Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

October 9, 2015 at 7:31am

555 Able fund helps all

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Being able to commit to an ideal is a worthy endeavor.

That's the reason why there is a 555 Able Soldier and Family Fund to support the soldiers and families of the 555th Engineer Brigade, or Triple Nickel.

The brigade's motto is "Willing and Able."

The brigade is comprised of three battalions totaling more than 4,000 soldiers and their families:  the 864th Engineer Battalion, the 3rd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Battalion, and the 110th Chemical Battalion.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization begun a decade ago, the 555 Able Soldier and Family Fund is operated by military families and retired military members. Its purpose is to provide goods and services to the families of soldiers killed or wounded in action and their families as they recover.

"We are committed to ensure that soldiers and their families are taken care of in their time of need," Dennis Bowers, chairperson of the fund and the brigade's honorary command sergeant major, wrote in an email.

Bowers knows well the history of the engineers, or sappers, that he helps support.

Military engineering is the oldest of the engineering skills and a precursor to the profession of civil engineering. A sapper (the word means to dig or entrench) is a soldier who performs a variety of military engineering duties such as building bridges, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defenses and general construction.

They are also trained to serve as infantry in defensive and offensive operations.

"The fund was created when the 555th Engineer Brigade deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait," Bowers wrote."There was a need for funeral help; there was a need for memorial boxes and flowers for memorial services; there was a need for care packages and assistance for families to travel in order to be with other family members."

Donations have also been used to purchase the Brigade's Memorial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Reflection Park and the wreaths that commemorate those lost in battle.

"There is nothing more important than taking care of and remembering the soldiers and their families who have served in this great brigade," Bowers continued. "We are obligated to do this."

Contributions to the group's Combined Federal Campaign, or CFC, help the 555 Able Soldier and Family Fund continue to help soldiers. Its CFC donation code is 84293.

Every dollar donated supports soldiers and their families.

"These soldiers and their families serve honorably," concluded Bowers. "The donations we receive go a long way, and for that we are grateful."

For more information, visit www.555soldierfund.com.

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