‘Courage and Character’ – Lead The Way Fund Supports Rangers, Families

Northwest Military.com
By Melanie Casey on November 19, 2012

–The world of Special Operations Forces (SOF) is a tight-knit community, none as tight perhaps as the brotherhood that makes up the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment. Falling under the purview of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the elite regiment is comprised of four battalions – 1/75 at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., 2/75 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and 3/75 and the Regimental Special Troops Battalion (as well as the Regimental Headquarters) at Fort Benning, Ga.

The few thousand Soldiers who make up the 75th Ranger Regiment are not only brothers in arms, but also brothers for life.

When Charlie Company, 3/75 Ranger Sgt. Jimmy Regan died in 2007 as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) in Northern Iraq, his father, Jim Regan, experienced firsthand the cohesiveness and camaraderie that hold the Ranger community together.

Not long afterward, he was inspired to begin a foundation in his son’s memory.

That foundation – The Lead The Way Fund (LTWF) – is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that serves to help active-duty, fallen and wounded Rangers and their families. Beginning next year, it will also be an available charity choice for the government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).

After his son died, Regan “truly realized how tight-knit a community the Ranger Regiment is,” said Larry Moores, a retired Army Ranger who now serves as an advisor to the Lead The Way Fund in Washington, D.C. “He immediately saw the positive impact of having an organization to give back to Rangers, who sacrifice so much and ask for nothing in return.”

The fund helps Rangers with everything from state-of-the-art prosthetics to specialized cars and travel, working to “fill the gaps that the government doesn’t cover,” Moores said, and “work to lift the financial burden from families in crisis.”

There are several facets to the Lead The Way Fund, including:

The Ranger Wounded Assistance Program, which works closely with the USSOCOM Care Coalition to help recently injured Rangers and their families with financial support and other services, such as travel expenses

The Ranger Recovery Program, which assists wounded Rangers facing long-term recovery and rehabilitation

The Ranger and Family Health & Wellness Program, which assists Ranger Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) with funds to hold activities during deployments

The Ranger Chaplain Special Program, which supports chaplain services such as marriage retreats and other events

Also in the works is a Ranger Children’s Program, which will focus on the needs of the children of fallen and wounded Rangers.

During fiscal year 2011, the LTWF provided more than $260,000 to Rangers and their families, providing, among other things, a hospital bed for a Ranger with a severe head injury; a retrofitted car for a Ranger who had lost an eye; and travel for family members to visit their wounded loved ones.

“The Lead The Way Fund is invaluable to the health of the unit and its families,” wrote 2/75 Family Readiness Support Assistant Lisa Vos in a recent LTWF newsletter. “Their efforts and their desire to serve our nation’s heroes reflect greatly upon them.”

The Lead The Way Fund wants Rangers and their families in the JBLM area to know that the Fund is there to help. For more information or to donate, visit www.leadthewayfund.org.

Kudos to Lead The Way Fund “Marathoners for Staten Island Relief”

The marathon may not have taken place but that didn’t stop these members of Team Ranger! Huge kudos to Lead The Way Fund marathoners Chuck Watson, Carolyn Freeland, Courtney Jones and Shareen Mishrick who joined forces to run 12 mi (mostly uphill) with 60 lbs of supplies in each of their backpacks that they distributed all throughout Staten Island.  All agreed it was one of the most challenging runs and most inspiring days they have ever had! Great work helping those in need!

SGT Thomas R. MacPherson

Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson, 26, was killed by enemy forces during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. He was leading an assault against an enemy position when he was mortally wounded by small arms fire.

MacPherson was a team leader assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. He previously served one deployment to Iraq and this was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

MacPherson was born July 20, 1986 in Long Beach, Calif. and graduated from Los Alamitos High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2007 and completed One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., as an infantryman. After graduating from the Basic Airborne Course there, he was assigned to the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program also at Fort Benning.

MacPherson graduated from the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program and was then assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Bn., 75th Ranger Regiment in December 2007, where he served as a mortarman. After three years, he was assigned to Company D where he served as a Fire Team Leader.

His military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, U.S. Army Ranger School, Infantry Mortar Leader’s Course, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Course (SERE), and the Warrior Leader Course.

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the U.S. Army Expert Rifle Marksmanship Qualification Badge.

MacPherson has also been awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.
He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service and Purple Heart.

MacPherson is survived by his wife, Claudia MacPherson, and their son, Brayden of Tacoma, Wash., and his parents, Troy and Diona MacPherson of Long Beach, Calif.

As a Ranger, Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson selflessly lived his life for others and distinguished himself as a member of the Army’s premier direct action raid force and fought valiantly as he served his fellow Rangers and our great Nation.

6th Annual ‘A Run Down Hero Highway’ – Event Postponed

Dear Friends and Supporters of The Lead The Way Fund,

It is with deep regret that we must inform you that we have to postpone our 6th Annual ‘A Run Down Hero Highway’ scheduled for Sunday, November 18th.  Due to damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, the venue for the post-race celebration as well as Pier 46 will not be viable by next weekend for our event.  We are looking to reschedule the event in the Spring and will inform everyone once a decision on a date has been made.  You can also find updated status information on our website, our Ranger Lead The Way Fund Facebook page and on Twitter by following us at @Leadthewayfund.

Please note that everyone will receive a full refund for their ticket purchase however we ask for your patience as this might take up to a week.  Should anyone have any questions or concerns please feel free to email us at info@leadthewayfund.org.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by the hurricane.

Be well and safe and we thank you again for supporting our mission to provide assistance to our U.S. Army Rangers and their families.

Regards,

Lead The Way Fund