The mission of the Sentinels is to provide scholarships and other opportunities for severely wounded veterans.
How important is that? Just read this excerpt:
“I was so stressed because I did not know what I was going to do,” says Brown. “The day after I got home, Mike took me out to the V.A. in Martinez to set me up with my benefits. [A few weeks later] he set me up with a job at UPS. It was a huge relief to be able to start working right away.”
That is from this article about the genesis of the Sentinels of Freedom.
“I was so stressed because I did not know what I was going to do.”
We’ve all been there. I can’t find my car keys and I have an important appointment. I have $7 in my bank account until next payday. I have to find a new job. I just had a fight with my spouse.
Try “I am mostly blind, am missing one leg and I have virtually no support network. Oh, and I face an immense bureaucracy to get the basic help I have coming to me.” I wouldn’t want to walk in those shoes.
Our country can only afford to patch up our severely wounded vets and medically retire them. They go home to a family that hardly recognizes them and can NEVER truly understand how they changed. Out of the tens of thousands of post 9/11 wounded, Mike Conklin of the Sentinels of Freedom provides a helping hand to vets who need it.
Thus far, the Sentinels of Freedom has been able to accept 66 vets as Sentinels to get the training and support they need to become community leaders. Won’t you help? We are hiking for those can’t. I am already approaching $8000 in donations, and I only need to get to $60,000. Read the above article and please come away from it thinking about you can help.
Please subscribe to this blog feed, or to “The Ed Mahoney Scholarship Foundation” over on Facebook to stay in touch.
I’ve already done the first major hike of the “Walk for Those Who Can’t”
campaign: on April 28 I set out at 3 a.m. from the site of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s original school on Paca St. in downtown Baltimore, and followed Rte. 140 west to Emmitsburg, reaching the goal of the While House on the grounds of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton around 9 p.m.
Along the way I dodged a few rainstorms and developed some blisters, but it was nothing compared to what many vets experience.
More hikes are planned along the way — see the Hikes page. We’ll wrap it up with a 185-mile trek f the C & O Canal Tow Path from Nov. 5 – 10.
If you help us meet our goal when November 11th rolls around, you will know in your heart that you have already thanked a vet in a way that can’t be measured.
The Ed Mahoney Scholarship Foundation
On September 8th, 1994 my father, Edward L. Mahoney died when USAir Flight 427 crashed in rural Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh. My siblings and I started the Ed Mahoney Scholarship Fund shortly thereafter, as recognition of his respect for the benefit of higher education. For many years, the fund awarded scholarships to high school students where we all graduated.
For 2011, the fund has a new direction; it will serve as a catalyst to raise funds for a worthy cause supporting higher education. To that end, the fund is sponsoring me in a hike to raise funds for the Sentinels of Freedom, an organization that provides life scholarships to severely wounded veterans. See their website for more information.
The hike will be a six-day attempt at completing the C&O Canal Towpath, a 184.5 mile trail stretching from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown in Washington, DC. The Towpath follows the Potomac river’s winding course, past the old stone locks and historic Harpers Ferry. I’ll be starting on November 5th and finishing up on the Marine Corps Birthday. November 10th.
My German Shephard, Karlos, will be acompanying me on the hike, and trains with me. He has boundless energy, and if you’ve ever had a German Shephard, you know they all consider themselves employed and take their jobs very seriously. Karlos’ job is hiking with me, and he stays by my side, disregarding any distractions with the steely discipline of his namesake, Carlos Hathcock, the father of the Marine Corps Sniper School. He wears a leash for the same reason I wear a coat in the winter; Neither one of us needs one, but it makes people uncomfortable to see us without one.
We train together nearly every day and we have our first milestone training hike coming up at the end of the month. We’ll be hiking the route Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton took when she left Baltimore and founded her school in Emmitsburg, MD. We’ll be hiking on April 28th from Mother Seton House on Paca St in Baltimore to the White House in Emmitsburg, MD, where Mother Seton started her school. It is a 49.5 mile route, and we aim to make it in a single day.
We are Catholic, and have always liked Mother Seton (our daughter is named Elizabeth Anne) and her trek into what was then the unknown in order to found a school is worthy of celebrating, particularly considering what our effort is all about.
There are more hikes coming up, and hopefully some other things to share with you, but for now, please tell a friend, and check out our press release for details.