Dedicated to CPL TJ "Puppy" Maddox, who left this earth on 25 April, 2015, and Climbed to his Eternal Glory.
ACTIVITIES: July 3, 2015 - Dinner, Smith's Barn at Brooksby Farm National Anthem; Roll Call; Spartan Pledge; Gifts to attendees, including boxes of CanChew Hemp Oil Gum from AXIM Biotechnologies, flashlights from 4Imprint.com, Jelly Beans from Just Born, Inc.; Fishing Trip gifts July 4, 2015 - Private Bar-B-Q at private home Introduction to SSG Ty Carter, MoH Recipient; Toasts; Official picture; Various activities
What an event! We believe a TOTAL Success! It was a respite, a retreat, a healing, a time for Warfighters and Gold Star families to meet each other (some of the Gold Star Moms, wives, sisters, brothers, girlfriends and children had never had the chance to meet some of the Soldiers and each other). We picked up airfare, hotel, breakfasts, dinners, bar-b-q and other charges to help make this weekend a memorable one.
The event was the idea of Warfighters Anonymous creators SSG Justin Coletti and SSG Eric Johnson (Ret). Coletti had been to a funeral last year for one of his Battle Buddies and vowed to do something to help fight the effects of PTS, TBI and to help lower the astounding rate of suicides among Veterans --- 22 a day! He contacted Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon and asked us to help. So AaSP jumped in with both feet! The event hit our Operation Combat Care mission on so many points!
One of the expected attendees, SGT TJ Maddox ("Puppy") took his own life on 25 April 2015 - and the event took on an even more important meaning. WIW was dedicated to Puppy.
We brought up Captain "Woody" Woodall (aka America's Elvis), a retired Raleigh, NC, Fire Captain who has devoted his life to helping our Wounded Veterans since 9/11. Woody sang our National Anthem and it was awesome!!!
We brought in Soldier Hard, a Tanker from California who uses music as his own therapy, to administer the Spartan Pledge to those willing to take the oath not to hurt themselves without reaching out to their sponsor.
We brought up Sgt Travis Bohman, Sheriff's Deputy from Richmond County, NC, his wife and his K-9 "Dasty." Dasty was already somewhat of a celebrity as he had been a Military Working Dog in Afghanistan with SSG Coletti the event organizer for Warfighters Anonymous, to have an event by Warfighters for Warfighters.
We brought in SSG Ty Carter, an MoH recipient to share his own experiences and be part of the experience. Ty came in like every other regular Joe and then on Saturday afternoon at the Bar-B-Q he was introduced by event organizer SSG Justin Coletti and he took pictures and shook hands with everyone. It was very emotional.
We put everyone up at the Peabody Marriott Hotel, a full-service Marriott. The Marriott and ALL its personnel were AWESOME!!! They went out of their way at every turn to make everyone comfortable and feel at home. And they provided Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon with an EXCEPTIONAL rate to keep our costs down. THANK YOU Peabody Marriott General Manager and Staff, and especially Event Co-ordinator Nancy Lee!
SEE BELOW for some comments from attendees and our thanks to folks.
What Some Folks Attending Had to Say: It was an outstanding wknd, made a lot of good memories and for the people I hadn't met it was as if we've always been friends and family, looking forward to our next one. TH
Was an amazing thing and was put together well. missed the fourth due to work but was amazing weekend! EL
Thank you everyone I had great weekend meet great ppl. #CharlieMike#RC1MG saving lives! DJS
One step closer just WANTED to thank you all for the awesome event and 2-87 INF appreciate u legs taken in the chastity belts.... thanks you guys for all the hospitality... nice meeting yall see you out WEST some time!!! Gonz
Thank you for coming up with this weekend and for allowing all of us with Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon to be here to assist. It was an honor to be amongst so many fine people. BZ Safe travels home to everyone. -proud Navy Dad RS
I just recently spent the weekend with WIW on there first annual gathering. I have been in the army for 14yrs and this is the first REAL event that I have seen help soldiers. The army does what it can to provide care givers but combat hardened troops just can't take some doctors in experience book knowledge on coping with PTSD to heart.
Over this weekend soldiers spent time crying, laughing, and honoring in only they soldiers can. I want to extend a huge thank you to the adopt a soldier platoon foundation for their help in making this happen. Further if you are an organization or company that wishes to truly help soldiers in need this organization is the place. RF SH
Special Thanks go out to the Following: Warfighters Anonymous - taking seriously the idea of protecting and helping our Warfighters Peabody Marriott Hotel, Peabody, MA (Nancy Lee) Peabody Historical Society, Peabody, MA (Tammy Messina) Cloverleaf Catering, Peabody, MA (Penny Williams) Kappy's Liquors, Peabody, MA (Steve Katzen) Boston's Best Bartenders, Boston, MA (Kim and Mike) SSG Ty Carter, MoH SGT Jeff Barillaro, aka Soldier Hard Capt. Woody Woodall, FFAAFF
For more names, please see below...
PRE-EVENT NARRATIVE "B Company, 2-87 IN, 10th MTN Division, like my infantry units serving in combat operations, sustained terrible losses of life and limb and souls during its four deployments to Afghanistan in 07-08; 09-10; 11-12; and 13-14. Not only were there Soldiers severely Wounded and Killed in Action, already the unit has faced Suicide of their Brothers as well. On 25 April, 2015, another Outlaw left this earth - CPL TJ "Puppy" Maddox. This event will be dedicated in his honor and memory."
Warfighters Independence Weekend (WIW) is being organized by SGT Justin Coletti, an Infantryman in 2-87. He approached Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon in January 2015 and asked for help. This is something near and dear to our hearts -- reducing the Veteran Suicide Rate in the United States and helping our Combat and War Veterans cope with PTS, TBI and what we call "Wounded Souls."
WIW is inviting Combat Veterans from its own unit - the Outlaw Company - as well as the Gold Star families affected by their deployment tragedies and other Wounded Heroes as well.
We need your help! We plan to provide travel, hotel, catering and other expenses for this event. Hotel expenses are large and Airfare for our Gold Star families and Medically Retired personnel is high. We need Sponsors, Hero Benefactors, Patron Donations and donations from the General Public to make this work. Every donation helps! Every donation counts!
We believe this is a first of its kind event put on by Warfighters for Warfighters. Organizers are hoping to create a "web network" of caring Veterans who can help those considering suicide or just need someone to talk to who understands, who has been through what these Veterans have been through. Most do not want to talk to psychologists or psychiatrists unless they have been in the military. They prefer to talk to their own. WIW will make that happen, create deeper and new bonds and hopefully, HOPEFULLY save a life or several. PLEASE HELP US HELP THEM!
If you want to help you can email Alan Krutchkoff, President of AaSP - If needed, he can put you in touch with Justin for more information. Thank you!
Employees from Deloitte in Parsippany, NJ, and elsewhere are helping AaSP raise money for our WIW! This pic shows a Deloitte team at an A.R.M.S. packing day in Toms River, NJ. Deloitte employees also participated in a breakout session to help AaSP become more efficient and grow to be a more successful, but still lean, charity.
Thanks to the members of the Fair Lawn (NJ) Old Timers Club, we raised $2,000! Thanks guys!!!
SPONSORS: (cash, products and/or services) Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon; CanChew Gum; SSgt Joseph D'Augustine Memorial Fund; Deloitte; the Doyle family; Stephen Siller Tunnel 2 Towers Foundation; Unilever Sales, East Sector; US Bank; VFW Post 281, Fair Lawn, NJ
HERO BENEFACTORS: Acevedo Family; Bryan Cave Law, NYC; Frank Cannata; Cole Schotz PC; Bob and Dolores Freidenrich;
PATRONS: American Legion, Post 272, Norwood, NJ; Russ Clarke; Tom Diffendal; Mr/Mrs Lloyd Erlemann; Fair Lawn Old Timers Club; Alex Marrocco; Joe Maurillo; SGM Willene Orr; 10th Mountain Division Association; Unilever Federal Credit Union;
SUPPORTERS: Alan Backus; David Bixler; David Boone; Mike Burnett; Terry Cerullo; SGT Justin Coletti; Lauren Costa and Jose Santiago; Carol Dabaghian; Joseph Daloisio, Jr.; Davis Family; Sam Depadova; Robert Donahue; Fair Lawn Rescue Squad; various members of Fair Lawn Old Timers Club; Michael Farley; Nick Felice; Jim Gardella; Joel Gardiner; Guzzo + Guzzo Architects; Grace Hammond; Fred Hirsch; Tom Hogan; Jon Kemper; Leonard Knapp, Jr.; Katherine Kokko; Krutchkoff Family; Don Landzettel; Megan McGill; Don Morris; Raymond Orlando; COL (R) Jack O'Neil; David Owens; Michael Powers; Karen Ramsey; Phillip Rhodes; Kyle Sell; John Smithlin, Jr.; John Tracy, Jr.; and Joe Welter