Miles on a Mission

Allied Forces Foundation, Inc, a non-profit 501(3)(c) charity, announces it has launched a campaign to raise air miles on United’s crowdsourcing platform, ‘Miles on a Mission.’ United Airlines’ MileagePlus members looking to give back to those less fortunate can donate air miles to help Allied Forces Foundation’s goal to fly both U.S. and partner nations’ wounded warriors to Scotland.

Annually, the Allied Forces Foundation sponsors wounded warriors to take part in the Cateran Yomp, a 54-mile hike in 24 hours across the Scottish Highlands in the scenic Perthshire area. The objective of the Allied Forces Foundation’s participation in the “Yomp” is to bring wounded warriors and caregivers together and share in this amazing experience to help with their recovery process. The Cateran Yomp allows participants to learn about the struggles with combat injuries and post-traumatic stress which many Veterans and serving personnel suffer with on a day-to-day basis.

The Allied Forces Foundation aims to raise more than 1,000,000 miles to fly wounded warriors on United Airlines from Washington, D.C to Edinburgh, Scotland to take part in the Cateran Yomp and other warrior events from 2-8 June 2022.  The Cateran Yomp is the catalyst to bring together like-minded individuals who were wounded in the line of duty and have struggled with the transition from military life.  The week in the Highlands brings them together and allows them to release anxiety and frustration to enable them to find new motivation and purpose again.  During the week, the participants will take part in the 54-mile hike, visit the iconic Scottish locations of Edinburgh Castle, William Wallace Monument, Sterling Castle, and museum, as well as take part in the Wounded Warrior Highland Games on the banks of Loch Tay, and the Scottish Regimental dinner night to celebrate their achievement in taking part in the challenge.  

Additionally, donated miles will help support Allied Forces Foundation’s broader mission to unite wounded, ill, and injured service people and Veterans as well as caregivers from the US, UK, and allied nations in wellness and healing. Through a series of outdoor, peer-lead events that challenge the mind and body, the Allied Forces Foundation provides opportunities that reinvigorate the spirit of comradeship and teamwork while instilling a renewed sense of purpose for Veterans. The Allied Forced Foundation is predominantly an American/British charity with a motto of ‘Side by Side’ as it exemplifies the non-profit’s approach to recovery – those who have fought together can be reunited to share experiences and offer support to one another.

The Miles on a Mission program allows MileagePlus members to donate their miles to a wide variety of non-profits in need of air travel. To date, more than 154 million miles have been donated through the program. Miles on a Mission is a part of United’s Every Action Counts commitment, which aims to connect people, unite the world and serve communities by putting people and planes to work for the greater good. 

“This Giving Tuesday marks a special occasion for us to come together to support and uplift those who need it the most this holiday season and beyond,” Suzi Cabo, managing director of global community engagement, United Airlines. “We’re proud to offer our MileagePlus members a meaningful way to use their miles for good and provide critically needed air travel to a variety of non-profits that serve vulnerable communities across the globe.”

For more information on Miles on a Mission or to donate miles, please visit united.com/donate.

Thanksgiving Workout Challenge

The Allied Forces Foundation’s mission is to help wounded, ill, and injured warriors, families, and caregivers through challenge-based events.

In these tough times we are trying to create free virtual challenges which everyone can take part in at home or the gym, and with friends or family wherever you are in the world.

This builds relationships, helps healing and recovery of mental health and physical health, spreads awareness. You can record your efforts and congratulate each other in the Allied Forces Foundation Strava group. 

Enjoy Thanksgiving Day with your family and turkey with all the trimmings, then at some point over the weekend, get involved and do whatever is a challenge for you!

Thanksgiving Workout Challenge 2021

The challenge is broken into Bronze (B), Silver (S), and Gold (G):

Part One:

                               B       S        G

Push-ups          – 100   150    200

Reverse Lungs – 100  150    200

Run (miles)       –   1       2         3 

Part Two:

                                B       S        G

Dips                  –  100   150    200

Air Squats       –  100   150    200

Fluter Kicks      –  100   150    200

Burpees           –   25      50      75

Part Three:

 Run (Miles)     –     1       2         3

AFF Thanksgiving Workout Challenge
Challenge instructions by DJ AFF Physical Instructor
AFF Thanksgiving Workout challenge Exercises by DJ AFF Physical Instructor

Allied Forces Foundation Participates in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemoration

For the first time in almost 100 years, the general public is permitted to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza located in the Arlington National Cemetery and pay their respects to the Unknown Soldiers in a two-day event this week.

With the gracious invitation to join representatives from Skanska, the Allied Forces Foundation (AFF) participated in this rare event and laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the Tomb’s Centennial Commemoration.

Old Guard laying wreaths
AFF and Skanska team at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider

According to the AFF’s Director of Operations, Anne Hughes, the event was a moving experience that enabled so many of us to come together and give thanks to those who have fought for our freedom, both known and unknown.  We graciously thank Jarrett Milligan, Skanska’s Regional Senior Safety Director-East, for the invitation and the opportunity to be a part of this historic event!

Rumble For Rugby Ride

Join us Saturday, October 23 @ 1:30 pm at Patriot Harley-Davidson 9739 Fairfax Boulevard, Fairfax, VA 22031 for a ride to the 1874 Cup at FedExField, Washington DC. The ride is to support veterans and wounded with a pit stop at Daniels O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant and Bar 112 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 which is on the route.

All funds raised on this ride are going to the AFF to support wounded, ill, and injured warriors take part in future challenges.

For those who don’t have tickets, they can stay and watch the game at O’Connell’s.

Pre Game is Army vs. Navy 1 pm which will be a great warmer.

The USA Eagles vs. the New Zealand All Blacks 1874 Cup starts at 3 pm.

AFF Army 10 Miler (Virtual)

The Allied Forces Foundation hosted its first Army 10 Miler which was virtual due to COVID in the small village of Waterford Va which is a historical village founded back in 1720 and has kept many of the same history and buildings, also the countryside is still the same and has amazing vistas.

The goal of the challenge is to get participants to take part in this virtual event and come together around the world. We have many locations and nations taking part with the US, UK, Australia, Denmark, Georgia, Poland, and Ukraine.

We would like to thank our kind sponsor and Volunteers:

DFND USA for the amazing cooling and dry wicking shirts

Mark and Fiona Sullivan for the use of their house as the starting location and finish, they provided an amazing BBQ and drinks for all taking part.

Mt. Elbert Veterans Day Challenge 2021

Dr. Evan Davies and Antonio Paris will be climbing Mt. Elbert on Veterans Day which stands at 14,440-foot (4401.2 m) and is the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains, the highest point in the U.S. state of Colorado, and the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States (after Mount Whitney). They are raising money to benefit the Allied Forces Foundation, Inc (AFF), which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of our wounded, ill, and injured veterans through participation in adventurous and challenging outdoor activities. Regardless of age, gender, race, or ethnicity, the Allied Forces Foundation will focus on rehabilitation and empowerment for these wounded heroes and their families, who clearly understand the high cost of freedom.

All funds raised by these amazing warriors will go toward our future events in 2022 which will support wounded, ill, and injured families, and caregivers.

About the team

Antonio Paris is a disabled veteran, a former U.S. Army Infantry Officer, and served in multiple combat tours overseas. Antonio is now the Chief Scientist at Planetary Science, Inc. and a graduate of the NASA Mars Education Program at the Mars Space Flight Center. He is the author of Mars: Your Personal 3D Journey to the Red Planet and has published a variety of research focused on the planet Mars. Antonio is a fellow at the Explorers Club, the Washington Academy of Sciences and the American Astronomical Society. 

Dr. Evan Davies served in the U.S. Army for over five years and is currently a Naval Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He has served in multiple combat tours overseas. Evan, moreover, is an anthropologist, science writer and now practices family medicine. He is the author of Emigrating Beyond Earth: Human Adaptation and Space Exploration, and he is a fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club.

Through Thick and Thin: Focus on Veteran Encouragement and Restoration

Through Thick and Thin: Focus on Veteran Encouragement and Restoration

Episode 014 of #StillServing: The VFW Podcast, “Through Thick and Thin: Focus on Veteran Encouragement and Restoration”

Camaraderie comes in many forms, from combat deployment to live-fire ranges, or field exercises. To ruck marches to morning PT sessions and back-to-back hour-long death by PowerPoint mandatory annual training. Service members almost always had a battle buddy there soldiering through it together. But, civilian life is much different and for some of us, the loneliness and lack of connectivity with others make even the most mundane aspects of life sometimes hard to bear. That is why there are many on this side of the DD-214 who have dedicated themselves to walking side-by-side with veterans through thick and thin, ready to encourage and help bring restoration to our warrior spirit. We speak with three men who have dedicated themselves to that cause today.

During this episode of the #StillServing podcast, Host Rob Couture speaks with Stuart Taylor, President & CEO of the Allied Forces Foundation who describes the challenging, yet rewarding events his charity puts on for veterans from both sides of the pond. Ken Falke, Founder and Chairman of the Boulder Crest Foundation, talks about his retreat setting in Northern Virginia and how it’s helping veterans and their families cope with past traumas and feel whole again. And extreme sports enthusiasts and veterans advocate Ricky Folse shares his passion for bringing awareness to the plight of homeless veterans by way of a long-distance cycling trip.

Enjoy the Podcast On:

Ian Rivers’ Row Sentinel Challenge

One man rowing a small boat 3100 miles across the Atlantic with only the stars to guide him home

In May, former SAS soldier Ian Rivers will leave New York and row the 3100 plus nautical miles to the Isles of Scilly.

Ian will be unsupported and will be using only the sun, the stars and a sextant to guide him.  He will not have access to GPS.

This crossing will test human endurance, navigation and seamanship to the absolute limit.

Nobody has ever managed to complete an unsupported solo row of the Atlantic using the Northern Route.

He will be rowing for between 9 and 12 hours per day and estimates that the crossing will take him between 60 and 90 days.

Ian, 55 from Hereford, has led a life of adventure.  He joined the army after becoming inspired by the Falklands War. He fought in theatres across the world and was a member of 22 Special Air Service regiment for more than a decade.  

In December 2012, whilst working for an American news network, he was kidnapped in Syria.  He escaped his captors and managed to find his way to safety using only natural indicators.

Ian, who’s just become a grandfather, is a qualified mountain guide and was part of the British Army West Ridge Everest challenge in 2005.

He is a qualified ocean yacht master and has represented Britain in the age group European and World championships.

“I’d describe myself as an adventurer,” he said.  “I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, ever since I was a kid. It frees you up. I’ve wanted to attempt this challenge since I was in my 20s.”

“I’m looking forward to the calmness, the equilibrium of being alone for a long time.  If I’m honest, I don’t really like my own company so it’s the ultimate challenge for me to be on my own for that long.”

Ian is raising money for two charities; the SAS Regimental Association’s Sentinels programme and St Michael’s Hospice in Herefordshire.  He is aiming to raise more than half a million pounds for the charities.

The Row Sentinel Atlantic crossing has only been possible thanks to the support Ian has received from his sponsors. His platinum sponsors Grenade are the market-leading sports performance and active nutrition brand.  The Spectra Group is a leading global provider of Cyber Services and Satellite communication, Hexegic are leading cyber security consultants and Valbruna is a leader in the production of rustproof construction steel and metal alloys.

For more information please contact rowsentinelpress@outlook.com or phone 07966 546068

Ian is available for interviews until May 10th 

Further information:

The route

Nobody has ever managed to complete an unsupported solo row of the Atlantic using the Northern Route.

Ian will not have the support of the trade winds used for other Atlantic crossings. He expects to face a tropical storm every two weeks.  Sentinel is a 27 foot long ocean rowing boat so it’s designed to be rowed and not sailed. 

The original North Atlantic route, known as the classic route, was first crossed by Frank Samuelson and George Harbo in 1896. For 114 years they held the record for the crossing – 55 days and 7 hours.  In 2010, Leven Brown and his crew of Livar Nysted, Ray Carroll and Don Lennox crossed from New York to St Mary’s in 43 days and 21 hours. This remains the record to this day.

John Ridgeway and Chay Blyth made the crossing in 1966 and the first solo crossing was completed by Tom McClean in 1969 using the shorter route from St Johns’s in Newfoundland to Blacksod Bay in County Mayo in Ireland. He completed it in 71 days.

Tracking and racing against Ian

Ian will not have access to GPS but there is a GPS tracker on the boat so we will be able to see where he is.  The system has been designed by the Hereford firm Kinetic6, the world leaders in secure telecommunications and cyber security. https://www.kinetic6.co.uk

Ian will be sending his estimated coordinates through every day so we will be able to map where Ian is and where he thinks he is. This will be accessed via www.rowsentinel.com

Running alongside Ian’s journey is a rowing challenge for schools and clubs across the UK.  They will be racing Ian each day. This is being organised by the Remigo Ergo Sum (“I Row Therefore I Am”) Concept2 virtual rowing team.