The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund serves United States military personnel wounded or injured in service to our nation, and their families. Supporting these heroes helps repay the debt all Americans owe them for the sacrifices they have made in service to our nation. They are, in the words of our founder, the late Zachary Fisher, “our nation’s greatest national resource,” and they deserve all the help that our nation can provide. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a leader in meeting this important national mission.
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is a leader in supporting the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families. Begun in 2000 and established as an independent not-for-profit organization in 2003, the Fund has provided close to $150 million in support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. These efforts are funded entirely with donations from the public, and hundreds of thousands of individuals have contributed to the Fund.
From 2000 to 2005 the Fund provided close to $20 million to families of United States and British military personnel lost in performance of their duty, mostly in service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Fund provided unrestricted grants to each spouse and dependent child; and to parents of unmarried service members. The payments were coordinated with the casualty offices of the Armed Forces, to ensure all eligible families received these benefits. In 2005 federal legislation substantially increased the benefits granted to these families. With that mission accomplished, the Fund redirected its support toward the severely injured.
The Center for the Intrepid
In January 2007 the Fund completed construction of the Center for the Intrepid, a $55 million world-class state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Center serves military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the normal performance of their duties. The 60,000 square foot Center provides ample space and facilities for the rehabilitation needs of the patients and their caregivers. It includes modern physical rehabilitation equipment and extensive indoor and outdoor facilities.
National Intrepid Center of Excellence
Following the opening of the Center for the Intrepid, the Fund turned toward another critical issue faced by our wounded troops: the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The Fund addressed this need by constructing the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE). NICoE is a 72,000 square foot, two-story facility located on the Navy campus at Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, with close access to the Uniformed Services University, the National Institutes of Health, and the Veterans Health Administration. NICoE provides the most advanced services for advanced diagnostics, initial treatment plan and family education, introduction to therapeutic modalities, referral and reintegration support for military personnel and veterans with TBI and psychological health conditions. Further, NICoE conducts research, tests new protocols and provides comprehensive training and education to patients, providers and families while maintaining ongoing telehealth follow-up care with patients across the country and throughout the world. NICoE was dedicated on June 24th, 2010 and has now begun its critically important work.
In 2013 the Fund launched a new campaign to extend the care provided at NICoE to more service members suffering TBI and psychological health conditions. The Fund will build up to nine “Intrepid Spirit” centers at major military bases around the country. These centers will act as satellites to the central NIcoE facility and will allow urgently-needed care to be brought to more troops and closer to home. Construction of all nine centers will cost $100 million. Over $40 million has been raised to date and the first two centers at Fort Belvoir, VA and Camp Lejeune, NC, began operations in July 2013. The third and fourth centers are under construction, and raising the remaining $60 million will guarantee that the remaining five centers can be built and put into operation to support our wounded heroes in uniform.