The DAR Project Patriot Committee is Hard at Work

Written by: Jennifer Minus, National Chair, DAR Project Patriot
February 2, 2016

The DAR Project Patriot Committee is the official Daughters of the American Revolution committee that supports America’s servicemembers and their families. At the national level, DAR support is focused on two groups: women serving in the military and wounded military personnel. In addition, we provide support to deploying and returning servicemembers and their families.

Individual members and chapters are encouraged to support the men and women serving in uniform in any way appropriate. Activities could range from sending care packages to relatives of chapter members or supporting local Reserve/National Guard units and their families.

As Americans across the nation were getting ready for the holidays in mid-December, six members of the United States Air Force were killed in action by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. They left behind spouses, children, parents and siblings to spend this holiday – and all future holidays – without them. Although the military assigns casualty assistance personnel to families when a servicemember passes away on active-duty from combat, illness, injury, accident, or suicide, there are many grieving and emotional support aspects that are not covered, especially if a family is not near a military post. Twenty-one years ago, military widow and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Bonnie Carroll saw this need and founded the non-profit organization Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or “TAPS,” in order to offer help, hope, and healing for survivors. One of their programs is “Good Grief Camps” for children who have lost a parent; children are paired with an active-duty mentor who helps them learn how our nation honors those who have served and sacrificed. Recently retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey felt so strongly about supporting TAPS children that he regularly attended the Memorial Day Good Grief Camp in Washington, DC and had a TAPS child introduce him at his retirement ceremony in September. 

The DAR Project Patriot Committee learned in the fall that TAPS lost its sponsor for their Survivor Resource Kits – boxes that are immediately mailed to a family after a death.  Each box is customized for the family members and cause of death. For instance, one of the six airmen killed in December was NYPD police detective Joseph Lemm, an Air National Guardsman who left behind a wife and two children. His family’s Survivor Resource Kit included coloring books, child friendly journals, and the book “Klinger.” Klinger is a book about a real-life caisson horse assigned to the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery who helps grieving children. In January, the DAR Project Patriot Committee was privileged to donate $10,000 to TAPS to sponsor their Survivor Resource Kits, which will immediately benefit military families after the death of a servicemember.

January also saw DAR Project Patriot Committee National Vice Chairman Dale Boggs delivering gift cards and blue foldable wagons to the Wounded Warrior unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The wagons will be used by injured and ill servicemembers to transport items to their medical appointments, food, and mail; and the gift cards for coffee, food, and sundries. As unit members walked by and saw the wagons being unloaded there were many appreciative comments and helpers to get them inside, unpacked, and signed out to the priority recipients.

Additionally in January, DAR Project Patriot Committee National Vice Chairman Janice Bolinger braved a winter storm in Indiana to deliver donations to Camp Atterbury.  She was welcomed to “Family Day” at the post to personally hand out much-needed items to an active-duty unit supporting deploying forces.

So far in the Young Administration, well over $150,000 has been donated to our servicemembers and their families from the DAR Project Patriot Fund. With the decrease of servicemembers deployed to combat zones and commensurate decrease in wounded troops, we are continually pursuing different projects to support our military and their families. One current project for Chapters and Daughters is to help furnish “welcome home” barracks rooms for the 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team returning from Afghanistan back to Fort Drum NY in the spring of 2016. DAR Project Patriot State Chairmen have all the coordinating details.

We hope you all will consider participating in the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ attempts to set a record for collecting the “Most letters to military personnel collected in one month.” This is a great chapter activity and you can invite those in your community to participate too! There are however very strict guidelines for the projects, so I encourage you to visit: to learn more.

Thank you for supporting this Committee so that we ensure our military and their families are aware that the Daughters of the American Revolution appreciate their sacrifices and service to our nation!

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