In honor of Veterans Day, the American Red Cross and the Wounded Warrior Project received generous donations on behalf of American veterans.
The American Red Cross received the largest single gift it has ever received, designated specifically for its military and veterans’ programs.
French businessman and philanthropist Bernard Darty donated half a million dollars to each organization.
Darty, a Holocaust survivor, was inspired to donate in honor of the American Armed Forces that liberated the French during World War II. Because of American intervention, Darty and his family were able to survive the war.
With his donation, Darty penned a letter to the Red Cross explaining his struggle during the German occupation in France and how he owes the American military for his freedom.
“In giving this donation, I want to thank Americans with all my heart for coming to rescue us in our hour of need,” Darty explained in his letter.
“The Red Cross is grateful to Mr. Darty for this most generous gift,” said Koby Langley, senior vice president for the Service to the Armed Forces Division of the American Red Cross. “A gift of this magnitude will allow the Red Cross to continue to provide vital emergency support services through the Hero Call Center and critical community services to the members of the military, veterans and their families. It will also allow us to innovate and develop new programs to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s military and tomorrow’s veterans.”
The Hero Call Center works to independently verify an emergency, and then relay the information to the service member’s commander so they can make an educated decision regarding emergency leave. The Red Cross will also provide transportation assistance and/or financial assistance to service members if they are granted a leave. The Hero Call Center allows service members to call or submit a request online seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Darty also donated another half a million dollars to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“In giving this donation, I want to thank Americans with all my heart for rescuing us during the war,” Darty said. “The gratitude I feel to these men is beyond words. They were saviors, doling out sweets to half-starved, war-worn children who had almost given up hope of freedom. That is why I want to support American veterans — and why I support America.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Darty for his generosity, which will enable us to reach even more veterans, particularly those most in need,” Wounded Warrior Project CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington said. “We serve the most critical needs of our nation’s wounded heroes, including those who live with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD]. Thanks to generous supporters like Mr. Darty, we provide them crucial support services free of charge, making a tremendous difference in the lives of wounded veterans of this generation and their families.”
Darty hopes his donations will inspire other Europeans to donate to the American military.
“There is no doubt that there are other families throughout Europe who feel just as we do and who have the ability to make similar donations,” Darty said. “We are hoping that this will be the start of a fundraising effort honoring America’s veterans.”