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“American Sniper” Event Raises $45k for MRF Grants


Waters Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas was again host to an event celebrating the release of a film near and dear to the hearts of the Boot Campaign family. Waters chef Jon Bonnell and longtime supporters Christen and Scott O’Neal were joined by Shelley Juliao, Sunnie Sellers, Ride For The Brand and Yvette Leighgreber to sponsor an evening of delectable food and drinks followed by a private showing of “American Sniper.” The reception also provided an opportunity for the Boot Campaign to share the history and importance of our Military Recovery Fund (MRF) and the stories of eight grants that needed immediate fulfillment.  All told, the January 27th event raised upwards of $45,000, ensuring all eight grants highlighted by the MRF committee were fulfilled within 48 hours.

Also on hand was a panel of four distinguished retired servicemen, who discussed the need to take proactive measures in helping returning veterans transition to civilian life. Boot Campaign staff members SSgt. (Ret.) Joey Jones, SSgt. (Ret.) Mark Burleson and SFC Adam Wilson were joined by Boot Campaign Ambassador LCDR (Ret.) Paul Craig to share their thoughts on the topic and answer audience questions. Part of the discussion included Scott O’Neal’s account of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle visiting Mark Burleson during his recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The visit and subsequent fundraiser were the impetus for MRF, which has since granted more than $2M to military families in need.

Before guests left for the private screening, Taya Kyle delivered an emotional thank-you to the audience for their continued support of her late husband and their family. She emphasized Chris’ desire to give back to returning vets and advocate for their support, echoing the sentiments expressed during the presentations of the evening. The Boot Campaign would like to thank the sponsors, presenters and attendees for making this yet another successful night honoring America’s defenders.