What is Operation Noble Warrior?
Operation Noble Warrior (ONW) is the creation of gold star parents Michael & Lynn Klasno of southern California. Michael is the founder of Gold Star Dads of America a national non-profit dedicated to honoring our fallen soldiers. Their son SGT Rhys W. Klasno was KIA in Haditha, Iraq on May 13, 2007.
“A couple years after starting the Gold Star Dads, Lynn and I realized that (we) the Dads needed a mission on which to focus. We wanted it to be something that the Gold Star Families could do together that would make a difference in the lives of our veterans, especially our son’s peers, the new corps of Veterans.”
Currently administered under the 501 c 3 non-profit umbrellas of the Gold Star Dads of America, the ONW project is now in its sixth year. The Operation Noble Warrior core group has grown beyond just gold star members and now includes businesses, community outreach groups, Veteran organizations and other like minded individuals.
As a Veterans Assist Organization our focus is three fold;
First and foremost we assist & celebrate the active duty military families. Our special events, beach parties, BBQ, etc., are always a big hit. Seasonal events like our “Home Front Hero Christmas” project for Combat Deployed families draw a lot of interest from our donors. We also hold “Unit Mess Call” (read BBQ’s) at National Guard Armories and local Fisher houses for our injured military families as well as outreach through the VA & USO.
Secondly, we strive to help the new corps of veterans adjust to civilian life through “Welcome Home” events, job fairs, peer mentoring, fellowship, etc.. By partnering with local business and veteran groups ONW hopes to make the adjustment to civilian life just a little easier for these warriors.
Lastly, we honor the service of the old guard veterans through our community outreach at VA Hospitals and Veterans homes. “Christmas at the VA” and “Blankets, Coats & Cans” are examples of our projects that serve our older veterans and those veterans who have found themselves on the street or in homeless shelters.
“Doing these events to honor the ‘Greatest Generation’ is probably the easiest yet most rewarding work we do. The old guys are a breeze to serve. To see the smiles on the faces of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam War veterans, is our reward.”
We are extremely proud of our youth group. Gold Star Dads tries to get as many of the younger generation involved in the ONW programs as possible to help keep them grounded and aware of the sacrifice these men & women made. Hearing the stories of their lives is a bonus few young people ever have the opportunity to experience.
Although secular in nature, Operation Noble Warrior has an obvious Christian focus of Service to & Prayer for our Military community. We believe that prayer is very powerful and have an active prayer warrior group.
These are just a few of the projects and programs that are on-going at Gold Star Dads of America. If you have any questions or concerns about donations please feel free to contact us.