Interview with Troops First Foundation Exec Director Rick Kell - Cars in the Community

In this episode of "Cars in the Community" I had the pleasure of talking with Rick Kell, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Troops First Foundation. We get to talk about the founding of the foundation and their initiatives. During the month of May, for every new or used vehicle sold at any Smail location, we are donating $125 to Troops First.

"We actually survive on private sector donations," said Kell. "The money that comes specifically from Pennsylvania and Jim Smail's efforts, and the extension of his efforts, have been very significant over the past four or five years," he continued. "The freedom we enjoy in terms of making decisions and staying true to our mission is really brought about by men like Jim Smail, and a few others around the country that, through their efforts on an annual basis, really provide us with the opportunity to be effective."

Feherty's Troops First Foundation works to provide meaningful assistance to our military who have been wounded while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through several relevant and unduplicated programs along with specialized events designed for OIF/OEF combat-wounded service members and their families, Troops First addresses relationship building, mentoring, reintegration and looking forward. 

Over 90% of money donated to the Troops First Foundation goes directly to the troops and their families. Some of their programs and initiatives include:

Operation Proper Exit:
Operation Proper Exit is a unique initiative designed for Wounded Warfighters who are thriving in recovery and are capable of returning to theater. This program itinerary stages meet-and-greet opportunities with currently deployed troops as well as battlefield circulation returning the Warriors in many cases to the site where they were injured.

Operation Warrior Call:
The wounds of war, both visible and invisible, sustained by the force through multiple deployments have been well documented. Many service members return from the battlefield facing a host of serious challenges. Once home, the possibility of becoming disconnected from their fellow Warriors can be acerbated simply by the challenges and demands of everyday life. Moving forward, the health of the Warrior community can be strengthened by Warriors staying connected to Warriors. In response, we have launched Operation Warrior Call.

Leroy Petry Village of Honor:
In an effort to continue with the Foundation’s mission of developing relevant initiatives to assist Warriors with reintegrating back to civilian life, they are building The Leroy Petry Village of Honor. This is a transitional housing program that will consist of seven single family fully accessible homes. These homes will be available at no cost to Warriors who are transitioning out of the military and have one to two years remaining at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

For more information, visit:
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