would never lose sight of the goal to provide relief for the men and women of our armed forces who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom.
Cindy, who visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) regularly, first met SPC Wade Christiansen after he was injured in January 2010 from an improvised explosive device (IED) detonation. Seven IEDs had been hidden inside of a wall, spaced out in 15ft intervals, the same amount of space soldiers leave between each other on foot patrol.
“These guys are good,” Christiansen said when interviewed by Lorna Thackeray of the Billings Gazette in 2010, “This was a very intricate ambush.” Six of the seven IEDs were detonated but the seventh, the one nearest to Christiansen, failed, leaving him severely injured but alive.
SPC Christiansen was treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (now known as WRNMMC) in Washington, DC. He lost sight in his left eye and sustained substantial trauma to his jaw from the blast, as well as other injuries from shrapnel. Wade would recover, but his injuries would prevent him from returning to battle. He received a Purple Heart Award, and was medically discharged from the Army.
Wade returned to his home in Montana and began participating in Operation Second Chance’s Retreat Program. He became heavily involved with OSC, and even became a peer mentor for other wounded veterans who joined the retreats. “He would teach other veterans about horseback and ATV riding, how to fish, but mainly how to love Montana the way he did,” says OSC President Cindy McGrew.
Christiansen later enrolled in Montana State University to study photography, however his troubles weren’t over. “His pain was persistent and required ongoing attention to manage. Wade endured admirably, but ultimately we lost him in May 2013 to a continuing social epidemic: veteran suicide,” it reads in the Wade’s Story section of his scholarship fund page, wcpurpleheart.org.
From his involvement with the Operation Second Chance Retreats Program, OSC began receiving donations in his memory after passing. “All year long we receive donations in memory of SPC Christiansen,” Vanessa Toner of Operation Second Chance said.
OSC uses money from donations to provide assistance to wounded combat veterans; to date Operation Second Chance has provided more than $3 million in financial relief and morale boosting activities to veterans in need. However, when word reached OSC about the Wade Christiansen Purple Heart Scholarship Fund, Cindy said, “this was the best way to pay it forward for another veteran.”
Operation Second Chance has provided a $5,000 grant to be applied towards the scholarship fund, moving them that much closer to their $25,000 goal so that it can be awarded in the fall of 2016. As stated on the Fund’s website, “The Wade Christiansen Purple Heart Scholarship Fund has two purposes: to preserve the memory of late Army Paratrooper Specialist Wade Christiansen, and to support military service members with a critical resource in their transition to civilian life: a quality education.” Operation Second Chance is proud to be able to help provide such a wonderful resource to our veterans.
If you would like to donate to the Wade Christiansen Purple Heart Scholarship Fund please go to wcpurpleheart.org and make a charitable contribution. “The fund will award a scholarship to a continuing Montana State student with military service, or to a student family member of a veteran, on an annual basis.”
This is not an Operation Second Chance event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.