Throughout the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Military’s contingent of Special Forces has played a significant and critical role, often under the most dangerous of circumstances. Over the years, Special Forces soldiers and their families have made enormous sacrifices for their country and Connecticut’s military families have not been spared this sacrifice. On March 11, 2013, Connecticut native Capt. Andrew Pedersen Keel, was killed in action in Eastern Afghanistan serving as the commander of his special forces detachment. He was 28 years old.
Bob and Helen Pedersen-Keiser, parents of Capt. Andrew Pedersen-Keel, created the APK Charities Corporation (a Connecticut non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable status applied and pending/Federal Tax ID 46-5456912) and the APK 5K/5K Ruck Walk/March to properly honor and remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Captain Andrew M. Pedersen-Keel, US Army Special Forces. The APK Charities provides financial aid and material assistance to charitable organizations and causes.
Awareness and support from our communities for our active and wounded warriors and their families and for the families of our fallen warriors is still very much needed. We would like to ask that you and your company join us in recognizing and supporting this cause by participating in and/or contributing to the Inaugural APK 5K fundraising event sponsored by the APK Charities Corporation.
This year, all proceeds of this important APK Charities event will benefit Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial in Middletown, The Fisher House in West Haven, and the Special Forces Charitable Trust. These charities provide much needed and effective recognition and support for fallen soldiers’ families and wounded soldiers and their families, just as they have done for the family of Capt. Pedersen-Keel and his detachment teammates who were wounded.
Fisher House Connecticut
The Fisher House Foundation builds and maintains long-term residential facilities near military hospitals nationwide. The families of seriously injured soldiers need a place to stay during the long rehabilitation process.
This vital need is not covered by any other resource. Currently there are 54 Fisher Houses nationwide. Since 1990 they have provided services to over 142,000 military families who have stayed more than 3.6 million days supporting their soldier during rehabilitation.
Fisher Houses have saved these families more than $167 million in lodging and transportation costs. The facilities are supported by contributions and openings are granted in reverse order of rank, so that the lower enlisted soldiers have first chance at housing.
Construction of a Fisher House is planned for the campus of the VA Healthcare System in West Haven, Connecticut. That facility will support all Connecticut Veterans, from all wars, at a time when they need it most.
Once the goal of $3 million is reached, Fisher House Foundation Inc. will match our funds for a total of $6 million and construction can begin. That facility will support all Connecticut Veterans, from all wars, at a time when they need it most.
Special Forces Charitable Trust
The Special Forces Charitable Trust honors and supports the active-duty and veteran Green Berets nationwide. It is the primary resource center for Education and Motivation, Family and Command Support and Veterans, Heritage and Advocacy program support.
The SFCT provides timely and consistent support and services to the Special Forces Association's 9,500 members, the SF National Guard units, active-duty and veteran Green Berets and their families. The funds provided to the SFCT by APK Charities Corporation will be used restricted for use at the 3rd Special Forces Group in these three programs areas as Capt. Andrew Pedersen-Keel was a member of this group.
The program areas are described as follows:
Family and Command Support
- Command functions for dependents of deployed active-duty Special Forces
- Tragedy Assistance
- Resiliency and Strong Bonds Programs through the SF Chaplain's office
- Assist with special family needs while spouse is deployed
Education and Motivation
- Merit-based scholarships for children of active-duty Special Forces personnel in conjunction and association with the Special Forces Scholarship Fund.
- Recognition Award(s) in conjunction with the Family Readiness Group at each group.
- Scholarships for dependent spouses.
Veterans and Heritage
- VA Issues
- Funding assistance with advocacy, memorials and monuments
- Transition Assistance
The Special Forces Charitable Trust mission is simple but direct. It provides sustainable and meaningful financial support, programs, and services to the United States Army Special Forces community (past and present) and their families.
The Special Forces Charitable Trust honors and supports the active-duty and veteran Green Berets nationwide. It is the primary resource center for Education and Motivation, Family and Command Support and Veterans, Heritage and Advocacy program support. We ensure timely and consistent support and services to the Special Forces Association's 9,500 members, the SF National Guard units, active-duty and veteran Green Berets and their families.
The trust helps the greater SF community and their families navigate through life stage transitions and life issues while preserving and promoting the history and heritage of the Green Berets. It's an advocate for those issues most important and relevant to US Army Special Forces.
Our services are provided for a total military population of 15,500 plus soldiers and also to total family members estimate at 9,376 dependent adults and 14,261 dependent children.
Spike’s K9 Fund
Spike’s K9 Fund is a national known 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is oriented around the care and preservation of working canines. Spike’s K9 Fund was founded by James Hatch, a retired Special Warfare Operator who’s life was saved by these special canines, one of which was Spike. Spike’s K9 Fund aspires to ensure every K9 receives exactly what they need every time by purchasing gear to keep them safer and for peak operation, paying for critical medical treatment to help them return to workor live their retirement days in complete health.
Wounded Warriors Family Support
The mission of Wounded Warriors Family Support (WWFS) is to provide support to the families of U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically. WWFS is a Purple Heart preferred organization.