Legion de Lafayette - 2021
For Brig. Gen. David Fleming III and his wife, digging deep to help tell the National Guard story was simply a matter of giving back.
“Andrea and I are proud to donate on behalf of all those who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. All gave some, but some gave all,” said the one-time member of the NGAUS board and the current Delaware assistant adjutant general-Army.
“We pray for all those families who have lost and hope this little token of our appreciation can help in some way,” Fleming said. “God bless this great country we love so much.”
The Flemings were among the big donors the National Guard Educational Foundation recognized Nov. 13 during a special reception at the National Guard Memorial, the NGAUS and NGEF headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In all, there were 16 individual, corporate or organizational honorees. They recently contributed a combined $210,000 to the NGEF through its Legion de Lafayette program, which is reserved for gifts of $10,000 or more.
It was the foundation’s first LdL ceremony in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NGEF expects to honor a similar number, if not more, at the next recognition, which is set for March.
The foundation preserves and shares all 385 years of the Guard’s story. Among its programs is the National Guard Memorial Museum, which boasts 5,600 square feet of artifacts, images and interactive exhibits.
Recent benefactors included four couples, one family, 10 corporations and NGAUS.
In addition to Flemings, the couples included Maj. Gen. Janson “Durr” Boyles, the NGAUS and NGEF chairman, and his wife,Robin of Mississippi; retired Maj. Gen. William and retired Senior Master Sgt. Kathleen Lynch of Pennsylvania; and retired Maj. Gen. Tom and Joy Lynn of Georgia.
The family contribution came from the Reddels of New Hampshire in honor of Dr. Jerome “Jerry” I. Berlin. “Our family treasured Jerry as a friend, father, grandfather, mentor, confidant and critic,” said retired Maj. Gen. William N. Reddel III, a former adjutant general of New Hampshire.
The corporate contributions included seven making additions to previous gifts and three making a first donation.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, was among those adding to previous donations. The manufacturer of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is the NGEF’s largest corporate benefactor, having contributed more than $250,000 over the last 24 years.
AM General, General Atomics, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh Defense, Textron and USAA also added to earlier donations.
The NGEF recognized The Patriot Group, Valiant and Zumro by Air Shelters USA for initial contributions to the foundation.
“The Guard afforded me tremendous opportunities, both professionally and personally in the lifelong friendships and extended family we have made,” said retired Col. Kevin “Stubby” Campbell, the founder and CEO of The Patriot Group who spent 19 of 28 years of military service in the Air Guard. “Now that I have retired, I am proud to continue to serve the Guard through my company and our support for NGAUS and the NGEF.”
All of those honored contributed $10,000, except AM General, which provided $50,000, and NGAUS, which donated $20,000.
The association contributed in the names of two longtime staff members, Jose Palacios and John Goheen.
Those honored received a replica of an 1832 medal the New York militia presented to Marquis de Lafayette, after whom the LdL program is named. A French aristocrat who fought in both the American and French revolutions, he played a major role in the development of the state militias.
The $210,000 recognized in November brings the total raised for NGEF since 2010 to more than $7 million, much of it from the LdL program.
Recent work at the foundation includes the Minuteman Minute series. Each of the roughly 60-second videos shares a chapter in the Guard story through a museum artifact, such as the pistol Lt. Col. Felix Sparks of the 45th Infantry Division used in the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp in World War II.
All 16 installments are available at youtube.com/user/NGAUS1878/videos. The NGEF plans to resume the series in 2022. In 2021, Minuteman Minute helped extend the story-telling reach of the NGEF at a time when the museum was often closed due to COVID-19.