Gift Supports College Scholarships for Children of Military Heroes
Dulles, Virginia – (3/14/2022) – To help us provide college scholarships to the sons and daughters of military heroes, Freedom Alliance was grateful to receive a gift of $1.25 million from the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund.
“We are honored to be able to help students whose parent sacrificed life or limb for our country,” said Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon, “and blessed to have incredible partners like the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund. This gift is made in the name of the late Colonel John McHugh, USA, and it allows us to simultaneously honor heroes and care for their families.”
The Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund (JMSF) was established in 2014 to honor military service and sacrifice by providing college scholarships to veterans and military family members, especially to children of our nation’s fallen or disabled. The fund is inspired by Colonel John “Johnny Mac” McHugh who was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served 24 years in the Army. He made the ultimate sacrifice on May 18, 2010, in Kabul, Afghanistan, along with 17 others, when a suicide bomber attacked his convoy. McHugh’s West Point classmates began a fundraising effort to cover college expenses for his children. Their success led to the creation of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund so they could support other military families who’ve faced the same loss.
“We are happy to work with Freedom Alliance on our shared goal of caring for the children of military heroes,” said MaryEllen Picciuto, President of Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund (JMSF). “Our collaboration is important because it results in efficiencies for all of us, especially our scholarship recipients,” Picciuto continued. To date, JMSF has awarded over $25 million in college scholarships and education programs.
In 2021, Freedom Alliance gave scholarships to 601 students, each the son or daughter of a service member killed or permanently disabled in military service and awarded $2.4 million. Since September 11, 2001, Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $20 million in scholarships. An estimated 7,000 children have lost a parent in Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom.
“Each scholarship we provide,” said Kilgannon, “is a reminder of a hero’s sacrifice. Together, Freedom Alliance and Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund are ensuring those sacrifices will never be forgotten.”