Congress honors Sentinels of Freedom

Founder Mike Conklin applauds resolution

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Nov. 2 honoring the San Ramon-based Sentinels of Freedom.

U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., 11th) authored the resolution, which commends Sentinels of Freedom for its work offering comprehensive support to veterans severely injured in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. The program provides these veterans with mentoring and the tools to enroll in school, find and maintain a job, and obtain housing.

Sentinels of Freedom has now enrolled a total of 51 veterans in the program nationwide and expects to help many more in the coming years.

"I'm proud that Sentinels of Freedom was honored today in our Nation's Capitol," said McNerney last Monday. "This program is offering hope and opportunity to the brave men and women who have sacrificed greatly for our country. Sentinels of Freedom deserves strong commendation for their hard work on behalf of our veterans."

Mike Conklin, founder and president of Sentinels of Freedom, also applauded the passage of the resolution.

"We are humbled by this honor and pledge to continue our work on behalf of our veterans," Conklin said. "Together, we can honor the men and women who have sacrificed for our nation."

On Thursday at Crow Canyon Country Club, Conklin and area veterans honored and paid tribute as two men who had been adopted into the local community "graduated" from the Sentinels of Freedom program. Ben Crowley and Manny Mendoza, who have been in the program for four years, reached every goal they had set: They attended college working full-time and established themselves in the community after being seriously wounded in combat while serving their county.

The VietNam Veterans of Diablo Valley hosted the event at their monthly dinner meeting, which is the first Thursday of each month with a buffet dinner and a guest speaker. Find more information at www,

The text of the resolution is as follows:


Honoring Sentinels of Freedom and commending the dedication, commitment, and extraordinary work of the organization

Whereas in 2003, Sentinels of Freedom, based in San Ramon and Danville, California, was established;

Whereas the mission of Sentinels of Freedom is to provide life-changing opportunities for men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who have suffered severe injuries;

Whereas the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation was created to benefit qualified veterans severely injured in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001;

Whereas Sentinels of Freedom provides four year scholarships that help veterans to become self-sufficient;

Whereas scholarship recipients receive support to enroll in school, find and maintain a job, and obtain housing;

Whereas Sentinels of Freedom organizes teams of local volunteers that provide mentoring and moral support for scholarship recipients;

Whereas Sentinels of Freedom has excelled in providing assistance to veterans;

Whereas thanks to Sentinels of Freedom, 39 veterans have benefited from scholarships and many more will in the coming years: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) honors Sentinels of Freedom;

(2) commends Sentinels of Freedom's dedication and commitment to the brave men and women who have served the United States; and

(3) praises Sentinels of Freedom for its extraordinary work for the well-being of our Nation's veterans.

— Dolores Fox Ciardelli


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chet
a resident of Danville
on Nov 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm

We can always count on our fine Congressman Jerry McNerney to find ways to honor our veterans. He is a strong supporter of the veterans and their families. Thank you Jerry McNerney.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by PT Tuttle
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2009 at 12:43 pm

It is good that McNerney initiated this resolution to honor our vets, and I applaud him for that. However, the liberal policies he supports undermine our military and the security of our country...for instance, treating terrorists as ordinary criminals and offering them legal protections our citizens receive, supporting reductions in our defense budget and cuts in our missle defense capabilities, supporting an administration who can't call a terrorist a terrorist, supporting an administration that is ambivalent about whether we should fight terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is easy to appear to be a good patriot by paying lip service to our soldiers, but real support lies in taking actions that actually make a difference in their ability to succeed in their mission.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sparky George
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 8:36 am

As the founder of Hats Off America over 7 years and over 12,000 100 different events to raise money for Gold Star Families Jerry is the only Politician to come show support at my events letting these families know they are not forgotten after they get their flags from the coffins of their loved ones.I am saddened that even with all the press I have received that the town ship I live in did not come out as I had even my last event I had 4 gold Star Families and only a couple of local residents to honer these families. It was with a tear in my eye and sadness in my hart I had to give up this 501c3 foundation with #20,600 for one family $1,000 for three families and $500 for Warriors foundation and Jerry has donated his time and money to these families so I say it is easy to accuse some one of being in a category, as it would be easy for me to put someone in a category that talks but takes no actions to honer or help families that have paied the ultimate price for freedom

From an Old Marine

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