On September 18, 2006 a suicide bomb was detonated in Panjwayi District, Kandahar Province Afghanistan, killing 4 Canadian soldiers and severely injured several others. One of those was 20-year old Sapper Mike McTeague of Orillia, Ontario.
Mike was rushed to Landstuhl, Germany where he received urgent medical care and was joined by his family. He then returned to Canada and was cared for at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto. The physical and emotional ordeal was experience enough for Captain Wayne Johnston and Mike’s father Mr. Sean McTeague to launch the Wounded Warrior Fund in Mike’s name.
The fund is designed to deliver quality of life, financial and benevolent assistance through three (4) programs;
Direct Support and Donation Program
When an injured soldier leaves an operational theatre, they do so quickly and without warning. Often they have with them just the clothes on their back and it is here where they are at their most vulnerable. This program sets out to alleviate this inconvenient deficiency by contributing quality of life items to the soldier.
“Wounded Warrior Packs” will contain a variety of items, which includes individual entertainment devices (like DVD player, MP3 players) to personal blankets among other items.
In addition, hospitals that care for Canadian Forces personnel are to be installed with an entertainment library of video games, music and DVD movies. As well an Internet-equipped laptop loan pool and telephone service will be established.
As part of this program a small Padre’s Contingency Fund has been established in Landstuhl, Germany to aid in the morale and welfare soldiers and families and used at the discretion of frontline healthcare workers. To date some $6,000 has been put into this and will be revisited as required and a similar fund is being developed domestically in Canada.
Family Assistance Program:
Hospital stays, while stressful for the patient, can be equally stressful for the family both mentally and financially. This program aspires to reduce this impact by assisting families with out of pocket expenses at hospitals in Canada once the Canadian Forces support to the families ends over the long term. These expenses can include parking limited to a specified dollar amount and TV rental for a specified limited time period. In addition the fund will explore the possibility of wireless Internet connection. It is the fund’s intent to provide equal universal support to all as required. It is also recognized that some wounded warriors will be in hospital longer than others. These will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Fisher House Endowment
The Fisher House is a unique program similar to the renowned Ronald MacDonald House charity. It supports the families of those under serious medical care by providing free accommodation, co-located to the hospital. Like Ronald MacDonald house it is free for families of patients and relies on donations. While the Fisher houses were started to provide assistance to the families of wounded US service people they have opened their arms to Canadians. Therefore it is the goal of the fund to provide goods and services in support of Canadian families to the Fisher House in Germany. These services will be dependant on the requirements of the other two programs".
Advocacy and Awareness
The fund will assist a wounded CF serviceperson where required in gaining entitled benefits from Federal departments. Indeed the fund will advocate on behalf of all wounded CF servicepersons on quality of life matters and issues. We will where required engage politicians of all parties on behalf of individual and as a whole in order to reach a solution. In addition it is the mandate of the fund to ensure that public awareness of the issues of those wounded remain a top priority. Any wounded CF soldiers needing assistance, please click here to get in touch with the Wounded Warriors staff.
In addition to cash donations, the following list of items is appreciated by the Canadian Forces support team in Europe, as well as here in Canada:
- DVD movies
- Music CD's
- Books on CD
As of September 13th, The Canada Revenue Agency has recognized The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund as a registered charity. They are now in a position to issue a tax reciept for donations of $20.00 and over.
Send donations, cheques or correspondence to;
The Sapper Mike McTeague Wounded Warrior Fund
PO Box # 141
Whitby, Ontario L1M 1B5