Last week, the U.S. military death toll in Iraq hit 2,000. While there’s plenty of good news being unreported there, the sad number still stands. Two thousand men and women in uniform have given their lives during this war, and the families left behind carry deep wounds, both emotionally and otherwise.
Enter Freedom Alliance, a policy organization founded in 1990 by Lt. Col. Oliver North that offers a scholarship fund for the children of service men and women killed in the line of duty. The purpose of the fund is twofold: to help children of American heroes meet the rising costs of education, and to remind them that their parent’s sacrifice won’t be forgotten. This year alone the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund has distributed $250,000 to over 100 students.
In addition, $6 million sits in a trust fund for future recipients. “Most of the children of those dying today in Iraq and Afghanistan are still very young,” notes Freedom Alliance president Tom Kilgannon. “It will be ten or fifteen years until they go to college. The money will be there for them.”
Freedom Alliance has had the help of many friends and organizations in raising money for the scholarship program. In particular, Kilgannon notes, “Sean Hannity has been a huge asset, a great friend, and a great American. He’s done yeoman’s work in making the scholarship known and in helping to raise money. He’s been a godsend for the Freedom Alliance.”
Since learning about the scholarship program in March 2003, Hannity has mobilized his audience and thousands of others behind the scholarship program. Not only does Hannity have “the most generous audience in America,” says Kilgannon, but he also cosponsors the Freedom Alliance’s annual Freedom Concert at Six Flags, New Jersey. Drawing between 11,000 and 12,000 people every summer, the concert has featured the likes of Charlie Daniels, LeeAnn Rimes, Gary Sinise, Martina McBride, Darryl Worley, Sara Evans and Ted Nugent.