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Tom Kilgannon is the President of Freedom Alliance, an educational and charitable organization that honors and supports America’s military and advocates for a strong national defense. Freedom Alliance saves lives and military marriages by providing recreational rehabilitation to combat-wounded heroes and counseling retreats for military couples.
The organization helps troops overcome the wounds of war by providing all-terrain wheelchairs to amputees; donating mortgage-free homes to combat-wounded veterans; and shipping care packages to troops deployed overseas, among other projects.
In addition, Freedom Alliance has awarded millions of dollars in college scholarships to the sons and daughters of America’s heroes who have lost life or limb for our country.
In 2017, Kilgannon was appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. In its Final Report, the Commission offered Congress and the President 164 recommendations to improve the Selective Service System, civics education, and ways to foster a greater ethos of service among America’s youth.
Tom is a graduate of New York University and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. He has published dozens of opinion columns and is the author of Diplomatic Divorce: Why America Should End Its Love Affair With the United Nations.
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Freedom Alliance Surpasses $20 Million Awarded in College Scholarships to Children of Military Heroes
DULLES, Va. - Freedom Alliance, a military support organization, has now awarded more than $20 million in college scholarships to the children of fallen or wounded military heroes in the 20 years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The scholarships are provided to students who have a parent that was killed or permanently disabled in the service of our country.
"It’s not enough to simply mourn the death or injury of a service member,” explained Freedom Alliance President, Tom Kilgannon. "A grateful nation must also care for the children of its fallen and wounded heroes and help them achieve their dreams. Our team at Freedom Alliance has humbly accepted that responsibility and in doing so, our own lives – and the lives of our supporters – have been greatly enriched by those we serve."
Freedom Alliance has experienced tremendous growth in its scholarship program. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Freedom Alliance had awarded scholarships to 12 students for a total of $79,000. In 2021, 583 students received scholarships totaling $2.3 million and over the last 20 years, Freedom Alliance has helped more than 2,000 individual students complete their studies at trade schools, community colleges and four-year institutions.
A Freedom Alliance scholarship is awarded based on the parent’s military service and if one child in the family is eligible, siblings are likely to also qualify if they choose to continue their education after high school. The top five areas of study among our students are: nursing, psychology, biology, business and mechanical engineering and scholarship recipients carry an average GPA of 3.21 out of 4.0. Scholarship recipients hail from all 50 states and their parents have served in each branch of the armed forces as well as fought in various campaigns including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf War, Beirut, Mogadishu and others.
“We are 20 years removed from the start of the war in Afghanistan,” explained Kilgannon, “and the need for college assistance for the children of fallen or wounded heroes has never been greater.”
There are an estimated 7,000 youths who have lost a parent in Afghanistan or Iraq and the vast majority have not yet attended college. It is estimated that over the next ten years (2022-2031), 5,500 children of service members killed in action (KIA) – and thousands more who become permanently disabled – will be eligible for the scholarship.