DREAM COME TRUE: Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon (center) with Folds of Honor Foundation members, from left, Ginny Creveling, president and COO, Folds of Honor Foundation; Jacqy Rooney, FHF founding member and wife of Major Rooney; Major Dan Rooney, founder, Folds of Honor Foundation; Johnny Damon; Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army (retired) and FHF senior vice president and executive director; Major Pulido’s wife, Karen, and their children, Kaitlin (8) and Kinsley (3), both of whom are recipients of Folds of Honor Foundation scholarships.
STUART RAMSON, Folds of Honor Foundation
The New York Yankees recognized the Folds of Honor Foundation () and its Founder, Major Dan Rooney, for their work on behalf of military families in a pre-game home plate ceremony at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in August. The Folds of Honor Foundation is based in Tulsa.
In accepting the recognition in a pre-game ceremony behind home plate, Major Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, and a Professional, paid tribute to the men and women of the United States military who serve to protect our freedom every day.
“We are honored by this recognition from the Yankees, as a tribute to all our men and women in uniform and their families,” said Major Rooney. “The sacrifices of our troops keep us all free. It is our obligation to see that their families can still realize their dreams after a father or mother’s tragic loss in service to our nation. On behalf of all of our military families and the Folds of Honor Foundation, we thank the Yankees and the Steinbrenner family from the bottom of our hearts.”
Also on the field for the ceremony were: Jacqy Rooney, founding member and wife of Major Rooney; Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army (retired) and senior vice president and executive director; Major Pulido’s wife, Karen, and their children, Kaitlin (8) and Kinsley (3), both of whom are recipients of Folds of Honor Foundation scholarships; and Ginny Creveling, president and , Folds of Honor Foundation.
The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007, when Major Rooney decided to do something to honor his fallen colleagues after an up-close and personal experience with the “unseen” side of war. While heading home from Iraq, Rooney witnessed the grief of a family as they received the flag-draped casket of Corporal Brock Bucklin, killed in Iraq while Dan was also there. In that moment, thinking of his own family, Rooney found his calling, and set out to create an organization that would provide educational opportunities to those who might not have a chance to realize that dream after losing a husband, wife, father or mother.
The Foundation’s annual fundraising event is Patriot Golf Day, which was held at more than 5,000 participating golf courses during Labor Day Weekend, and raises money for scholarships, ranging from $500 to $20,000, for the families of military members killed or disabled in service to their country. By asking golfers nationwide to donate one dollar (or more) on top of their greens fees to the cause, they’ve raised more than $3 million and helped more than 550 families in just the past two years.
Major Rooney finished his third tour of duty in Iraq in November 2008 and is preparing to return whenever he is called. He resides in Oklahoma with his wife and four daughters. More information is available at www.foldsofhonor.com and www.patriotgolfday.com.