WHAT WE DO
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon is an all-volunteer 501 (c )(3) public charity that has been supporting our Troops since April 2003. Revenue is about $500,000/yr and in 2020, 91.6 cents/$1 went to our programs to improve morale of the Troops.2021 results are forthcoming.
OUR MISSION: The mission of Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon is to lift the morale and support the welfare of active members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces, their immediate families, and the immediate families of deceased veterans.
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon is constantly sending care packages downrange to our
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. These packages let our brave Americans know we are thinking about them and their sacrifices far from home are not in vain.
Our last large packing event was our "Winter Close Out Pack" on January 28, 2020, pre-COVID, to ship out the last of our Christmas-time items from 2019. We packed about 300 cartons of treats for our Troops. Currently, AaSP has a two-person team that packs about 20 cartons every week. We have about 60 units we are supporting, including; units in Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, the African continent, Poland, Syria, Thailand and across the high seas. We send healthy snacks; entertainment amenities; coffee machines and fresh roasted coffee; exercise kits and anything else they might need. Also, we are now the Official Care Package Arm of the Special Forces Charitable Trust. We support Green Berets and Special Operators all over the world.
Operation Wounded Care
AaSP’s Operation Wounded Care supports our Wounded/Recovering Veterans who often struggle to make the transition from military to civilian life. AaSP provides services and necessities that enable their independence and improved self-esteem. This includes, but is not limited to: specially-adaptive vehicles; motorized wheelchairs; entertainment/recreation; hunting and fishing trips for Wounded and Homeless Vets; financial stipends; and other needs they may have. 100% of restricted monies for Wounded Care go to these programs. Since COVID hit, AaSP has spent over $350,000 on these programs. We provided various grants to help our Vets: hunting therapy trips (COVID kept us from having fishing trips this past year); housing improvements; financial grants; and, pre-COVID, entertainment/gifts for Super Bowl and Holiday parties at Walter Reed hospital, including gifts for Wounded Vets’ children (this year was different- again, COVID kept us from having the parties the last two years). In 2015, we sponsored a grassroots “Warfighters Independence Weekend” on July 3-4 to help reduce suicide amongst Soldiers of the 10th MTN Div and we continue that mission. Operation Wounded Care is funded primarily by our Salute to American Heroes Gala, which is held during October. This year's Salute to American Heroes 9 will be held on 20 October at the Royal Manor in Garfield, NJ.
AaSP has supported the ideals of Camp4Heroes, a retreat in North Carolina that is being developed as a sanctuary for Life, Love and Respect for our Injured Servicemen/women, as well as police, fire and first responders. We believe that Camp4Heroes will be instrumental in helping our Wounded Vets heal their souls from the trauma of war. AaSP made huge improvements to the Camp and built the first cabin on the property to house Wounded Vets and their families when they visit. Additionally, with help from some partners, financed two more cabins. We recently finished helping the Camp build a "Team House" barracks on the property. AaSP and its partners donated over $250,000 to the Camp, building an outdoor kitchen, pier on the lake, and other facilities. The Camp is approximately six years old.
Military Appreciation Tours
Prior to the pullout in Afghanistan, Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon made Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) Military Appreciation Tours with the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.
The Cheerleaders put on a great variety show. We also brought exercise gear; entertainment amenities, such as Xboxes and iPads; and healthy snacks, candy and fresh roasted coffee, to name just some of the items, to our Troops.
HOW WE GOT STARTED
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon got started literally by accident. About two weeks after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Mary-Edna Krutchkoff, a school nurse at the time, had her parked car hit in the school parking lot by the school’s female custodian. Mary-Edna called her husband Alan at work at Unilever Bestfoods in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, and explained there was serious damage to her car. “Couldn’t she see your car in the parking lot?” he asked, somewhat angrily. “She had a lot on her mind,” Mary-Edna replied, who then went on to say that the woman’s son-in-law had just deployed to Iraq. “Oh,” was Alan’s remark, whose emotion changed from anger to empathy. He then contacted a buddy at work, Holmes Brady and said, “Let’s adopt this kid. He’s a sergeant in the 82d Airborne."
Turns out that Holmes’ dad was in the 82d during World War II. So there was an instant connection. The two men went to the company store and started buying goodies for the young sergeant. And the word spread amongst their fellow employees that they were supporting a deployed infantryman. Soon after, others came to them with loved ones who were serving. And teammates offered to help support the mission by donating $20 bills. Within a few months, there were about 25 folks supporting three Marines and the original “Adoptee.” Krutchkoff said, “We’re the size of a small platoon. Let’s call ourselves the Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon.” And that’s how the Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon was formed. Eighteen years later, it’s more active than ever.