Soldier for Life: Ranger veterans cultivate network at Columbia University
Participants of Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund’s Collegiate Access Program Gain Acceptance to Prestigious Academic Programs
MANHASSET, N.Y., June 26, 2017 — Mike Nolin and Levi Schmitt, two participants in Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund’s Collegiate Access Program (CAP), have been accepted to attend Columbia University’s undergraduate program. In addition, both Schmitt and Nolin have been invited to take part in the prestigious Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) before enrolling at Columbia. Nolin, who is a Purple Heart Recipient, will be attending a WSP course hosted by Texas A&M in the Spring. Schmitt will be attending a WSP course at University of Michigan this Fall.
The WSP empowers enlisted military veterans by providing them with a skill bridge that enables a successful transition from the battlefield to the classroom and increases the confidence they will need to successfully complete a rigorous four-year undergraduate program at a top-tier school.
Schmitt and Nolin credit Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund with providing the resources to encourage and assist their academic trajectories. CAP is designed to help Rangers returning from active duty as they navigate through the reintegration process. Ultimately, the central mission of CAP rests on providing the professional and academic support needed to ensure that Rangers have a rewarding and prosperous civilian life.
“This is a great result for our guys. We’re always excited to help Rangers seek out new opportunities,” said Myles Grantham, who coordinates the Collegiate Access Program (CAP). “And even as they start their academic careers, Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund will continue to help them achieve their goals.”
Upon completing the WSP course and enrolling at Columbia, Nolin says he hopes to join either the Columbia golf team or football team. Meanwhile, Schmitt says he is eager to gain access to the Columbia engineering department’s MakerSpace and become more familiar with the technology of 3D printing. He is also looking forward to joining the Columbia Against Modern Slavery Club so he can coordinate the group’s efforts with those of the HERO Corps program to combat human trafficking on a wider scale.
Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund, Inc., A 501c3 Non-Profit, Is An Active Duty, Casualty Assistance, Recovery, Transition And Veterans Organization That Provides Financial Support, Beyond What The Government And Veterans Affairs Can Offer, To U.S. Army Rangers And The Families Of Those Who Have Died, Have Been Disabled Or Who Are Currently Serving In Harm’s Way Around The World.
A great time was had by children and parents alike at the 1st Annual Santa Day with Lead The Way hosted for the families of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Benning.
It was great to see pictures and hear of all the smiles brought to the children’s faces as they played in bounce houses, did crafts and had a special visit from Santa himself. We look forward to doing it again next year!
Donations to Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund help us fund our assistance programs which provide essential support directly to disabled U.S. Army Rangers, their families and the spouses and children of deceased and active duty Rangers. There are several ways you or your company can support Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund, including direct donations, matching gifts and event sponsorship. Please direct all donation-related questions to [email protected].
PHOENIX — It is an oddity in the life of Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg that whenever President Obama visits the Phoenix area, there is a chance the two will visit.
The soldier and the president had met five times before Friday, with a sixth seeming almost inevitable given the confluence of the men’s schedules.
Obama was in Phoenix on Friday, visiting the Veterans Affairs hospital. That same morning, Remsburg was being handed the keys to a newly remodeled home in Gilbert, one that will help the partly paralyzed Army Ranger live independently.
At about 1:55 p.m., while Remsburg was enjoying a catered barbecue in his new backyard and breaking in the new “kegerator” installed in his new tiki bar, a knock came at the door. It was the Secret Service saying the president was about a half-hour away.
“It was unexpected, but very appreciated,” Remsburg would later say about the visit. “I mean, think about it. How many people can say the president of the United States stopped by and said Hi?”
Fewer can say they met the president six times. Each meeting has had its own time and tone, as would Meeting 6.
Meeting 1 was solemn and incidental: Normandy, France, 2009, the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landing. Obama was there to pay homage. Remsburg was a member of an honor guard. The two spoke briefly, and a White House photographer gave Remsburg a keepsake photo.
Meeting 2 came by chance: a hospital ward, Bethesda, Md., 2010. Remsburg, who had returned to combat duty in Afghanistan after D-Day, had been hit by an improvised explosive device. The blast threw him in the air, and when he landed, he lost a chunk of his skull and was left in a coma. Awaking, he found he had lost much of his ability to walk and to speak. He was flown to a military hospital.
When the president came to visit, he noticed a photo hanging on the wall — a photo of him standing next to a young soldier at the D-Day memorial.
Obama realized that soldier in the photo was the barely recognizable patient in front of him. It kindled a relationship between the commander in chief and the soldier struggling past his war wounds and learning to walk, talk and eat again.
Meeting 3 was private: Desert Vista High School, Ahwatukee Foothills, 2013. Obama had come to Phoenix to give a speech. Aides arranged for the two to meet privately; Obama saw Remsburg’s progress with physical therapy.
Meeting 4 couldn’t have been more public: in the balcony of the House of Representatives, seated next to first lady Michelle Obama, January 2014. The Obamas had invited Remsburg to the State of the Union address, and in it, Obama told Remsburg’s story to the nation and the world. “Like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant 1st Class Cory Remsburg never gives up and he does not quit,” Obama said, and the chamber rose to give a standing ovation.
Meeting 5 was reminiscent: France, June 2014. Both men attended ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Which all led up to Meeting 6.
Craig Remsburg, Cory’s father, said he had received calls months ago from White House staff wanting to be involved in the unveiling of Remsburg’s new home.
The house was bought by the Lead the Way Fund, a charity that aids wounded Army Rangers. It was remodeled by Homes for Wounded Warriors, a charity started by NFL player Jared Allen. Construction began in August.
Craig Remsburg said the initial suggestions involved Obama sending a video greeting to Cory Remsburg. “It was recently upgraded to ‘He’s going to be in town — maybe,’ ” Craig Remsburg said.
All of these plans were kept as a surprise for Cory Remsburg, who had no inkling that he would meet the president a sixth time.
Neither did guests. Tom Bulinski, who worked on the landscaping for the home, and Alison Christian were leaving the barbecue at about 1:30 p.m. They turned back, Bulinski said, when they saw police officers crowded in the parking lot of a nearby church. They figured Obama was on the way.
Craig Remsburg answered a knock on the door just before 2 p.m. It was the Secret Service. They told guests they could either leave or submit to a security screening and stay. Just before the president arrived, agents could be heard directing guests where to stand in the backyard.
Obama entered the backyard and addressed the crowd on a microphone.
“I thought I’d just stop by; I was in the neighborhood,” Obama said as guests stood by the backyard pool. “I didn’t bring my swim shorts, though.”
Obama said he is proud of Remsburg. “There are a whole bunch of Corys out there,” he said, “and not all their wounds are as easily seen. We’ve got to be just as vigilant, just as generous and just as focused in making sure that every single one of our men and women in uniform, that they’re getting what they’ve earned and what they deserve.”
Obama left behind gift baskets he said were from him and the first lady. Among the goodies were jars of honey made at the White House and bottles of White House honey blond beer and honey ale.
Remsburg said he and Obama chatted briefly — a ” ‘keep up the good work’ kind of conversation.”
Remsburg, who goes through hours of physical and occupational therapy each week, is still an enlisted soldier and respects the unique opportunity he has had to meet with his commander in chief.
“I’m just a sergeant first class,” Remsburg said. “I’m no big deal. He’s the commander in chief. He’s a very big deal.”
Obama Reinforces Bond With Wounded Veteran at Arizona Home
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
MARCH 13, 2015
GILBERT, Ariz. — If one relationship embodies the burden President Obama has carried as a wartime commander in chief, it may be the one with Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger who was severely wounded in Afghanistan.
As detailed in a New York Times article in 2013, Mr. Obama first met Sergeant Remsburg on Omaha Beach in France in 2009, when the two were taking part in a D-Day commemoration. Less than a year later, they met again by chance at a military hospital outside of Washington, where the soldier was recovering from combat wounds — paralyzed and brain-damaged.
A third time, in 2013, White House aides arranged a private meeting between the two men as Mr. Obama passed through Phoenix, Sergeant Remsburg’s hometown.
On Friday, Mr. Obama again visited Sergeant Remsburg — who was walking and talking, though still struggling with his injuries — at his new home in Gilbert, a suburb of Phoenix, built and specially renovated by veterans’ organizations.
President Obama greeted Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg, who was severely wounded by an explosive device in Afghanistan. Progress Is Slow at V.A. Hospitals in Wake of Crisis
video Obama Visits Phoenix V.A. Hospital. The president joined a backyard picnic with Sergeant Remsburg’s family and friends to celebrate his move into the new house. Among Mr. Obama’s housewarming gifts: some of the beer brewed in the White House.
“The greatest honor of my life is serving as commander in chief of the greatest military the world’s ever known,” Mr. Obama said, adding that Sergeant Remsburg’s “never give up, never give in” attitude was “the kind of thing that keeps me going.”
Mr. Obama was in Phoenix to visit the Veterans Affairs hospital there, which is at the center of a scandal involving the provision of care. But if the morning’s events were difficult for the president, the surprise afternoon stop at Sergeant Remsburg’s put a broad smile on his face.
Over the years, Mr. Obama has cited Sergeant Remsburg as the personification of the difficult choices he has had to make as commander in chief, especially as the country fought two wars and expanded its battle with terrorists.
Before he was wounded, Sergeant Remsburg was the picture of the gung-ho soldier who would put into practice Mr. Obama’s war plans. When he came back, his body broken, Sergeant Remsburg was the example of a wounded soldier who was unwilling to give up.
White House officials said Sergeant Remsburg received the keys to his new house earlier on Friday. The house was purchased by the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, and it was renovated for Sergeant Remsburg’s use with the help of Homes for Wounded Warriors, a group founded by the Chicago Bears football player Jared Allen.
After taking a brief tour, Mr. Obama called the house “an incredible place” and said he predicted that Sergeant Remsburg was “going to be able to work out, I suspect watch quite a few sports programs and have the occasional libation.”
Mr. Obama praised the members of the community who helped make the house possible, saying that “it speaks to who we are a country and who we are as a people.
“We know that there are a whole bunch of Corys out there and not all of their wounds are as easily seen,” he added. “We’ve got to be just as vigilant, just as generous and just as focused in making sure that every single one of our men and women in uniform, that they’re getting what they’ve earned and what they deserve.”
Locals run for themselves and a cause in triathalon
At 6 a.m on a blustery Saturday morning, 1600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay Triathlon and Tri-Relay Race. The participants were drawn from a wide age range. They came from all over Long Island and upstate New York, a few were from out of state, and in some cases, had disabilities. But they all came with one goal in mind — to finish.
Jeffrey Hussey, a 28-year-old Garden City resident, has done this race three times and this was his fifth triathlon this summer.
“I got into this after school. I work in finance and I started to put on a little weight. I used to play college lacrosse and I knew as an athlete, this was not what I wanted, so I got into triathlons. I lost 25 pounds, got healthier and I feel great every day.”
Sporting a camouflage outfit, Hussey went on to explain that he also runs for a reason.
“I run for Lead the Way Fund. It is a local Long Island Fund in honor of Jimmy Reagan. He was a Chaminade boy who played lacrosse and gave up a Wall Street law degree opportunity to serve in the military and unfortunately lost his life in Afghanistan at 24. I work with the Lead the Way fund and help raise money and awareness for wounded army Rangers and their families.”
Parents Bob and Deb Hussey were at the finish line to cheer their son on. Deb Hussey was beaming as her son crossed the finish line. “I am extremely proud of my son. I always have been. He does this probably eight times a year and he always chooses a wonderful [organization] to support. For the past four years, he has been running for the veterans, which is so important.”
The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove Neck. The route is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. The riders then have one more leg of the race—a 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.
Matthew Loesch is a 36-year-old Garden City resident who works in finance and has done this 14 times. He explained how triathlon changed his life.
“It promotes discipline. Instead of going to the doctor and spending money on co-pays, I put it towards triathlon entry fees. It’s a lot of fun and forces you to get out and do things.”
ARMY RANGER LEAD THE WAY FUND AND JARED ALLEN’S HOMES FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP
TO PROVIDE A BRAND NEW, HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE HOME TO LOCAL WOUNDED WAR VETERAN
Phoenix, AZ., Tuesday, May 20, 2014 –Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund and Five-Time NFL Pro Bowler, Jared Allen, and Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors are excited to announce their recent collaboration effort to purchase, remodel and donate a handicap accessible home in Gilbert, Arizona to local wounded war veteran, Army Ranger, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Cory Remsburg. Since 2007, Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund has been dedicated to assisting our active duty & wounded elite Special Operations U.S. Army Rangers, and the families of Rangers who have been killed, with health, wellness and other financial aid programs beyond what the Government and Veterans Affairs are able to offer. The Fund has been supporting SFC Remsburg and his family since he sustained his life altering injuries in 2009.
Modifications to the home will be completed by, Veteran-owned, Peak One Builders and Restoration. Adaptations will include: widening of all doorways, installation of all new appliances and fixtures in the bathrooms and kitchens and as well as new flooring. The house will also include a large gym for Cory’s extensive rehab; a guest home for Cory’s live-in caregiver; an automated home control system; and a wheel-in pool for underwater rehabilitation with a therapeutic jacuzzi.
“When we were introduced to Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors we knew immediately that collaborating with them to purchase and modify this home for Cory was going to be a good partnership. Working together has given us the ability to make the assets we have available through our Wounded Ranger Recovery Program to go much further, stated James P. Regan, Chairman & CEO. “Cory is an extraordinary young man. Having seen how far he has come through his recovery and rehabilitation efforts, it is an honor to purchase this home for him and help him regain some of the independence he has longed for. With several other Rangers in the queue for homes, and in need of our assistance, we look forward to working with Jared Allen’s team again on these future projects,” Regan added.
“I first heard Sgt First Class Cory Remsburg’s incredible story in 2013 and knew that he was someone we needed to assist. Through current supporters of my charity, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, we were able to reach out to The Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund who had been helping Remsburg out since his injury in 2009. We knew right away that this was a perfect partnership between our two organizations and together we could make a true positive impact in the life of another hero. We look forward to completing this home for Cory Remsburg and continuing to work with The Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund.”
– Jared Allen
ABOUT ARMY RANGER, CORY REMSBURG:
Army Ranger, Cory Remsburg, joined the Army when he was 18 years old. He went through rigorous and specialized training to become an elite Army Ranger, and was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan 10 times. He spent a total of 39 months in combat and was eventually promoted to be the leader of his company’s heavy weapons squad. On October 1, 2009, Remsburg and his platoon hit a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan and the immediate explosion nearly killed him. He was found face down in a pool of water with shrapnel lodged in his brain. Remsburg was in a coma for more than three months and after undergoing dozens of surgeries, he is still blind in his right eye and is partially paralyzed on his left side. After years of rehabilitation centers and hospitals, Remsburg now lives at home with a full-time caregiver in Phoenix, Arizona.
ABOUT RANGER LEAD THE WAY FUND:
Lead The Way Fund, Inc. is a non-profit organization established to raise funds in support of disabled U.S. Army Rangers and the families of Rangers who have died, been injured or are currently serving in harm’s way around the world. Lead The Way Fund, Inc. will provide spouses and children of deceased, disabled or active duty Rangers with assistance for health and wellness programs and other services determined to be vital to the family’s well-being, beyond what the government can offer. For more information please visit: https://www.leadthewayfund.org
ABOUT JARED ALLENS HOMES FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS:
Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors is a non-profit organization created for the sole purpose of raising money to build or modify homes for America’s injured Military Veterans. Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors was established in October of 2009 after NFL Star, Jared Allen returned home from a trip to the US Military Bases in the Middle East. Jared was moved by the commitment, dedication and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom. It is Jared’s hope that this foundation will help make the lives of wounded vets a little bit easier.
Incredible job done by all of our Tobay Triathletes yesterday! They all rocked it and it was so fun to watch them! Many of them were first-timers to a Triathlon, but all brought their A-game in support of LTWF and our Rangers! Thank you for your fundraising efforts and your dedication!
Check out the TOBAY Triathlon album just posted to see photos of the day and these LTWF supporters in action!
Monday 05/26/2014 – Leslie Gaber, Duke Sports Information
When the Duke men’s lacrosse team takes the field each weekend in the spring, the players’ uniforms bear a subtle yet powerful tribute to one of their own.
On the back of the Blue Devils’ helmets, opposite the American flag, lies a small, black rectangular box with white font bearing the text “JR 10.”
The insignias honor the late Sgt. James John Regan, or “Jimmy” as he was known at Duke. The Long Island native was a midfielder for the Blue Devils from 1999-02 and was killed in action in 2007 while serving in the United States Army’s 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in Iraq.
A native of Manhasset, N.Y., Regan was born in 1980 to James and Mary Regan. He graduated from Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y., and went on to play lacrosse and study economics at Duke. The midfielder helped guide the Blue Devils to a four-year record of 43-21 with a pair of ACC titles in 2001 and 2002 and four NCAA Tournament appearances. He was named to the 2002 ACC All-Tournament team after scoring a career-high four goals and adding an assist as Duke defeated then top-ranked Virginia, 14-13, in the championship game.
An Academic All-ACC selection, Regan finished his collegiate career with 22 goals and four assists.
“Just a terrific personality. Always a smile on his face. His teammates just loved to be around him,” former Duke coach Mike Pressler told USA Today in 2007. “He was the kind of kid that every coach in America would be proud to call his own. I can’t imagine a better teammate or a better friend.”
Following his graduation from Duke in the spring of 2002, Regan turned down a job offer from UBS (a financial services company) and a scholarship to Southern Methodist University’s law school to enlist in the Army. Surprising many of his friends and family members, he chose to enter the U.S. Army Ranger School, emailing his former teammates the explanation “This is what I have to do.”
Regan went on to graduate first in his class in infantry basic combat training. After completing the basic airborne course and Ranger Indoctrination program at Fort Benning in Georgia, he became a member of the 3rd Battalion.
Regan served as a machine gunner, gun team leader and then fire team leader during two deployments each to Afghanistan and Iraq, as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His service in the Army was to end in February of 2008. He and his fiancée, Mary McHugh, had made plans to marry and move to Chicago upon his return to the United States, and he had hopes of becoming a social studies teacher and lacrosse coach.
Regan was killed Feb. 9, 2007 in northern Iraq when an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted his vehicle. He was 26.
Survived by his parents and three sisters, Regan was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart, in addition to a number of other decorations earned during his years of service. The Roman Catholic Church in Manhasset was packed beyond capacity for his funeral, including 600 flag-waving students from the local high school and many of the businesses nearby displaying his photo in their windows. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
The nonprofit Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund was founded in Regan’s honor by his family and friends, and today continues to assist wounded and fallen Army Rangers and their families through health and wellness programs and other services. “Through the Lead The Way Fund, his family and friends strive to honor his spirit, his patriotism and the way he lived his life by combining our efforts to give back to his brothers, the U.S. Army Rangers,” reads part of the mission statement.
Annual events such as “A Run Down Hero Highway” and the “Lead The Way Lacrosse Day for Heroes” support these efforts. In the coming months, LTWF has charity fund-raising slots secured for the San Francisco Marathon (July), the Army Ten-Miler at the Pentagon (October) and the New York City Marathon (November). A pair of “Shootout For Soldiers” 24-hour lacrosse games will be held in Baltimore and Long Island this summer. This year’s LTWF gala benefit was scheduled for May 21 at Chelsea Piers in New York, with CBS This Morning co-anchor Charlie Rose (Duke ‘64) as master of ceremonies.
Regan’s father serves as the CEO of the Lead The Way Fund, with the board and advisory committee loaded with many of his son’s former high school and college friends and teammates. First Lady Michelle Obama last month commended the work done by Lead The Way in a speech she gave for Joining Forces, another military support organization she founded with Jill Biden three years ago.
Although several classes of Blue Devils have come and gone since Regan’s death, his legacy continues to live on within the program. A memorial display and his framed No. 10 jersey hang outside the team’s locker room. His initials and number remain on the players’ helmets for every game.
With the return of defenseman Casey Carroll to Duke last year, the reminders of Regan’s service to his country have been even more constant.
Carroll was a first team All-America selection for the Blue Devils as a senior in 2007. He cites Regan’s story as being influential in his decision to also join the United States Army following graduation.
“It was my senior year when Jimmy Regan died,” Carroll says. “That really moved me when Coach (John Danowski) told us about his story. I found that the best way I could honor him and also blaze my own way through life would be to try to follow in his footsteps. I just set my mind to it. Fifth year of eligibility, that went right out the window for me.”
Coming from a family that had ties to military service as well, Carroll enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment — the same unit Regan had served in.
After spending 2007-12 in the U.S. Army with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Carroll returned to Durham to pursue an MBA at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. With one year of eligibility remaining due to injury, he was also able to get back on the field for the Blue Devils, joining his teammates in honoring Regan every time they don their helmets. And although Carroll tends to shy away from the spotlight, he is eager to share Regan’s story.
“As far as we saw, he was the toughest guy in the world,” Carroll said. “He’s a guy that we all looked up to, whether guys knew of him personally or just knew of his story. I felt that would be a really great way to honor his memory.”
For more information on the Lead The Way Fund, visit leadthewayfund.org.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, who was recognized at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, received a hero’s award Thursday at the Bellagio.
The 2014 Homer Deakins award, given by Ogletree Deakins, recognizes Remsburg for “selfless and courageous action” that demonstrates the true spirit of giving. It comes with $10,000 he said he will donate to the Lead The Way Fund, Inc., a nonprofit organization that raises funds for disabled Army Rangers and families of Ranger who have died, are injured or currently serving.
Remsburg, of Phoenix, was nearly killed in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan on his 10th overseas deployment.
“It was an honor to be the face of every wounded warrior,” Remsburg said after receiving a standing ovation at the State of the Union address.
“His comrades found him in a canal face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain. For months, he lay in a coma. And the next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldn’t speak, he could barely move,” Obama said.
“Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, hours of grueling rehab everyday. Even now, Cory’s still blind in one eye,” Obama said. “He still struggles on his left side. But slowly, steadily, with the support of caregivers like his dad Craig and the community around him, Cory has grown stronger.”
Newtown – Newtown resident Jason Brady, a dedicated trail and ultramarathon runner, is set to run the Peak 100 Mile Snowshoe Race in Pittsfield, VT from Feb. 28 to March 1 in an effort to raise funds for the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, a military charity.
Since 2012, Brady, a former Army Ranger, has run five 100-mile ultramarathons and multiple 50-plus mile ultramarathons, raising over $6,000 for this charity.
“I love to challenge myself, especially in trail and ultramarathon running,” says Brady, a dedicated husband and father of two. “As a former Army Ranger myself, my time in the 1st Ranger Battalion was extremely rewarding, most of all because of the individuals I served with.
“Rangers and their families give so much and I feel strongly about the fantastic charitable work that the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund does. The organization really stepped up during the government shutdown for Ranger families that did not receive death benefits and other services during that time. They are unique because they assist active and wounded U.S. Army Rangers and their families with recovery, health, wellness and other programs where government funding falls short.”
Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to raise funds in support of disabled U.S. Army Rangers and the families of Rangers who have died, have been injured or are currently serving in harm’s way around the world. Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund, Inc. will provide spouses and children of deceased, disabled or active duty Rangers with assistance for health and wellness programs and other services determined to be vital to the family’s well-being, beyond what the government can offer.
To contribute, visit Brady’s fundraising page HERE.
All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and contributors will receive a letter acknowledging their donation from the Ranger Lead the Way Fund, Inc.
What an amazing job by all of our NYC 2013 Marathon Runners on Sunday, November 3rd!!! Our runners were an incredible and inspiring group of people and we were so proud to have them represent us. We also can’t say enough about all of the family and friends who supported them and, in turn, supported us. It is because of you that we continue to be able to provide support our Rangers and their families when they need us.
A host of nonprofit groups provided nearly $1.1 million and offers of additional help when the government shutdown cut aid to troops and their relatives, most notably 29 families whose uniformed loved ones died during the closure — some in combat.
The largest commitment was $700,000 divided among 28 of the families by the Fisher House Foundation, a group that builds residences on military hospital grounds for use by the relatives of casualties. The foundation is waiting for contact information on the last family, says spokesperson Jody Fisher.
In addition, a small Long Island-based nonprofit that assists Army Rangers has paid out nearly $100,000, according to Robert Hotarek, president of Lead the Way Fund.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society provided more than $194,000 in financial assistance to 137 current or retired sailors, Marines and their families impacted by the shutdown, says Shelley Marshall, communications officer for the group. The money went for such expenses as travel costs for families visiting wounded or injured service members or traveling to Dover, Del. to meet remains of deceased troops, she said.
In many cases, groups expanded ongoing programs designed to offer military members emergency cash.
Army Emergency Relief provided $87,000 to 42 soldiers and their families during the shutdown for issues ranging from rental assistance to travel costs to moving expenses, says spokesman Guy Shields.
Lead the Way Fund stepped in after two Army Rangers, along with two other soldiers were killed during a night mission Oct. 6 against a compound in southern Afghanistan.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest and other hidden bombs exploded as Rangers closed in during that assault on a compound, says Lt. Col. Brian DeSantis, a spokesman for the 75th Ranger Regiment.
The dead were Sgt. Patrick Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa., and Pfc. Cody Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore., both Rangers; and Sgt. Joseph Peters, 24, of Springfield Mo., a military police investigator; and 1st Lt. Jennifer Moreno, 25, of San Diego.
“Those (nonprofit) organizations — we, really, as the Ranger Regiment and, really, as a country owe them a debt of gratitude, because they were able to support four families that had just experienced a loss,” DeSantis says. “(They) banded together to make sure that four Gold Star families got everything they needed through that very difficult time.”
The Fisher House assistance was in the form of $25,000 “gifts” to those four families and the families of 25 other troops who died during the government shutdown from Oct. 1-16. Lead the Way Fund offered assistance for burial and/or travel costs for families of the four soldiers who died in Oct. 6 attack.
The shutdown prevented the Pentagon from providing an immediate $100,000 “death gratuity” to families of service members who died or were killed. Military funds for transporting families to meet the returned remains of their loved ones or to visit them at military hospitals were also canceled.
Congress eventually reinstated the death gratuity and other support payments before the shutdown ended.
The Pentagon this week identified eight other nonprofit groups that offered or provided assistance during the government shutdown. Officials in several of the groups said donors were clamoring to donate after hearing news of the suspended death gratuities.
Groups offering assistance included Coast Guard Mutual Assistance, which provided interest-free loans to furloughed Coast Guard federal civilian employees during the shutdown, said executive director Barry Boisvere. Others, according to the Pentagon, were the Dignity Memorial network of 1,800 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers; the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, Air Force Aid Society and AmVets.
JPMorgan Chase also offered assistance during the shutdown. The financial institution previously founded a jobs hiring program that with a coalition of companies has hired 92,869 veterans since 2011, says spokesperson Shannon O’Reilly.
LI charity helps families of U.S. soldiers slain, hurt in Afghanistan attack
A Long Island charity has stepped in to cover funeral and other costs for the loved ones of American soldiers killed in an Oct. 6 attack in Afghanistan.
Since the attack, which killed four U.S. soldiers and seriously wounded more than a dozen others, the Manhasset-based Lead The Way Fund has provided some $50,000 in emergency cash to help the families of two of the soldiers make funeral arrangements, said founder James Regan.
Regan, of Manhasset, said the fund provided another $30,000 to help the loved ones of injured soldiers cover the travel, lodging and other costs incurred as they have rushed to military hospitals where the soldiers have been treated.
“There is a dramatic need to get this done,” said Regan, whose son, James, was killed in Iraq in 2007.
Families of troops slain in battle typically receive a $100,000 “death gratuity” from the federal government to help cover funeral and other costs not otherwise borne by the military. But until the Senate passed a bill Thursday lifting the shutdown ban on payments, families of the Oct. 6 bombing had to find a way to cover expenses on their own.
Regan said his charity has been offering assistance to the families of Army Rangers since his son, James, 26, a member of the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Regiment, died in an Iraqi bomb blast.
So far, his organization has distributed more than $1 million in donated funds, Regan said.
“It’s to honor Jimmy, first of all,” Regan said. “To honor a son who served his country.”
Melissa Albaugh, a family coordinator with the 1st Ranger Battalion, in Savanna, Ga., said because members of military communities are bonded by the common experience of worrying about the safety of loved ones, they often depend on nonrelatives for support when tragedy strikes.
Since the government cannot legally pay for the expenses of nonrelatives, she said, funds from Lead The Way have frequently allowed grieving families to invite comforting friends along in their time of need.
For example, when his son was killed, Regan said the government paid costs incurred by the family, but not for James Regan’s fiancee, Mary McHugh. She had to pay her own way to his burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
“The military can’t cover the cost of a friend, who may be a vital part of your support network at an excruciatingly painful time in your life,” said Albaugh, whose husband was with Regan’s son when he was killed. He survived the blast.
“Lead The Way means you feel supported, and that people who understand what families are going through can be there,” she said.
If you had told anyone what had happened on the back lacrosse field at Manhasset High School Saturday afternoon between Chaminade and the Indians, they probably would have said you were making it up or that it was scripted out of a Hollywood feel-good movie, too good to be true.
The Flyers took the 10-3 victory – that was believable and expected, given their dominance this year – but how they got there still makes the tale.
Before the season, senior attacker Ryan Lukacovic was awarded the No. 19 jersey based on a vote of his teammates, the same number Jimmy Regan, a Manhasset native, had worn as a member of the Flyers before going to Duke and winning a pair of ACC championships for the Blue Devils. Regan later became of the U.S. Army Rangers, the special forces division, only to lose his life in Iraq in February 2007 during his fourth tour of duty at the age of 26.
“We miss Jimmy dramatically, obviously, it’s something that you don’t get over, but you learn to deal with it,” said his father, James Sr. after the match.
“When you look back at it, what can I say – I lost my son. I don’t want to get into politics with you, I don’t want to do all that, but it’s terrible when you lose somebody like that.”
Regan, who is also a coach for the Flyers, started the “Lead the Way” fund to help families and discharged members of the Rangers and Chaminade and Manhasset play a non-league game each year that also acts as a fundraising event for the non-profit.
And there in the middle of it all was No. 19, fittingly scoring the first goal of the game. The three-year varsity player would go on to score another goal and another, notching his latest hat trick this season.
“Ryan shows a lot of poise out there, he’s going to be a tremendous player down at the University of Virginia,” Regan would say after handing back “Reg’s Rock” – the black-quartz trophy bestowed upon the winner of the annual game – to the Flyers, who now stand even with the Indians, having won it each three times.
“It’s great to get a win for him,” Lukacovic would say, his words vague enough to apply to either father or son.
Under Armour had also made sure that several Chaminade players dressed the part, sending star-spangled cleats to Tim Muller, Tom Zenker and John “Shoeless” McDaid in honor of Regan.
The sun even made a cameo appearance, parting the grey overcast in the fourth, a heavenly ovation for the Flyers as the clock wound down on another dominating performance.
“I definitely thought about it after it happened,” Lukacovic said after the win about opening the scoring. “It was definitely Jim looking down on me. I pointed to coach Regan so I just had a feeling Jimmy was definitely involved, that wasn’t just another goal.”
Wearing the No. 19 jersey as Jimmy Regan once did, in the annual matchup against Manhasset dedicated to the former Flyer, Ryan Lukacovic smiled at Chaminade assistant coach James Regan after scoring the game’s first goal.
“I definitely thought about it after it happened and I thought it was definitely Jimmy looking down on me,” Lukacovic said. “I pointed to coach Regan and thought Jimmy was definitely involved. This was unbelievable.”
Jimmy Regan was a Manhasset native and All-American lacrosse player for Chaminade. He graduated in 1998 and led Duke to two ACC championships. He died in Iraq during his fourth tour of duty as an U.S. Army Ranger in February 2007. Regan’s father, James Sr., established the “Lead the Way” fund to honor his son’s memory and Chaminade and Manhasset have played a game for the past six years that also acts as a fundraiser for the foundation.
Led by Lukacovic’s hat trick, Chaminade defeated host Manhasset Saturday, 10-3, in the non-league contest and evened up the annual series known as “Reg’s Rock,” at three games apiece.
Longtime Chaminade coach Jack Moran said the senior attack’s character, work ethic and service to the school epitomized what Jimmy Regan stood for and therefore made it an easy choice to bestow the No. 19 upon him before the season. Matt Graham wore the number last year before graduating.
“Ryan’s the best athlete in the school and yet he’s the manager of the band,” Moran said. “We’re really happy that he’s leading us right now.”
Chaminade led 5-1 at halftime, playing fast, but also playing smart. John McDaid scored two goals, and Jonathan Patterson and John Tigh each had one in addition to Lukacovic’s three.
Lukacovic scored three minutes into the second half. He notched his third a few minutes later after coming from behind the net to put Chaminade ahead 7-1 and put the game away. McDaid finished with three goals and Tigh had two for the Flyers.
Kris Clarke won 13 of 17 faceoffs and Chaminade rarely turned the ball over, racking up possessions and maximizing the clock.
Duke-bound goalie Danny Fowler didn’t receive much action as a result, but relished playing a game in honor of a hero who had ties to Fowler’s present and future schools.
“I was told Jimmy was a guy who made you want to be the best you can be and it just drives you to want to play your best for a game like this,” Fowler said.
Wearing cleats displaying an American flag design in honor of Regan, Tim Muller diligently defended Chaminade territory, holding Manhasset’s top scorer, Mike Fahey, without a goal.
“I tried not to let Mike get to the goal,” Muller said. “But more importantly, it’s a great cause and it was just great to win for coach Regan.”
Before the game, coach Regan said his son’s memory would be served well regardless of the outcome.
“I know Jimmy was looking down smiling at this game,” Regan said.
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.
We cannot thank everyone enough for coming from near and far to join us at our 6th Annual Golf Outing & Dinner (as well as those who couldn’t make it but still supported us)! It was an incredible day and night and we are so grateful for the love and support we continue to receive from everyone. And thank you so much to all of the volunteers who helped us, your assistance was invaluable!
We would also like to extend a very special thank you to Col. Mike Foster and the awesome U.S. Army Rangers who gave us a glimpse into what it TRULY means to be a HERO last night. May God Bless you for all you do to protect our freedom. We are dedicated to our mission to helping the U.S. Army Rangers and their families and we couldn’t do it without all of you so THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!
Fallen Heroes with Lacrosse Ties to Be Honored at Game Today
Foxborough, Mass. — The NCAA and the Kraft family will honor two fallen heroes on Memorial Day (May 28) prior to the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship Game at Gillette Stadium.
The families of U.S. Army Sgt. James J. Regan and Navy Seal LT Brendan Looney, both collegiate lacrosse players who were lost while serving their country, will be Honorary Captains for the game at 1:00 p.m. on Monday.
Army Ranger Sgt. James (Jimmy) J. Regan was assigned to Company C, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment when he was killed by an IED while on a mission in northern Iraq in February, 2007. Deeply affected by the terror attacks of September 11, Sgt. Regan rejected lucrative Wall Street job opportunities and law school scholarships. Sgt. Regan volunteered for military service in February, 2004 and served four tours of duty. He grew up in Manhasset, Long Island, graduated with Honors from Chaminade High School and was a High School Lacrosse All American. He played midfield for Duke University and helped lead the Blue Devils to two Atlantic Coast Conference championships and an NCAA quarterfinal appearance. The Regan family and friends have honored his spirit, his patriotism and the way he lived his life by establishing Lead the Way Fund (www.leadthewayfund.org), which supports U.S. Special Operation 75th Rangers and their families. Jimmy’s parents Mary and James Regan, and sisters Maribeth, Colleen and Michaela will serve as Honorary Captains in his honor prior to the Division 1 Championship Game.
Navy Seal LT Brendan Looney was one of nine U.S. service members to lose his life in a 2010 helicopter crash in Afghanistan. He proudly volunteered to serve his country, knowing full well what dangers lay ahead of him. He answered that call to make a difference in the world and in the fight for freedom. Brendan grew up in Owings, Md. and attended DaMatha Catholic High School before graduating from the United States Naval Academy. One of the proudest lacrosse seasons for both Brendan and his family took place during his senior season at Navy. That year, Brendan and brothers Billy and Stephen helped lead Navy to the NCAA National Championship Game played in Baltimore. Serving as Honorary Captains on Monday in Brendan’s honor will be his wife, Amy, his parents, Maureen and Kevin, and sisters Bridget, Erin and Kellie.
Fans attending Monday’s Division I championship game are encouraged to enter the stadium early in order to participate in the pre-game Memorial Day ceremonies. As part of the ceremony a large American flag will be displayed by members of the military and a flyover will be performed by the Rhode Island Air National Guard’s 143rd Airlift Wing. The 143rd Airlift Wing flies C-130 Hercules, which primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, unprepared dirt strips and is the primary aircraft for aerial delivery of troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command.
TACOMA, Wash. (USASOC News Service, May 15, 2012) – The U.S. Army Ranger story is typically a closed book, but Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Rangers opened the pages of their latest chapter for an evening last week. The South Sound community had the rare opportunity to join 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in recognizing its own at the Tacoma Dome, May 10.
More than 50 Rangers received commendations, which ranged from Army Commendation medals to a Silver Star for combat and non-combat action going back to 2005. The battalion also received two Valorous Unit awards for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, 2-75th Rangers has deployed for Overseas Contingency Operations 14 times. Their most recent Operation Enduring Freedom deployment concluded in December. During the five-month rotation they conducted 475 combat operations where they lost four rangers and one attached Soldier.
Staff Sgt. Sean Keough received the Silver Star for courage under fire in Afghanistan last year. The Silver Star is America’s third highest combat decoration.
Last fall, Keough, serving as a Ranger rifleman and squad leader, was part of a joint task force conducting a raid on a Taliban compound. When a comrade was injured during the assault, Keough positioned himself between the wounded Ranger and insurgent fire so that other task force members could administer medical aid.
After he and another teammate eliminated a charging insurgent, he was hit by enemy fire and still held his position between the enemy and his downed teammate as his squad radioed for a medevac. Refusing treatment throughout a long firefight, he continued his integral part of the mission, helping the team to overtake the enemy compound eight hours later. He also received a Purple Heart for the wounds he suffered during that engagement.
Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, traveled from his Fort Bragg, N.C., headquarters for the event. He said to be a part of a night when so many Rangers were honored for heroic deeds was awe inspiring.
“That convergence — that range of valor is extraordinary,” he said, “and by itself should tell us what it means to be a Ranger, and to be a Ranger battalion.”
Five 2-75th Rangers noncommissioned officers received Soldier’s Medals for rescuing two climbers atop Alaska’s Mount Denali a year ago. At 20,320 feet, the mountain formerly known as “McKinley” is the highest peak in North America.
The Soldier’s Medal is an award recognizing life-risking heroism that didn’t involve an enemy. The recipients were Sgt. 1st Class. Joseph Lachnit, Staff Sgt. Austin McCall, Staff Sgt. Keith Pierce and Staff Sgt. David Ray, and Sgt. Kyle Cresto.
Seven Rangers received Bronze Star Medals with “V” devices for valor during the ceremony. Pfc. Joshua Overly, 24, was one of them. During a 2011 firefight, the Ranger rifleman drew enemy fire and eliminated the threat so that two injured troops could be safely reached and extracted.
The native of nearby Gig Harbor shied away from the “hero” label.
“I was just in a bad situation and I did my job; that’s what it boils down to,” he said. “Anybody in my unit could have been in the same exact situation as me and did the exact same thing.”
Overly said he was glad his family and friends could see his fellow Rangers, instead of just hearing his stories about them.
“(The ceremony) gave my family a sneak peek of the men that I’m surrounded by,” Overly said. “I could tell them on the phone that I’m in the company of heroes at all times — it means a little bit more for them to see it and hear it from somebody else.”
Carol Overly, Joshua’s mother, said she appreciated that opportunity. As a mother of two enlisted military members, (another son, Joel, is a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.), she said last week’s ceremony provided her valuable lessons.
“(Our family) has used it as an opportunity to learn about our country’s history and the history of the world,” she said. “Seeing the work that my boys do now — the physical training, the mental training — it’s astounding the amount of hard work they do. It’s made me proud — proud of our country and all of the men and women in the military.”
Lt. Col. David Hodne, 2-75th Rangers commander, said the openness of the ceremony was a reminder that though Ranger operational missions are shrouded in security, it’s important to touch base with a public that might know the legend of the Army Ranger, yet never have the opportunity to shake his hand.
“The community is insulated from the Rangers when we’re only in our compound, and they are our biggest fans and supporters,” he said, “so when you talk about getting a perspective on what these great Rangers are doing, there’s no better way to do it.”
Hodne also said any benefit to the community was matched by appreciation from his ranks.
“After now more than 10 years of war, for families to celebrate amongst themselves — to do this in isolation — they’ve done that for years,” he said. “Over time it’s difficult to continue when you think you’re alone in your effort in fighting the war. These men get up every day and do the hard jobs — without complaint.”
On Sunday, March 25, 2012, 6 Rangers competed in the Annual Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, New Mexico. The Bataan Memorial Death March is agrueling26.2 milerace through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, conducted in honor of the service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II.
The story of Bataan reflects one of the worst defeatsin American military history…a four-month fight for the tiny peninsula of Bataan in the Philippine Islands – the first major land battle for America in World War II. On April 9, 1942,theAmericanforces surrendered to their Japanese captors, who set them(including almost 12,000 American Soldiers) walkingsixty-six miles to prison camp, a notorious walk that came to be known as “The Bataan Death March.”Over the years, this race has become quite a tribute to the survivors of Bataan and is popular among military units. Our Rangers competed in the Military“Heavy” category requiring them to race in the desert with35 pound packs over mountainous terrain. The team finished in 2nd place with a total time of 5 hours and 49 minutes!
Lax.com attends Lead the Way Fund’s 5th Annual ‘A Run Down Hero Highway.’ See their tribute video to the life of Sgt. Jimmy Regan and the work that the Lead the Way Fund does on behalf of the Army Rangers and their families.
Jim Regan speaks to the Wall Street Journal about our 5th Annual ‘A Run Down Hero Highway’ and about his mission to provide support, beyond what the government can offer, for the U.S. Army Rangers and their families.
To James P. Regan, it’s a moral responsibility to give back to the U.S. Army Rangers who serve. It’s also a way to honor his son, Sgt. James J. Regan, a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
Mr. Regan began his Manhasset, N.Y.-based Lead the Way Fund in 2007 to help U.S. Army Rangers who have been injured or who are currently serving and their families. He says the fund is on pace to distribute some $300,000 this fiscal year to help fill in the “gray area” of costs that the government doesn’t cover.
The organization raises about $500,000 in an average year through various events, including the annual “Run Down Hero Highway,” now in its fifth year, to be held Sunday in Manhattan.
Mr. Regan takes his inspiration to help Rangers and their families from the determination he saw in his only son who died at the age of 26. “Jimmy was an awesome kid,” says Mr. Regan, “a kid that walked the walk.”
The younger Mr. Regan was a graduate of Duke University. He turned down job offers to follow in his father’s footsteps and work in the financial-services industry. He declined a scholarship to attend law school.
Instead, he wanted to serve and then become a teacher like his mother, Mary Regan, who worked for the Port Washington, N.Y., school district. He planned to coach high-school lacrosse and football.
On Feb. 9, 2007, he died while on combat patrol in northern Iraq from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.
It was an immense, traumatic loss, says Mr. Regan, but “instead of folding your tent, you have to meet the challenge.”
The Lead the Way Fund works with the U.S. Special Operations Command Care Coalition to exclusively provide support to U.S. Army Rangers, and the fund steps in when a Ranger is wounded or dies. The charity aids the soldier and family during recovery, helps to improve the quality of life for families and supports active soldiers through activities like pre- and post-deployment morale parties.
Whether it’s flying in family friends to attend a funeral, helping with a sick child while a soldier is away from home, providing a more comfortable bed for a wounded soldier or sending a “morale package” filled with new socks and magazines, the Lead the Way Fund helps when a need has been identified.
Much of the fund’s work is in helping families at home. “Essentially, it makes sense that if the government is not taking care of it, we try to help out,” says Mr. Regan.
“It comes down to this: If the wife and family is being taken care of at home, the soldier doesn’t have stress in the battlefield and he’s a better soldier.”
Tune in to FOX News Channel’s national morning show “FOX & Friends” tomorrow at 7:30AM to see Lead the Way Fund’s Jim Regan speak about Sunday’s 5th Annual ‘A Run Down Hero Highway,’ as well as our efforts to assist our elite Special Operations Force, the U.S. Army Rangers.
Video Update: Watch “Fox & Friends” interview Lead the Way Fund’s Jim Regan
“A Run Down Hero Highway” is a fun-filled, patriotic event that pays tribute to a local hero and helps raise money for the families of Army Rangers who have been killed, disabled, or are currently serving in harm’s way. People of all ages come together for a spirited run/walk/stroll along West Street in Manhattan and revel in a day filled with moving tributes, live entertainment, amazing camaraderie and great food & drink.
The event commences on Pier 46 (cross Charles St. and West St.). Entrants participate in a 4.5-mi round trip run/walk to Battery Park, past Ground Zero, with a constant view of Lady Liberty. The festivities continue with a brunch and after party at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. Last year over 1,000 people joined us. We can’t wait to commemorate and celebrate with you!
9:03 AM Registration and T-Shirt Collection on Pier 46 (time commemorates the moment UA Flight 175 crashed into WTC South) 10:00 AM Introductory Remarks; God Bless America / Star Spangled Banner / Lead The Way Song 10:15 AM Run/Walk Begins 11:15 AM Food, Drinks, Raffles and Live Music at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers (Pier 60) 12:30 PM Hero Presentations Begin – Phil Taylor from The American Fallen Soldiers Project to present an originally commissioned portraits to the families of fallen Army Rangers Sgt. 1st Class Lance Vogeler and Spc. Thomas Duncan III and to the family of FDNY 1st Responder Lt. Kevin Dowdell
• Online – Above click Register for Event. Registering online GUARANTEES you a free commemorative event t-shirt and size preference. ONLINE REGISTRATION TO CLOSE ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19th at 12:00PM.
• Mail-In – Print registration PDF below and send with check and waiver to P.O. Box 281, Manhasset NY, 11030 *
• Walk-up – Cash and/or checks accepted. Have checks made out to Lead The Way Fund, Inc. All walk-up entry fees increase $10 *All participants MUST sign liability waiver on behalf of yourself and/or your families in order to participate in event. If registering by mail please sign below and send in with your registration. If you register online you MUST check the appropriate boxes indicating that you have read and accepted our terms.
Adults – $60*
Students – $35*
Under 12 – $25*
Children Under 5 Free *ALL COSTS INCREASE BY $10 FOR WALK-INS DAY OF* Costs include entrance fee, t-shirt and full brunch
FirstGiving: All individuals, families and groups now have the ability to raise money on behalf of The Lead The Way Fund in support of your Run Down Hero Highway efforts. Please click Firstgiving (Step 2) above to set up your personalized sponsorship page.
Sponsorships: We are actively seeking individual and corporate sponsors to team up with us on our efforts. Please click here to view further details on sponsorship packages and how you can help.
Post Race: Head to The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers for a celebratory brunch, plenty of drinks, raffle prizes and live music. The Lighthouse is located in the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex at 23rd Street and the Hudson River (www.piersixty.com).
Thank you for your continued support of the Lead the Way Fund and our US Army Rangers. God Bless America!
If the playoff implications of Saturday’s game between the Long Island Lizards and Hamilton Nationals, here’s another reason to attend. The Lizards will host the Heroes Day to honor the United States Army Rangers. For every ticket sold online, a percentage of the profit will go directly to the Lead The Way Fund.
The average age on the PGA Tour in 2011 is 32 yrs old. If you’re a believer in statistics, 32-year old Long Islander Joe Horowitz is poised to fulfill a lifelong dream and qualify for the PGA Tour at this October’s PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament (Q-School).
The 2002 New York City Amateur Champ turned pro in 2004 and competed for five long years before breaking through and capturing his first Professional Golf Tournament victory in 2009 at The Goslings Invitational in Hamilton, Bermuda.
On September 18th, the Lead the Way Fund held its Second Annual Golf Outing and Dinner. The purpose of the day was to raise funds in support of Army Rangers and their families, to show gratitude for their many sacrifices and to generate awareness of the emotional, physical and financial challenges many of these military families face as a result of their service to our country. Participants enjoyed a round of golf on one of three beautiful courses, Plandome Country Club, Sands Point Golf Club and Wheatley Hills Golf Club. They were later treated to an evening of cocktails and dinner at Plandome Country Club, which included amazing live and silent auctions.
In addition to the Fund’s Board of Directors and over 400 participants, honored guests in attendance included Gen. William “Buck” Kernan, retired 4-Star General who has served both as former Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT) and former Commander in Chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command; Mr. James Lorraine, Director, USSOCOM Care Coalition; Medal of Honor Recipient and member of the Ranger Hall of Fame, U.S. Army Ranger, Paul Bucha and uniformed U.S. Army Rangers from 1st Battalion (1/75) – Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
Guests had the opportunity to talk with the Rangers, learn more about them and thank them personally for all they have done and continue to do in the name of freedom. The day was a wonderful success in every respect, and was an important and meaningful way for the community to honor the memory of Sgt. James J. Regan, a lifelong resident of Manhasset who was killed in Iraq in 2007.
About 6,500 Attended From Early Morning Until the Last Firework Faded in the Sky
The Lead The Way Fund Lacrosse Day of Champions was an extraordinary day in a town that rightfully prides itself on its extraordinary lacrosse legacy. On Saturday, April 19, Manhasset hosted the first ever Lead The Way Lacrosse Day of Champions fundraiser, established in honor of its local resident, U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. James “Jimmy” Regan, who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in February, 2007.
To honor Jimmy’s sacrifice his family established The Lead The Way Fund to raise funds in support of families of U.S. Army Rangers who have died, have been disabled, or who are currently serving in harm’s way around the world. The Lead The Way Fund helps ease the financial burdens faced by the soldiers and their families and provides medical needs, flying a wife to be at her husband’s hospital bedside during recovery, or fill the “gaps” that the Army and other services do not cover.
The other sponsor and benefactor of this great day was the newly established Indians Rock Community Foundation which is raising money to help build, repair and beautify the community sports facilities for the community.
Hosting a lacrosse event seemed like a natural idea as Regan was an All American high school lacrosse star at Chaminade and a Duke letterman from 1999-2002. In the course of his Duke playing days he earned the Academic ACC Award and ACC All Tournament honors by scoring four goals and two assists during the NCAA championship game.
A battalion of volunteers organized the day in a way that the visiting Army officers must have found impressive. With about 6,500 in attendance from early in the morning until after the last firework streaked across the sky, the day was flawless in execution.
When six United States Special Operations Command Black Daggers and two US 75th Regiment Army Rangers waltzed down from the sky, red jet streams following their graceful descent, to perfect landings on the field, it was a clear signal that this was no ordinary day.
Between games Regan’s parents, Jim and Mary, along with his sisters, Maribeth, Colleen and Michaela and Sgt. Jimmy Regan’s fiancée, Mary McHugh, took the field to thank the crowd and volunteers for their amazing support. “This is a day we know Jimmy would have loved,” Regan, Sr. told the crowd. “There is a lot of pride amid the sadness.”
Lacrosse fans were treated to an amazing line-up of games featuring fired-up players who treated each event like a championship game. The day kicked off with the Manhasset 8th grade girls and boys travel teams each playing in a mini tournament.
Cheers could be heard up and down Plandome Road when number one ranked Duke entered Ed Walsh Stadium. Moments later more cheers erupted when number 8th ranked Army entered with their black and gold helmets gleaming. This was not just another NCAA exhibition game; this was Jimmy Regan’s alma mater, Duke, playing his Army alma mater. Other than the Duke or Army alumni many Manhasset residents found themselves unsure of which of Regan’s teams they should root for, so they cheered for both. After all, both teams were playing for Jimmy. With ESPNU broadcasting the game live, eventually Duke won the 10-6 match showcasing why they are ranked number one in scoring offense and number 6 in defense in the country.
Another Regan match-up was the game between the Manhasset Indians (ranked 3rd in the country) vs. the Chaminade Flyers, ranked 8th in the country. With what seemed an almost equal number of fans for both teams, Chaminade proved itself the better team that day, winning 11-5.
A highlight of the afternoon was the Manhasset Girl’s Varsity team playing St. Anthony’s. Regan’s youngest sister, Manhasset senior #10 Michaela Regan scored four goals and one assist, helping her team to a 14-11 victory on this extraordinary day of Manhasset lacrosse history.
As the sun set the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department took the field and delighted the fans with their speed, power, and lacrosse prowess. The crowd was once again on its feet cheering for both teams, and the NYPD Finest won the contest.
Standing along the sidelines thoughts turned to the phrase from our national anthem, “And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” and the ultimate price Sgt. Jimmy Regan paid for his country as fireworks streaked across an inky black sky and marked an end to this historic Manhasset event.
Both The Lead The Way Fund and the Indians Rock Community Foundation want to thank their volunteers who devoted their time and efforts to make the day a success. Very special and warm thanks also go to all Manhasset residents for their participation and patience during the day, The Town of North Hempstead, the Manhasset Park District, the Manhasset School Board, Manhasset School District Superintendent, Charlie Cardillo along with Manhasset High School Athletic Director, Carolyn Pagnano and the entire athletic office. Also instrumental in making the immense logistics of the day run smoothly was Manhasset School District Facilities Director, Armand Markarian, and his talented team of Joe Monda and Theresa Manieri.
The leaders of both organizations look forward to updating the community shortly with the financial success of the day.
The Lead The Way Lacrosse Day of Champions was an opportunity to honor one of Manhasset’s bravest sons, as well to celebrate with friends and extended Lacrosse family an extraordinary day of lacrosse and being together working toward the greater good.
In November 2007 The Lead The Way Fund teamed up with the community of Manhasset in organizing its third morale package drive for the US Army Rangers. Individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools and various local organizations throughout Manhasset and surrounding communities contributed plenty of the requested items which included snacks, toiletries, DVD’s, games, and lots of artwork and letters of support created by local students. On November 6th, LTWF held a “packing party” at Plandome Country Club and 117 packages stuffed with goodies were lovingly assembled and sent to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in time for Thanksgiving.
As a result of this ongoing collaborative effort, nearly 250 morale packages have been sent to the Rangers since March 2007. These morale package drives provide to the grateful citizens of Manhasset a way to show their support and appreciation to our military while honoring the memory of Jimmy, their hometown hero, in a meaningful and significant way.
LTWF plans to sponsor its fourth morale package drive in March of 2008. To support us in this project or to find out how to plan a morale package drive in your community, contact us!
On Saturday, December 1, 2007, the Munsey Park Women’s Club hosted its annual philanthropic dinner dance in honor of Jimmy Regan and to benefit the “Lead the Way Fund.” This well-attended holiday event drew over two hundred guests to the elegant North Hempstead County Club.
The evening was a success for the Fund, which was created in honor of Sgt. James J. Regan, a member of the U.S. Army Rangers, who was killed in action in the Iraq War, in February 2007. The amounts raised will go to aid Rangers and their families.
Manhasset residents, family and friends from near and far, including particularly, members of Jimmy’s military family of all ranks, were treated to a special night of reflection and celebration. The evening featured raffles, a sumptuous dinner and speeches by Jimmy’s father, James Regan, and by Colonel Gary Luck and General William F. Kernan (Ret.). The gala featured a live auction conducted by Munsey Park’s favorite auctioneer, Steve Corwen and dancing continued to well past midnight.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, the Lead The Way Fund held its inaugural golf outing at Plandome Country Club in Manhasset, North Hempstead Country Club and Sands Point Golf Club in Port Washington. Picturesque blue skies and warm breezes greeted volunteers, guests and more than 260 golfers as they converged on three beautiful courses to participate in what was to be a very special and memorable day. For some, it was a day to be outside and enjoy the terrific weather. For others, it was a chance to get out with buddies for a good round of golf; and for others it was an opportunity to entertain colleagues. But for everyone, it was, first and foremost, a way to show gratitude and support to our military, in particular, the US Army Rangers.
The Lead The Way Fund was established in memory of Sgt. James Regan, a lifelong resident of Manhasset, who was killed in Iraq on Feb. 9, 2007 while serving with the US Army Rangers. Its purpose is to provide assistance to Rangers and dependents of Rangers who have died, been disabled or who are currently serving in harm’s way around the world. Jim Regan, founder and president of the Lead The Way Fund, along with his family, the Hotarek family and some close friends, organized this event with the goal of raising money and awareness of the fund. He also viewed it as a great way to gather friends, neighbors and colleagues to honor the Army Rangers, and to celebrate the life of his son.
After the tournament, the festivities continued at Plandome Country Club where more than 450 people gathered for cocktails, dinner and both silent and live auctions. Highlights of the evening included rousing and inspirational speeches by honored guests—retired Four Star General Bryan Douglas Brown who is the former commander of Special Operations Command, U.S. Government and Jim Lorraine, who is the director of the U.S. Special Operations Care Coalition. An Army Ranger video showed the elite soldiers “in action,” and auctioneer Donny Ross skillfully fueled the flames of the bidding war among the many eager participants during the live auction.
Throughout the evening there were repeated comments and discussions between attendees regarding the timeliness of such an event and its proximity to the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, which so profoundly affected the community of Manhasset. “I think it’s just really appropriate that we’re all gathered here for a cause like this the same week as September 11,” said one participant. “A lot of people in this town lost friends and loved ones that day and now the troops are over there fighting for us, so this gives us a chance to thank them and show that we understand why they’re over there.
The community’s unwavering enthusiasm and support for this cause was evident throughout the day, from the multitude of eager volunteers who assisted with every aspect of the day, to the many residents and local merchants who so generously donated supplies and gift items for auction. An emotional 10-minute standing ovation was given to the Army Rangers from Ft. Benning, GA who came to Long Island to participate in the day and to honor Sgt. Regan. In its kick-off fundraising event, the funds raised for the Lead The Way Fund surpassed everyone’s loftiest hopes and expectations. One hundred percent of the money raised will go directly toward helping U.S. Army Rangers and their families. Toward the end of the evening, Mary Regan, Jimmy Regan’s mother, summed up the all-around success of the day when she said, “It was just a perfect day from start to finish. I know Jimmy was smiling down on all of us.”