West Michigan organization giving military kids an education

GRAND HAVEN, Mich-- There are many things in life that are not free. Among them, our freedom and a college education.

Returning home to Grand Rapids from his second tour of duty in Iraq, Major Dan Rooney became painfully aware of the reality families face when a loved one in uniform is fallen or disabled. That's when Major Rooney decided to change the future of America’s grieving spouses and children and the Folds of Honor Foundation was born.

There are more than 1 million disabled and fallen service members impacted by war, but the number of our military heroes is even greater. One of whom is Alayna Adams.

"Some people haven't gone through this type of thing for most of us who have it really does bring our family down sometimes," Adams said, who is just one of the thousands of kids of military families who has been given a scholarship.

The group behind the deed is called Folds of Honor, a non-profit that got its start with a charity golf tournament at the Grand Haven Golf Club.

"My mom was in the military for 8 years," Adams said. " She fell off of a truck while training while doing a rapid dismount and severely injured her back," Adams said.

Now, Folds of Honor operates in all 50 states, providing educational scholarships to spouses and children of America's fallen and disabled service members.

"The effort has been very rewarding," said attorney and Folds of Honor Michigan board member Gary McInerney.

Since 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded nearly 16,000 educational scholarships up to $5,000.

"You get gratification, you see how meaningful you are to individuals and then you meet with the students, often times you don't come away from that meeting with a dry eye it means so much to them," McInerney said.

Adams is heading to college in the fall hoping to become a neurosurgeon and says it's all thanks to her hero, her mother.

You can honor those who take care of us at an upcoming event June 15th at St. Cecelia Music Hall. Tickets are $35 and are available at the door.  Doors open at 6:30, the concert starts at 7:00.

It's free for injured vets. Keep in mind, all of the money the folds of honor raises in Michigan stays in our state.

If you would like to donate to the Folds of Honor, click here.

There is also a golf outing at Grand Havnen Golf Club July 24th, if you would like to participate, call the golf club directly.

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