The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 1, 2013

Fireworks Outlets offer Folds of Honor to give back to veterans' families

By Lora Scripps
lora@athensnews-courier.com

— Smoking grill, ice-cold beverages, and homemade ice cream — all part of most Fourth of July celebrations. When most think of the summer holiday, fireworks also come to mind, but most importantly, the ultimate sacrifice made by so many to ensure our freedom.

One Tanner businessman is offering an item that incorporates both fireworks and a way to give back to the families of those who made that sacrifice. 

Mark Carter, owner of the Fireworks Outlet in Tanner, is offering a fireworks package,  which includes a 500-gram fireworks cake, known as Folds of Honor, at his location. It includes 38 shots of red, white and blue.

The Folds of Honor Foundation was created to provide educational scholarships to families of deceased or disabled service men and women and the Folds of Honor fireworks is a way to raise money for the cause. At a cost of $30, $10 of the sale benefits the foundation.

Folds of Honor

The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, golf course owner, PGA Professional and USGA member. A major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. After returning from his second tour, Rooney said he witnessed a profound situation that drove him to create the Folds of Honor Foundation. He watched as Corp. Brock Bucklin’s remains were carried from a plane. He continued to watch as Bucklin’s twin brother, also a soldier, walked beside the casket somberly to his waiting family. Although, passengers in the plane were asked to remain seated while the casket deboarded, Rooney said more than half disregarded the request. It was then he decided to do something.

First, to pay tribute to American soldiers and to their families; and secondly, to live as a reminder among civilians that it is our duty to appreciate and honor the ultimate sacrifices of our heroic service members who preserve the freedoms each of us so easily take for granted.

“That is what makes the project so compelling,” Mark said, adding he has a son, Jordan Koonce, who is serving in the Navy and stationed in New York.

Scholarships

Folds of Honor Foundation provides scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving.

The scholarships, which are used to subsidize costs of tuition, school books, fees, room and board, and the tools necessary for coursework, school-approved tutoring, and other educational expenses, can be applied to schooling now, or held until needed.

To date, the foundation has provided assistance to more than 2,600 scholarship recipients.

Three types of scholarships are available including:

• Immediate-use, which is awarded to spouses or children attending or recently accepted into a 2-or 4-year degree program;

• Future-use, which is awarded to young children of service members and invested by FHF on their behalf. Eligible applicants are infants up to students enrolled in the 11th grade; or

• Children’s scholarship fund, which provides scholarships for primary and secondary education for children of service members killed in the line of duty or 90 to 100 percent disabled while serving in a combat zone. The scholarship can be used for educational purposes such as private school tuition, tutoring, summer classes, required books, educational fees, school uniforms and approved educational camps.

According to foundation members, there are currently more than 1 million dependants of military service men and woman, 87 percent of whom do not qualify for educational assistance from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and other governmental programs.

Mark of Fireworks Outlet believes Folds of Honor is a great way to give back this Fourth of July.

Mark’s wife, Becky, owns the Fireworks Outlet in Athens. Both the Tanner and Athens locations have Folds of Honor on-site.

To find out more, visit http://www.foldsofhonor.org.