“5 Minute Salute” with Sarah Ross Geisen of the Drew Ross Memorial Foundation and Rod Rodrigues of the GWOT Memorial Foundation

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Each week on “5 Minute Salute” our host Chris Budihas talks to veterans making a difference in their communities. Today, Chris has the honor to speak with “5 Minute Salute” with Sarah Ross Geisen of the Drew Ross Memorial Foundation and Rod Rodrigues of the GWOT Memorial Foundation.

Short company description:

We will be doing this interview in tandem with the president of the GWOT Memorial foundation , Rod Rodrigues. Our answers will be from both organizations presidents.

Drew Ross Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to honor the life and legacy of CPT Andrew P Ross, KIA 27 NOV 2018. DRMF inspires patriotism, selfless service, & perseverance to build stronger communities. We aim to create a pathway of healing and empowerment by bringing together the family, friends and communities of fallen service members.

How do you define success?

GWOT:I personally believe that true success can be found in the smiles of your children and/or loved ones. If you’re little ones have happiness, love, and joy in their lives… you are giving them something many children go without.

DRMF: I too believe that true success is who you are in the eyes of your children and those who love you. Legacy is not just what is written about someone but the character within those they leave behind.
How did you get started in your field or work?: GWOT:When I was medically retired, several VSO’s stepped forward to fill the gaps of my care… when I was able, I chose to donate my time in the hopes I could repay… I hoped to be of service.. DRMF: I started our nonprofit about 3 years after my brother died in order to carry his legacy forward.

What’s one thing we should know that makes your company unique?

GWOT:We are one of a handful of charities that have been congressionally designated/authorized to build a national war memorial. Our mission is exclusive to our organization.

DRMF: We are a family run organization aimed to make a difference the way Drew would have on earth. We are deeply personally rooted in our cause because there we do, the more he lives on in others.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your business?

GWOT: There are so many, but I think passing a piece of legislation that everyone said was impossible is the most recent obstacle with regard to the overall process.

DRMF: Honestly, having the courage to start a foundation and to publicly step forward in such a formal way to honor my brother. As a mother of 4 and a military spouse, the time and energy to do this was a little scary for me to commit to.