The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund in Camp Pendleton, California, has announced a donation of $2 million from television personality Bob Barker to provide assistance to injured members of the U.S. armed forces and their families.
Barker, who was a fighter pilot during World War II, made the donation to inspire others to do the same. "The men and women we put in harm's way to maintain our freedom deserve the best care and support we can provide when they are injured," Barker said. "We also have an obligation to their families." Barker previously contributed $3 million to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to help build the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, an advanced facility dedicated to research, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury suffered by U.S. military personnel.
The fund, which was established in 2004, provides financial assistance and quality of life solutions for post 9-11 Marines and sailors, as well as soldiers, airmen, and Coast Guardsmen injured while serving in support of Marine forces. The fund helps service members and their families with immediate financial needs related to hospitalization and recovery, as well as long-term needs such as home modifications, customized transportation, and specialized equipment. Since its creation, the fund has issued more than twenty-six thousand grants totaling more than $46 million to injured service personnel and their families. The need for such assistance continues to grow due in large measure to the level of severe trauma service members have sustained in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Bob Barker's donation is an incredible gift to the fund," said Major General Mike Myatt USMC (Retired) and a member of the fund's board. "The severely wounded need assistance in ways not even imagined when the Semper Fi Fund was founded."