OMAHA, Neb., Feb. 1, 2016 — Wounded Warriors Family Support has launched a new program to support Native American veterans who need transportation and transition assistance on their reservations.
Wounded Warriors Family Support has teamed with the Office of Tribal Government Relations at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the new Native American Veterans Support, Transition and Resources (NAVSTaR) program. This program will ensure that Native American veterans, especially those who are combat wounded, are helped in a meaningful way.
“As a youngster growing up in New Mexico, I learned first-hand about the Navajo Code Talkers and their contribution to Marines during the brutal island hopping campaign in the South Pacific during World War II,” said Col. John Folsom, USMCR (Ret.), founder and president of Wounded Warriors Family Support. “I have had the honor to serve with Native Americans during my 30 years of service. We have a firm commitment to support our Native American veterans, especially tribes that are the most isolated and poor.”
So far, Wounded Warriors Family Support has provided Ford vehicles to the Blackfeet Nation, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Oglala Lakota Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Three Affiliated Tribes.
Last November, Wounded Warriors Family Support donated a 2016 Ford Transit Connect to the Oglala Lakota Nation in an effort to provide safe and dependable transportation to VA facilities. The donation was in memory of Lance Cpl. Brett Lundstrom, who was killed Jan. 7, 2006, while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment in Iraq.
“Brett was returned to Pine Ridge and honored with a warrior’s funeral,” Folsom said. “I appreciate his life and service, especially given the backdrop of the crushing poverty of the Pine Ridge reservation.”
Wounded Warriors Family Support is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. This organization is run by combat veterans for combat veterans. Rated a four-star nonprofit by Charity Navigator, Wounded Warriors Family Support aids veterans and their families in healing the wounds that medicine cannot. For more information about Wounded Warriors Family Support, visit www.wwfs.org.