Our Programs

Since its formation the Air Warrior Courage Foundation has “flexed” its attention on those “in need.” Sometimes it involves providing financial support, sometimes, counseling/direction; sometimes developing a “concern” to identify the true “need”; sometimes, it involves a specific need of a military family or unit. Whatever. Our concern has always been to be flexible in considering the reality being faced by our Nation’s military, veterans and their families. We have concentrated on the aviation branches of our military because such service is in our own background. Nevertheless, our programs to support military-dependent children and hurricane evacuees have addressed “Needs” for non-aviators and their families because of our dedication to “Care for Our Own.”

We seek your assistance in learning of such “needs” (who/what/when/why – to the extent that you know) so we can flesh out what the problem really is, what can be done to address it and then, if possible, do it. You can contact us by email, phone, fax and/or letter to do so.

Thank you for your interest and cooperation.

San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC)

San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio is part of the United States Army Medical Command. It is a University of Texas Health Science Center and USUHS teaching hospital and contains the Army Burn Center. SAMMC has a history which dates back to 1879 when the first Post Hospital opened as a small medical dispensary located in a single story wooden building. During the early years the Post hospital was in temporary structures, and it was not until 1886 that the first permanent hospital was built. In 1907 an 84-bed Station hospital was constructed on the west side of the post.

The hospital today is a 450-bed JCAHO-accredited facility, expandable to 653 beds in the event of a disaster. Services include general medical and surgical care, adult and pediatric primary care clinics, 24-hour Emergency department, specialty clinics, clinical services, wellness and prevention services, veterinary care, and environmental health services.

SAMMC is a Level I trauma center, the only one in the MEDCOM, and is part of the Southern Regional Medical Command (SRMC).

SAMMC Troop Support Project
Scuba Training

SAMMC Troop Support Project

SAMMC Troop Support Project

(Administered by Ralph Parr River Rat Pack)

A Summary

May 2005 through June 30, 2017

· 706 Cases
· $137,139 Expended

· 84 Cases
· $34,147 Expended

* 4,010 $50 Gift Cards
· $169,000 Expended

· 1,230 Cases
· $977,398 Expended

· 796 Families
· 1,721 Children
· $558,000 Expended

· 1,391 Lawns Cut
· $52,181 Expended

· 427 Wounded Warriors Open Water Certified
· $239,718 Expended

· 61 Events
· $218,858 Expended
· Skiing, Surfing, Fishing, Archery Training, Blue Water Scuba.

· 161 Projects
· Playground Pad, Fisher House Paint, Family, Support, Fisher House, Therapeutic Riding, Marine Corps Support, Summer Camps
· $298,297 Expended

* 45 Houses & apartments furnished/8 vehicles donated
* $317,202 estimated value

TOTAL Spent this Quarter = $27,307

TOTAL AWCF Expenditures on SAMMC Wounded Warriors = $2,930,403

Additionally, we support Habitat for Humanity, hurricane/natural disaster support, and Restoration Ranch, among others

Scuba Training

Scuba Training & Certification Program

The AWCF Wounded Warrior Emergency Support Fund launched a scuba training and open water certification program in the spring of 2006.  AWCF joined with Duggan Diving, a professional scuba diving company, to launch a program specifically tailored to train wounded warriors with amputations and burns.  The program was also assisted by the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) which is the rehabilitation facility at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC).  The CFI aided in selecting wounded warriors for the dive program and also provided volunteer physical therapist that monitored the training.

The program proved highly popular with the wounded and was particularly appealing to amputees and burn victims.  Diving was not only good physical therapy; the freedom of movement in water was even better mental therapy.  AWCF provided the financial support needed to run the program and also provided personal equipment in the form of masks and fins.  Duggan Diving provided wet suits and air tanks.  The scuba training program was structured to training 4 classes of 12 warriors per year.  In some cases, spouses of wounded warriors are also trained as companion divers.  As of June 2013, 281 wounded warriors have been “open water” certified.   Open water certification takes place at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, Texas and Balmorhea Springs in Balmorhea, TX.

In 2010, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) gave AWCF a grant to enhance the scuba program with two “Blue Water” dive trips per year.  The location chosen for this program was Panama City, Florida.  The program format was designed to take 7 active duty wounded warriors and 7 wounded warriors who had completed the AWCF open water certification and had subsequently departed active duty on each trip to Panama City.  The objective was to expose the wounded warriors to diving on ship wrecks and the abundant marine life in the Gulf of Mexico with the hope that warriors would continue to dive as a life time sport. The program proved so successful that AWCF has continued funding for two “Blue Water” dive trips per year post BWF participation.

scuba training - 5 participants sitting on a dock in wetsuits preparing to scuba dive single scuba diver underwater with blue fins swimming with fish single scuba diver near sunken wreckage

Therapeutic Riding Program (TRP)

For several years the AWCF provided support for children, of military families, enabling them to participate in therapeutic riding programs in over fifteen states.  To one degree or another, these children and their parents have found this opportunity helpful in dealing with a variety of childhood disabilities.  In providing this support the AWCF continues the “we care for our own” tradition of the Red River Valley Association, the “River Rats”. Military rank or branch of service is not an issue nor does the AWCF discriminate on any other basis but than that of each child’s situation, medical diagnosis, prognosis and “need.”  All information is dealt with on a confidential basis unless, on a voluntary basis, written permission of all parties is obtained. AWCF support may be by cost per child/lesson or, in the case of those therapeutic riding centers (TRC) that do not charge participants, a blanket award; in either case, all payments/donations are made directly to the TRC.  The AWCF reserves the right to verify the military status of the sponsor(s) and dependent status of the child, the medical condition of the child and the “need.”

If you desire more information please read the FAQ and/or contact the AWCF’s National Office by phone, fax, letter or email as indicated below. If you wish to participate in the AWCF’s Therapeutic Riding Program, complete the application, give it to the TRC involved and ensure it is sent to the National Office as indicated.  By doing so you are also acknowledging the information above and certifying the information you provide on the application.

Thank you for your interest and cooperation in making this program a success.

Vision Enhancing Technology


Medical Expenses

Content TBD

Therapeutic Riding Program FAQ

Are there any programs that would potentially benefit our community since our services are free?
ANSWER – Yes. AWCF support may be by cost per child/lesson (a personal scholarship) or, in the case of those TROs that do not charge participants, a blanket award to the Therapeutic Riding Center (TRC); all payments/donations are made directly to the TRC. Completion of the TRP Application is required for all participants.
How might a military family with a disabled child be reviewed for funding?
ANSWER – Military rank or branch of service is not an issue. The AWCF makes its decision solely on each child’s situation, medical prognosis and “need.” The AWCF reserves the right to verify the military status of the sponsor(s) and dependent status of the child involved, the medical condition of the child and the “need.”
Does your program provide support for military dependent children that do not have a diagnosed disability?
ANSWER – No, the AWCF TRP is designed to assist military dependent children receive disability therapy not covered by the traditional military service “safety-nets,” e.g. CHAMPUS, TRICARE, etc.
What is the advance timeline that they would need to apply?
ANSWER – Whenever a child is approved by the TRC for participation or is already participating, we will accept a completed TRP application and begin the process for possible funding. The AWCF approval process takes approximately 2-3 weeks to be completed and the Therapeutic Riding Center/family notified of whatever support is approved.
Is there a specific format?
ANSWER – Yes, please review our TRP Application.
Do you share participant information with anyone other than the AWCF, the Therapeutic Riding Center and family involved?
ANSWER – No. As with all AWCF philanthropic activities, all information is dealt with on a confidential basis unless, on a voluntary basis, written permission of all parties is obtained.
We are an EFMH (Equine Facilitated Mental Health) program, and the majority of our riders are able bodied but wrestling with many issues. Would your program be able to sponsor scholarship for those students if they qualified?
ANSWER – Probably not, as our program is not currently designed to support “able-bodied” children. However, our medical staff will review a child’s condition diagnosis/ prognosis statement, completed by his/her doctor, and make a determination of eligibility.
Some of our students are from families so broken apart that there is no contact between parents. Do you have access to military service information if the fathers are unreachable to fill out forms about their service history?
ANSWER – No, we do not have such a capability but the parent caring for the child should be able to provide sufficient information for our review. Having a “regular” family, i.e., not divorced/separated/etc, does not qualify nor disqualify a needy child from participating in our program.