Wounded Marines compete in endurance athletic contests as Team Semper Fi.
General Alfred M. Gray Jr., 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps and chairman of the board of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, recently welcomed Kim Foley to the board of directors of the organization. Foley is chairman of the board of Foley Incorporated, the Caterpillar dealership serving northern New Jersey, Staten Island and Bermuda.
Foley served in the United States Marine Corps as an officer from 1967 to 1971. While in Vietnam, he was a platoon commander, and company commander for various units of the 1st Marine Division. Since 2004, Foley has been visiting wounded soldiers at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
“Meeting these wonderful young men and women had been an inspiring experience. In every case these young Marines and sailors are eager to return to their units, and active duty. Most of the wounded I have visited have been under 25 years old and on their 2nd, if not 3rd, deployment,” Foley said.
Foley’s basic officer’s class, which started in June of 1968, initially donated special Marine warm-up suits to patients at the hospital, in memory of their fellow classmates killed in Vietnam. Foley Inc. has since provided more than 3,000 additional suits. In addition, both Foley Inc. and the Foley family foundation sponsor Team Semper Fi, which is a group of wounded Marines who compete in endurance athletic contests.
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization set up to provide immediate financial support for injured members of U.S. Armed Forces and their families. They direct urgently needed resources to Marines and sailors, as well as members of the Army, Air Force or Coast Guard who serve in support of Marine forces.
They have full-time staff at Bethesda, Walter Read, Brooke Medical Center and Balboa. The fund had its genesis in April 2003, at the Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, Calif. when a registered nurse and spouse of an active duty Marine saw firsthand the challenges faced by wounded Marines and sailors as they returned from Operation Iraqi Freedom. She, along with a dedicated group of military spouses and hospital employees, began to organize Welcome Home activities at the hospital. By May 2004, the IMSFF was incorporated in California. Since establishment, the organization has issued more than 23,000 grants totaling more than $43 million to thousands of soldiers and their families.
For more information, visit www.semperfifund.org.