The following excerpt from the "Helping Heroes" column in Tactical Weapons Magazine (March 2014 issue) was reprinted by permission. For more, please visit tactical-life.com.
$1 FOR EVERY COYOTE NANO LIGHT® SOLD GOES TO THE TRAVIS MANION FOUNDATION
When we first heard about the Travis Manion Foundation, we knew it was an organization that we wanted to help. Named in honor of a 27-year-old marine killed by enemy sniper fire during his second tour in Iraq in 2007, the Travis Manion Foundation's mission is to assist our nation's veterans and the families of fallen heroes. The Foundation's programs are focused on transforming the lives of veterans and their communities, with the mission of building a nation of heroes in which character, leadership and service are in action every day.
We were moved by Travis Manion's story and for several years we've been proud to support the foundation named for this young hero.
Streamlight currently donates $1.00 for every coyote Nano Light® sold. We hope to build on these sales this year to help support more families of fallen veterans and to assist more veterans with their return to a healthy lifestyle.
For more information on the coyote Nano Light®, click here.
U.S. Marine hero's efforts in war built a foundation that proudly marches on!
Travis Joseph Lemma Manion was born November 19, 1980, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to an active-duty Marine family. After settling in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Travis went on to LaSalle College High School, where his strong leadership qualities set him apart both athletically and academically. He was an all-league standout in wrestling, football and lacrosse, a member of five championship teams, and an All-American wrestler.
Travis was best known as a motivating and popular figure to his classmates. For these traits, Travis was awarded the Hal Selvey, Jr. Memorial Award for Unselfish Dedication and Leadership. This combination of leadership, athleticism and academic achievement opened the door for his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
At Annapolis, Travis excelled in the classroom and in sports, and by 2004 was a preseason national Top 20 wrestler. His strong character continued to shine, leading to his selection as the winner of the 2003 Weems Award for Leadership and Dedication.
Upon his graduation in 2004, Travis chose to follow his father into the Marine Corps. He finished in the top of his class at The Basic School, where he was awarded a regular commission in the Marine Corps. After completing Logistics Officer School, Travis was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California.
HEART OF A SPARTAN
It wasn't long after arriving to his first duty station that Travis and his unit were sent to Iraq. During their tour, the First Recon Marines were part of many critical events including support of the 2005 election, uncovering weapons caches throughout the region, and assisting with other Iraqi transition missions.
Travis deployed back to Iraq on December 26, 2006, for his second tour as part of a Military Transition Team. He and his fellow Marines worked diligently to change the outcome in Fallujah, building a brotherhood with the Iraqi Army units and setting the example with strong leadership and a passion for their mission. Aggressively taking the fight to the enemy on multiple occasions, Travis and his Marines fought bravely to change the tide in this critical battleground. As a result of their incredible efforts, Al Anbar Province is now recognized as one of the more significant successes of the surge in Iraq.
During his final patrol mission on Sunday, April 29, 2007, Travis was killed by enemy sniper fire while fighting courageously to defend against an enemy ambush. At his memorial service in Fallujah, an Iraqi colonel spoke and shared that Travis was his brother, "a brave warrior who never feared the death." Travis' mark remains in Iraq and in the hearts of all who honor freedom and service. As a testament to his strong character and leadership, the Iraqis named their operating base Combat Outpost (COB) Manion, one of only a few Iraqi facilities named for an American service member. Travis was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with Valor for his heroic actions in Iraq. Today at The Basic School in Quantico, Manion Hall serves as a reminder to the next generation of Marine officers of Travis' Spartan warrior spirit and his leadership on and off the battlefield.
TRAVIS MANION FOUNDATION
To memorialize Travis Manion's dedication and service, a non-profit foundation was created in his name. The Travis Manion Foundation's mission is to assist our nation's veterans and the families of fallen heroes. The foundation's programs are focused on transforming the lives of veterans, and their communities, with the mission of building a nation of heroes in which character, leadership and service are in action every day.
The foundation provides challenge grants to the entire military community: survivors of fallen American heroes, active-duty troops, veterans and military family members. Grants serve as a catalyst for recipients to take the next step in their healing process and in their lives.
Grants allow participants to carry on the legacy of fallen heroes and accomplish something challenging in their honor. The Character Does Matter program empowers veterans and families of the fallen to engage the next generation of leaders to serve, directly impacting their local communities while carrying on the legacies of our nation's fallen heroes. Students are challenged to accept the "If Not Me, Then Who..." mindset of the heroes and selflessly serve others and their communities.
Every September, the Travis Manion Foundation brings local communities together for a 9/11 Heroes Run to remember, honor and support our men and women in the armed services, police, firefighter and first responder communities who protected and served our country on 9/11 and since. With the help of several great sponsors, the foundation hosts more than 57 races nationwide and around the world, giving Americans the opportunity to run, volunteer, donate and cheer, but most of all, honor the fallen.
Each winter, the foundation is the primary sponsor of a Survivor Seminar with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) for families of the fallen. The foundation has also provided more than $200,000 in scholarship money to help create a generation of future leaders.