2015: What An Incredible Year Fishing!

Not a day goes, that we don't each have the opportunity to help someone in need. FISH was busy in 2015. We are grateful for having had the opportunity to be of service to as many of our active duty military, veterans and families as we possibly could be.  In 2016, we expect to make even more progress, in what we are able to give back.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our efforts.  

Included is our 2015 Review, written by our Founder and Chairman, Paul Chapa.  Enjoy, thank you again, and let's all FISH on!! 

March 3, Augusta, KS - Five years ago Jonathan Blank's life changed forever when a bomb exploded under him in Afghanistan. The recon-marine lost both legs, a hip and had other severe injuries from the blast. On March 3rd FISH dropped by his home south of Augusta, KS with a brand new motorized chair with tracks on it to give to Blank. Jonathan Blank says, "It's a pretty cool device. I'll find a use for it, for sure. It's going to help me get around and keep me out of the dirt and muck. You know before, I would get trapped with my smaller wheelchair." Blank likes hunting and fishing and he will be able to enjoy the outdoors once again.

May 26th, Topeka, KS   - A recently retired Sgt. Major brought a recently medically discharged Marine, whose house had just gone into foreclosure, to our attention. An administrative mistake delayed her separation pay and had to survive on her limited savings. Consequently, she had to make a choice of using her savings to pay her mortgage or car payments until her payments and back pay resumed. Losing her car meant VA Benefits reduction or loss. Her home now in foreclosure meant having to live in her car. FISH answered the call of a Hero and on June 1 brought her mortgage current and out of foreclosure!

June 10, Camp Lejuene, NC - Food Industry Serving Heroes is honored to provide an incredible dinner experience honoring some of our nation’s heroes.  This Heroes Dinner was hosted by Commanding General, Major General Dave Beydler and his staff.  Honored to feed 60 Marine Wounded Heroes at the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Camp Lejeune. Also attending were NC Senator Thom Tillis, Major Generals Whitman and Beaudreau. This was our 14th Heroes Dinner and one that the FISHermen that attended will never forget.

June 18, Rock Hill, SC - FISH presented Sgt. Michael Snipes, US Army (ret.), with a Service Dog on June 18th in Rock Hill, NC. The animal will assist in helping Mike in his day-to-day activities.  Mike earned in the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaigns, two campaign stars, a Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with V, Purple Heart fourth award, parachutist badge and good conduct medal. He has completed Infantryman school and Ranger school.

June 20, Kansas City, KS - They call them “The Greatest Generation” for many reasons, but at the heart of it are their remarkable values of “personal responsibility, duty to country, honor and faith.” So much of what we enjoy today is because of the sacrifices they made to our nation. F.I.S.H. had the great privilege of taking two of these Heroes to see the Kansas City T-Bones play baseball and were graciously recognized by the teams and fans. Both had not seen a game in over 60 years. The first thing they requested was popcorn and peanuts…play ball!

Sept 12th,  Leavenworth, KS - Food Industry Serving Heroes and our friends at S.A. Piazza Pizza Company had the honor of feeding and entertaining veterans at the Leavenworth, KS VA. They enjoyed great food, karaoke and fellowship.

Sept 14th , Basehor, KS - F.I.S.H.’s 2nd Annual Golf Tourney included 122 golfers and honored 2 Gold Star Mothers, 2 WWII veterans, presented a Power Chair to a Vietnam Marine and a Service Dog to Corporal Marshall Duncan. The money raised from the tourney, silent and live auction will help us fund the next Track Chair, Service Dog, Power Chairs, Heroes Dinners and more!

Veteran’s Day, Olathe, KS - We presented our friends at Hyvee with the 1st Food Industry Serving Heroes Parking Sign and it has been a tremendously received by their customers. Hyvee has provided the food and beverages for the F.I.S.H. Golf tourney the past few years.

Veterans Day - F.I.S.H. partnered with 6 Kansas City golfers courses and Golfsmith to raise awareness for veteran needs. Golfsmith plans on making this an annual fundraiser event supporting F.I.S.H.

September 20, Kansas City, MO - F.I.S.H. coordinated the Guest Speaker for the 240th Marine Corps birthday in Kansas City. WWII Veteran and battle of Saipan Marine, Private E.N. “Buddy” Thomas attended his first Marine Corps Ball and shared his love and devotion to the “Corps Values” and shared how they have been an influential part his 90 years.

November 17th, Rock Hill, SC - Food Industry Serving Heroes present Sgt. Darrin Jenkins with Tiger the Service Dog!! Darrin is a retired soldier with over twenty years of service to our great country. Darrin works at the VA office in York County, SC. helping other veterans.

December 20th -  F.I.S.H. distributed 15 - $100 gift cards and food to veterans and military families across America.

December 23, Rock Hill, SC - Air Force Major, Mary O'Connor in training with her Service Dog that she will receive from Food Industry Serving Heroes just in time for Christmas.

The world is a very dangerous place and the needs of our active duty military, veterans and families will continue for decades to come. F.I.S.H. is relevant, needed and will be there when our military needs us. They served us, now it’s our turn to serve them. Your continued financial support is needed to continue serving our Nation’s Heroes.

Respectfully yours,

Paul Chapa
Chairman/President, Food Industry Serving Heroes, Inc.

The Food Industry Serving Heroes (F.I.S.H.) is a 501C3 non-profit established in 2013. The mission of F.I.S.H. is to engage the food and other industries in serving the men and women who have sacrificed to guarantee America’s freedom. Its programs improve the quality of life of U.S. troops, veterans and their families, providing Service Dogs, All Terrain Track Chairs, Power Chairs Heroes Dinners across the country at military installations and more. Nothing is more fundamental to America than the freedom these soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast guardsmen provide. To read more about F.I.S.H. and see photos, please visit www.foodindustryservingheroes.org or look for us on Facebook page. 

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