The greatest individuals I know are not Politicians, movie stars or even the wealthiest people in the world. The greatest individuals I know are the men and women that put their lives on the line each and every day and serve our country.Cindy McGrew
In September 2004, Cindy McGrew began a mission of hope. When her friend, Montgomery County, MD Police Officer, Sgt. Mike Russo went to Iraq as an International Police Advisor in June of 2004, Cindy was prompted to do a web search of the unit that he was attached to. After finding the Stryker News website, Cindy began reading the site daily for updates to ongoing situations and heard about three soldiers that were injured and en route to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Washington, D.C. Immediately, Cindy sent emails to the families, letting them know she lived fairly close to WRNMMC, offering her support and assistance as a contact in the area in the event they needed anything. She went to WRNMMC and introduced herself to the three families and from there, developed life long bonds and friendships. This mission began with Scott Thorne, Mike Oreskovic and Travis Majors.
Cindy began visiting families at the request of the other soldiers and Marines she had met. Soon, word spread and she seemed to be branching out to even more families, wanting to help in any way possible.
In November 2004, Debbie and Alaina Sacramo joined Cindy in her daily visits to the hospital. All three were able to visit with the soldiers, Marines and their family members, picking up groceries, clothing and any other essential items that were needed to make their stay more comfortable. They met families with small children and saw the need for them to have play pens in their rooms, so the parents could put their children down and tend to their wounded spouses. This also allowed for the children to nap in comfort. At the request of some soldiers, they stopped by local restaurants, bringing them milk shakes and meals. Friendships began to develop with the soldiers, Marines and their family members, making the trip to WRNMMC part of their daily routine.
During the month of December, Sue Harrington helped facilitate the Boxes for Heroes campaign. All four women reached out to their families, friends, coworkers and community for donations to these brown boxes. The boxes were filled with goodies, magazines and the like - some decorated with holiday themes - and delivered to the wounded soldiers and Marines.
In March 2005 it became apparent that this simple mission could become something much larger than any of the individuals involved imagined. Ride Allegheny offered a fundraiser for the wounded soldiers and Marines, Freedom Ride 2005, thus creating the need for a non-profit organization. The foundation for Operation Second Chance, Inc. was thus established in March 2005.
Our goal is to provide support for the Soldiers and Marines while they are here at WRNMMC and then to further assist them when they transition either back to duty or back to civilian life. Operation Second Chance, Inc. has received 501 (c) 3 status, effective March 16, 2005. If you would like to view our confirmation letter, please click here.
We would like to dedicate this site to all military personnel - men and women who have served our country - past, present and future. Thank you for all you have done and given.
It is truly inspiring to see the impact Operation Second Chance is making in the lives of our wounded veterans and their families. We at Matan are honored to open our doors and our hearts to such a tremendous organization.Mark Matan, Principal, Matan Companies
Operation Second Chance has served as a primary community partner of Comcast SportsNet for a number of years. The organization does tremendous work for wounded veterans and their families, truly making a difference at a level rarely experienced in the community.Comcast SportsNet
I have the memory of first meeting Cindy permanently etched in my mind. She brought four wounded soldiers to a business dinner 7 or 8 years ago and each soldier stood up and told their story of the heart wrenching and horrific injuries sustained during the war.Tom Plant – President of Paul Davis Restoration of Suburban MD and Washington DC
We are proud to work with an organization who is not only shaping the lives of these wounded, injured, and ill veterans, but is also providing the local community with resources to be able to support the families as well.The Sergeant’s Program