The mission of the Association of the United States Army is to support soldiers and their families, and the aftermath of the Fort Hood shooting was no exception.
Following the events of Nov. 5, 2009, the Fort Hood-Central Texas Chapter of AUSA raised about $1 million to help the victims and their families, said John Crutchfield, vice president of the chapter, during an April listening session with the Army.
Nearly four years after the shooting, officials wouldn’t say how much of the fund is still available for victims, citing confidentiality agreements.
“The chapter is committed to protecting complete confidentiality of both requests for assistance as well as any funds disbursed from the 11/5 fund,” said retired Col. Bill Parry, spokesman for the local AUSA chapter.
He did add that assistance has been provided for mental health care and personal expenses incurred. By not publicizing remaining fund levels, the chapter can continue to help those whose lives are continuing to be impacted by those events, no matter how long court proceedings take.
“We know there are going to be additional requests for funding from the victims, and we need to be able to cover those, without asking for additional funds,” Parry said. “The chapter is not organized like a private foundation for consideration of funding requests — we simply cannot deal with a host of external requests for funding that are not directly related to the needs of the 11/5 victims.”
Each request is vetted through the victim/witness liaison from the Justice Department, who validates and verifies the need for assistance, and ensures all the avenues to assist the person requesting funds have been exhausted, such as Military OneSource. Neither the chapter, nor any member of the 11/5 committee, interfaces directly with a requestor, Parry said.
Donations came in from people at the local, state and national levels. All assistance provided by the chapter must comply with the Joint Ethics Regulation, specifically the provisions pertaining to providing assistance to an active-duty soldier or the family member of one, Parry said.