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

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