/PRNewswire/ -- Operation Homefront and Hooters have joined together to establish The Valentine Fund in honor of fallen hero SOCS Thomas J. Valentine. The fund will support the families of Special Forces service members and other military families.
On February 1, 2009, Hooters across the country started raising money for the cause through local charitable events as well as selling heart-shaped card cutouts in their 389 restaurants across the country.
Thomas J. Valentine, a Navy SEAL troop chief, was killed during a training exercise Feb. 13, 2008. He left behind his wife, Christina, a 15-year member of the Hooters family, and two young children. In honor of his sacrifice, Hooters established a fund in Valentine's name through Operation Homefront.
"The Valentine Fund is a tribute to all our service members and their families," said Amy Palmer, chief operating officer, Operation Homefront. "We are proud to be part of an effort that recognizes their sacrifices and provides a means to help them."
Hooters has a long-standing reputation for community initiatives. Last year when Valentine was killed, Hooters raised money to support Christina and presented her with a $100,000 check to go toward her children's education. The Valentine Fund is another opportunity for the company to stand behind those who serve and honor Tom's memory.
"Military families make daily sacrifices, the greatest of which is when a service member is killed," Christina Valentine said. "Through the Valentine Fund and the efforts of Operation Homefront, we can help Special Warfare families in all instances. The Valentine Fund not only honors Tom, an 18-year veteran of the Special Operations Warfare community, but all those who have given their lives and those who remain and continue to serve this great nation. It is an honor to be a part of this effort."
The donation drive will continue until April 2009. In addition to the Valentine Fund, Hooters and Operation Homefront will partner in various local efforts throughout the year in support of military personnel and their families.
For more information: www.operationhomefront.net or contact: Tranette Ledford, director of Public Relations: Tranette@operationhomefront.net; 210-659-7756 or 210-788-8778.
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