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Success Stories

Personal stories inspire giving by showing how people in need have benefitted from contributions through the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas. Personal stories can be included in speeches, shared at campaign events, used as good news articles in your local installation newspaper or sent as inspirational e-mails throughout the campaign.

Click here to submit a story

Service Dog Helps Recovering Vet Sleep Easier

Brian Pearce didn’t plan on a military career. When he graduated high school, he joined his local sheriff’s department, but after budget cuts eliminated his position, he enlisted in the Army in 1992, and was stationed throughout the U.S. and overseas. In 2003, after a three-year service break, he reenlisted. “After 9/11, I knew that whenever I came back on active duty I would go to Iraq or Afghanistan.”
Pearce was deployed to Mosul, Iraq, in 2005.

Backpacks of Caring

When a wounded service member is evacuated from the battlefield and sent for treatment to a military hospital, they often have no personal items or clothing during their recuperation. A CFC-supported organization supplies backpacks filled with a change of clothing, personal hygiene items and a handmade quilt.
In a thank-you letter to the organization, Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Boyles expresses how much this backpack can mean to an injured person. He writes, “I am the wounded warrior who received your care package after the hummer I was in was blown up by an IED.

Tragedy Eased by Generosity

On a Friday night while serving overseas in Japan, US Navy IT2 Joshua T. Kostick found out that his grandfather had passed away. Since his grandfather had not raised him for the majority of his childhood, neither the Navy nor his command could pay for the flight home to Maryland from Japan. Knowing this, Joshua turned to a CFC-O-funded charity. Within eight hours of receiving word of his grandfather’s passing, the charity booked and paid for a flight for Joshua to return to his hometown in Maryland to pay his respects to his grandfather.

Wounded Hero and His Kids Move Into New Home

When wounded veteran Mathew Sheffel and his five kids checked into a San Antonio hotel recently, they thought it was a weekend getaway treat from their friends at a CFC-O supported charity.

Navy Family Back on Their Feet

As a U.S. Navy patrol boat specialist, Petty Officer Gabriel Perez’s job was to take the fight to the enemy aboard fast, agile small boats. And that’s just what he did in Iraq, Kuwait and on anti-pirate missions in the Horn of Africa. While on patrol in 2010, Gabriel’s boat hit a wave, throwing him from his gun mount to the deck. Gabriel fractured three ribs and two vertebrae, and suffered a significant spinal cord injury. That ended Gabriel’s Navy career, and in the maze of veterans’ and other medical programs, he had trouble getting his pay.

Army Family Receives Support in Tough Times

John Elkins knows all about stress. After losing a buddy to a roadside bomb while on the front lines of the war on terror, this brave Soldier became a specialist in detecting and defusing the very improvised explosive devices that took his friend’s life.

It’s stressful, dangerous work. But John loves it, and he loves serving his country.

A Marine Sergeant’s Son Has a Happy Holiday with Help from a CFC Supported Charity

Three years ago Marine Sergeant Adam Van Hoozer volunteered to help a CFC-O supported organization dedicated to supporting needy families by providing new toys during the holiday season to children who otherwise would not receive any gifts. During that time, Sergeant Van Hoozer was lower-ranking and could not afford Christmas presents for his own son, Kayleb.

Wounded Warrior Given Second Chance

Sgt Adam Kisielewski had just gotten married before he left for Iraq. A month into his tour, he and his Lieutenant entered a booby-trapped school in Al Karmah. The explosion killed the Lieutenant and Sergeant Kisielewski lost his left arm and his right leg just below the knee. He also suffered numerous other injuries that nearly cost him his left leg.

Injured Hero Gives Back by Racing Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Master Sergeant (Retired) Carl Traub lost both legs and suffered paralysis from a severe spinal cord injury after an IED attack, while serving his country in Iraq. Despite these setbacks, he continues to serve his community and support his fellow injured warriors. On October 25, 2009, Marine MSgt Traub raised a significant amount of money for a CFC supported charity that helps wounded warriors, by completing the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA. “I had always meant to run the Marine Corps Marathon when I had legs,” said Traub. This year he achieved that goal on a hand cycle, finishing in just under five hours.

Injured Hero Sails Warrior’s Wish in Single-man Race to Hawaii

Ronnie Simpson was serving with the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines in the Spring of 2004 when his Humvee was hit with a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). To save his life, doctors placed him into a medically induced coma for 19 days. Though he recovered, his long term injuries include the loss of hearing in one ear, the loss of half of his left lung, and mild brain damage. His eyes were also sprayed with shrapnel and despite cataract replacements and glasses, Simpson is slowly going blind.