New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft surprised a group of a retired marines Wednesday when he gave $100,000 to the Semper Fi & America’s Fund for wounded warriors in the middle of a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House.
“I had no idea that Mr. Kraft was going to put that challenge out there, of $100,000, but I’m really appreciative of it and I know that it will go a great way to helping our wounded or injured, and their families,” said the fund’s chairman and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford.
Kraft attended the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima, which the State House has held for the last two decades. He accepted the ‘Gung-Ho’ award for his efforts with the Patriots to recognize veterans. Kraft made Gillette Stadium the first arena to honor military service with a POW-MIA “Chair of Honor,” a seat that stays perpetually empty to remind soldiers there is always a place for them.
The Patriots owner sat next to Dunford during the ceremony, and the two had a conversation during the remarks. When Kraft stood up to accept his award, he blindsided the general with the announcement.
“I just thank you for what you’ve done for us. I just realized the general also is heading up this fund, so our family would like to give a challenge gift here today of $100,000,” Kraft said.
“We provide a lot of services. For example, care managers, visiting nurses — everything from equestrian programs to brain injury programs,” Gen. Dunford said. “It’ll help. It’ll help a lot.”
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