There are those who say: we need to leave the past behind in order to move forward. There are some cases, though, when remembering is just as important as pushing on, if only to honor the sacrifices that other people have gone through to get us to where we are today.
It is this need to remember that became the seed through which the Warrior Legacy Foundation (WLF) was born. We came to know about WLF through Free the SEALs, which has “adopted” the Warrior Defense Fund, which aims to provide financial assistance for the legal needs of Navy SEALs Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas and Jonathan Keefe.
The Chairman of the WLF Board of Directors, Matt Burden, shared the Foundation’s beginnings. He co-founded the organization, along with David Bellavia, Jim Hanson, Steve Russell and Jack Wagner, Memorial Day of 2009. The founding date is not just a random date; Memorial Day was the day that someone made the ultimate sacrifice to save others.
Memorial Day 2003, Major Mathew Schram, a friend of Matt Burden, was killed in Iraq in an attempt to break up an ambush and save a convoy of soldiers and two journalists.
Burden’s wish to keep Mat Schram’s sacrifice – and legacy – alive inspired him to start the blog Blackfive. While he was able to reach out to a lot of people through the blog, he felt the need to do more – and the Warrior Legacy Foundation was born.
The Foundation uses as its tagline what every veteran since 1955 has uttered as they were being sworn in – the end of the Military Code of Conduct: “I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free.”