Rangers gathered in New York City — Rangers of the past, dressed sharp with their significant others on their arm or their buddies at their side; present Rangers in their deep blue, Class A uniforms brandishing various medals and ribbons. These Rangers are surrounded by others — influential New York City personalities, friends and volunteers of the Rangers, wounded warriors, and of course Gold Star Families.
This was the recent gala for the Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to helping Army Rangers in a myriad of ways. They even raised money to build houses for medically retired Rangers who were incapacitated in combat overseas. It also raised money for other programs assisting injured Rangers, as well as the CAP program, which aids former Rangers as they pursue higher education.
Among the uniforms, suits and dresses stood around a dozen Rangers who, because of the CAP program, are currently attending Columbia University in NYC. Many of the visiting former Rangers work in upper-echelon finance, but are ready to give back at a moment’s notice.
Nicholas Pence from Under Armour, a former 3/75 Ranger, attended, as well as Michael and Joe Yorio (1/75) who work at School Specialty, focusing on school security. Scott Smiley, the Army’s first active duty blind officer (who lost his eyesight due to injuries sustained from a suicide bomber in 2005), spoke at the gala; billionaire Steve Cohen showed a video where he helps veterans with TBIs and PTSD. Debra Scranton, creator of the documentary “War Dogs” was also there.
And what happened at the gala is what The Lead the Way Fund is all about — giving back to the Rangers who are so near and dear to their hearts. Giving back to those who have given so much.
I spoke to Myles Grantham, former Ranger sniper and director of the Lead the Way Fund’s CAP program, and he said that the “Lead The Way Fund is expecting 2019 to be a transformative year for CAP. A lot of transitioning Rangers are applying to top-tier institutions and we are anticipating most of them to be accepted. We are expanding to other regions in the U.S. besides the North East, such as Atlanta, Miami, D.C., and LA. We are also creating a mental health program and working with universities on cell regeneration and advanced medical technology for Rangers who have been injured while serving their country.”