Nonprofit for Gold Star Families of Killed in Action and Died of Wounds Announces Partnerships

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Two groups join with the USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), a nonprofit that benefits families of fallen heroes. One will honor California Medal of Honor recipients; the other will pick up cars that people donate to help them in their work.

The California Medal of Honor Project (CAMOHP) will join forces with the USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA). CAMOHP will be an official project of USAKIA, giving it 501(c)(3) tax-exempt and tax-deductible status. The nonprofit also has a new car-donation program.

All killed in action (KIA) or died of wounds (DOW) receive the Purple Heart and high military and national honors. However, the Medal of Honor (MOH) is our nation’s highest military praise. First given during the Civil War, our nation’s military now awards it for "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force." Those who receive it save other U.S. military lives, and since the beginning of World War II, the vast majority were killed in action and received it posthumously.

Also known as the Congressional Medal of Honor, sometimes Congress itself awards it. Moreover, it is always presented by the President on behalf of Congress. However, some of those who died and received this highest military honor do not have headstones which indicate their heroism. California, in particular, has a high percentage of unmarked MOH graves. More living recipients of the Medal of Honor reside in California than any other state, 16 of them. Both groups think the project will help bridge some gaps for both these neglected California heroes and U.S. KIA families.

Debbie Peevyhouse will be the CAMOHP Project Director. Debbie has gained publicity for California Medal of Honor recipients. She has worked closely with Marianna Tinoco, who will be on the new CAMOHP advisory board and is also the California State Chairwoman of the American GI Forum. Their group, with its new 501(c)(3) status, will locate unmarked recipients’ graves and install markers or headstones describing their heroism with a military ceremony. Debbie also likes USAKIA’s mission and plans to continue working with the USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation after the California Medal of Honor Project completes its work of identifying and marking the California graves of recipients of our nation’s highest military honor.

Debbie, who has many family connections to the military, also wants to work with the families of these neglected heroes. "It's about all the military people who haven't been recognized," she says about finding the final resting place of Marine Sgt. Edward A. Walker, a Medal of Honor recipient buried in San Jose, California with no indication of his heroism. He died in 1946 in a car accident and received the Medal of Honor for service during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. In a Memorial Day ceremony this year, Sgt. Walker received a marker indicating his MOH.

A new car-donation program begun by USAKIA helps them in their work. USAKIA has teamed up with Charitable Auto Resources, Inc. (CARS), which will collect, repair, and auction donated vehicles. For no charge, CARS will pick up and tow automobiles and provide a receipt for the tax-deductible donation from USAKIA to the donor. Donors should make sure and mention the USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA) as the charity they want to give their vehicles. To donate a car to USAKIA and help them in their work, call 1-877-537-5277 toll free.

The USA KIA/DOW Family Foundation (USAKIA), based in San Jose, California, is an IRS-approved, tax-deductible and tax-exempt nonprofit. KIA families incorporated the 501(c)(3) organization in the fall of 2003 to benefit families of those killed in action and died of wounds while in the U.S. armed forces. Current services include memorials and membership, and it also sells products honoring U.S. KIA. America Remembers KIA allows USAKIA the use of its trademarked KIA flag and symbol. See the organization's Web site at for further information.


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Dennis Malloy
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