PRYOR, OK —
Pryor resident Tom Giles donated $165,000 to the Foundation For Exceptional Warriors. The check was presented at Pryor’s Chamber of Commerce Forum Wednesday.
FEW was founded by Pryor resident Bill Kolb, Salina native Ronny Sweger and Oklahoma resident Mark Nutsch.
The mission of FEW is to assist in the healing process of veterans and their families. Its focus is on Special Operations Forces, those recognized for valorous actions and those wounded in combat - from any war era.
“It’s Make a Wish for soldiers,” Kolb said. “We are a local foundation with a national mission. I hope the (Pryor) business community will join this cause.”
Kolb recognized Pryor World War II pilot and prisoner of war Quenton Ogden, 91, who has been on some trips organized by FEW.
“He caught more fish than anyone on that last trip,” Kolb said.
Kolb said he was surprised to find there is no support group for soldiers given medals of valor who were not wounded.
Sweger said he was separated from his Special Operations unit because of injury and never had the opportunity to gain closure with them.
“We (Special Ops) are gone six months, then home for a week. We have a little honeymoon, but don’t really get to reconnect (with our families).”
FEW presented Giles with an Honorary Exceptional Warrior certificate. He also received a table-top version of the horse soldier bronze memorial that stands at Ground Zero in New York City.
“Any organization that helps a vet, we want to work with them,” Giles said. “It is my privilege to be able to give the money to these guys.”
Giles is a veteran, but never fought in combat.
Kolb said one percent of the U.S. population volunteers for the service. “The other 99 percent who receive the protection should support the one percent,” Kolb said.
“There are no other causes without this. We make no apologies for being a patriot.”