From One Warrior Generation to Another, with Love
As a Vietnam veteran, Dale Mullin knows what it’s like to come home from war. “I observed that my fellow Americans were not aware of the issues that veterans were returning home with,” Dale said. He noticed a gap in services for veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with both visible and invisible wounds. “We needed grassroots support for returning veterans and their families. I noticed a lack of awareness within the community, and I wanted to help.”
He decided to start a golf tournament, and later, a Veterans Day dinner as ways to raise funds to help veterans and their families. He organized a nonprofit called Wounded Warriors of Collier County Charity Golf Outing. Channeling the efforts through WWP made sense. “Wounded Warrior Project is a national organization that’s bringing awareness to the needs of injured veterans,” Dale said. “Today’s veterans need to come home to a grateful nation with open arms to receive them. Veterans need real support for the visible and invisible wounds of war. That’s why I wanted to get involved, to bring awareness to the needs of today’s veterans and to solicit the public’s support.”
Dale, his wife Marie Elaina, and the board of directors of his nonprofit have raised more than $1 million over the last eight years to help wounded warriors. The fundraisers have attracted others who want to help, including community members around Naples, Florida, where the charity golf outing is held, and national businesses.
“It’s important for generations of veterans to support each other. Wars will go on forever; this is about veterans helping veterans. We want to give back and help the new generation of veterans returning home.”