By John Byrnes, Foundation Director

A few years back, when Concerned Veterans for America Foundation was just getting started, a colleague recommended that I look at the Travis Manion Foundation. He thought their vision for veterans might be like ours.

A few months later, I bumped into part of their team while working at a student veterans event. I came away from that meeting determined to work together.

What first caught my attention was their mission: “TMF empowers veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations.” That sounded a whole lot like our mission at CVA Foundation.

What I noticed next was their vision: “To create a nation of purpose-driven individuals and thriving communities that is built on character.”
As I learned more about their namesake, I saw exactly the kind of man who would inspire such a mission and vision.

Travis was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marines Corps’ 1st Recon Battalion and an Iraq War veteran. He was killed in Iraq in 2007 after leading a counterattack against an ambush on his men.

Travis was fatally wounded while drawing fire away from his wounded Marines. His actions saved the lives of his men and rightfully earned him the Silver Star and Bronze Star for valor.

As an Iraq war veteran and a fellow Marine, I recognize the awesome virtue that a man like Travis represents.

He willingly gave his life in service to others, and the foundation created in his name seeks to build strong communities in his honor. I can’t think of a better way to memorialize a Marine than making the most of the freedom he died in service to.

This Memorial Day we honor the sacrifice that Travis and thousands of other service members made, and the example they left behind. May we all strive to life lives worthy of their sacrifice.

Read more about #BelieveInVeterans and veterans who model the same incredible character as Travis Manion