Local organization receives money from Trump's debate night event

Green Beret Foundation provides assistance to wounded warriors

SAN ANTONIO – While the other Republican presidential candidates were debating Thursday night, Donald Trump held his own event benefiting veterans.

Trump raised $5 million during the event for various veterans organizations across the country, including one in San Antonio. The Green Beret Foundation is set to receive $200,000 from the event.

The Green Beret Foundation was started by a small group, including the wife of a Green Beret, Jennifer Paquette, who is the executive director.

"The overall mission is to support Green Berets and their families in their lives," Paquette said.

Paquette said she was in disbelief when she got the call from the Trump campaign and, for a while, was a little skeptical but then realized it was true.

Her motivation for carrying on the program comes from her husband's injuries. Roland Paquette, a master sergeant and medic, was injured in Afghanistan in 2006 when his truck was hit by an improvised explosive device, or IED. He lost both legs above the knees.

At the time, there was no support specifically for Green Berets. Now, Jennifer Paquette is all about giving that support.

When a Green Beret is wounded, they receive a $1,000 check and a backpack of items from the foundation.

"It's our calling card, ultimately, 'Hey, we are here for you,'" Jennifer Paquette said.

After the initial contact, the organization can follow up during the Green Beret's rehab.

They have also set up Steel Mags Sorority, a support group for wives.

"These woman are not like other woman. They carry the burden," Jennifer Paquette said.

The money coming to the Green Beret Foundation is coming at the perfect time, as it just started a transition program.

"For that to come down without us expecting, it is huge," Jennifer Paquette said.

The foundation was created in 2009 and started serving the wounded warriors in 2010. So far, they have assisted about 1,000 families.

"We cannot forget what has already gone on with our service members over the last 14 to 15 years and what is going to keep going on," Jennifer Paquette said.

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