I am not a political person by nature and I am hardly partisan in my belief that the men and women who wear the uniform of our country should, above all, be taken care of to the fullest extent of our ability when wounded in action.
It’s also not a political statement to say that as I watched events unfold and saw, time and time again, stories of the tens of thousands of men and women who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan receiving sub-standard care that I was outraged and looking for a way to help.
It seems that everyone I talked to shared my desire to help but there was a common reply – what can I do? And indeed, at times, it seems overwhelming, so many need so much and the rest of us, while wanting to help, are often overwhelmed with life, work, family and more, so it seemed the desire to assist our wounded warriors was there but the means was not.
That’s why along with my partner Suzy Marden, I created the Purple Dog Tag as a simple way everyone can help. Any one can buy one for $10, or more than one I hope. Anyone can wear it, hook it on a back pack or gym bag or attach it to a purse. Everyone can wear it and when you purchase it, all the profits go directly to groups assisting our wounded troops and veterans.
But to me, it’s more than the money.
It’s creating a movement where we show by wearing the tag that we care. It’s our way of showing every single man and woman who served our country and is back home, or is still overseas in the line of duty, that we, as Americans, care. It’s our way of showing that even though you might be in a hospital recovering from your wounds or are re-adjusting to live here in the States, we, as Americans, care.
There always is the question with projects like this – where does the money go?
With Purple Dog Tag, we hope to raise funds to help many groups large and small. The more we sell, the more groups we can help. As we looked at groups around the country, I met an extraordinary man, Bobby Muller from Veterans For America.
Since a bullet severed his spinal cord in Vietnam in 1969, Bobby has been fighting for our men and women in uniform, making sure they get the care the need, making sure our country understands the causes and consequences of war. Having witnessed firsthand the neglect and inadequate care that injured troops sometimes must endure, he has made ensuring that our service members receive proper care and treatment his life’s work.
Right now, Bobby and his team are focused on the incredible burden and stress multiple deployments are taking on our troops. They are working on remarkable projects like The Wounded Warrior Outreach Program, which aims to get care for every physically or mentally injured soldier that needs it, as well as investigative work to call attention to areas in which government programs are coming up short.
I am proud that Bobby Muller and his team will be one of the first two recipients for the money raised from the Purple Dog Tag. The other organization we have chosen to initially support is The Fisher House, a remarkable organization that builds homes near VA hospitals and medical facilities so that when a wounded soldier is recuperating, his or her family has a home to live in nearby. Every year, Fisher House serves over 11,000 families and every family stays for free.
Please help me show every single wounded warrior from Iraq and Afghanistan that we stand with them and support them every step on their path to recovery.