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15th Annual Chenega Invitational Goes Off With A Bang

15th Annual Chenega Invitational Goes off with a Bang

Each year, Chenega MIOS hosts the Chenega Invitational to benefit the always deserving men and women who served in our Nation’s military. It is a notable tradition having run for now 15 years, each year with the same end goal: to give back to those who have already given so much to us. Held this year on June 3, 2021, we could not have asked for better results. Between the weather, the turnout, and the amount raised, we are incredibly thankful for the support system we have.

The previous 14-years, Chenega MIOS took great pride in supporting Azalea Charities’ Aid for Wounded Warriors, a 100% volunteer organization dedicated to donating comfort and relief items to servicemen and women injured as a result of their duties in the military. We were grateful for the opportunity to raise over $700,000 for the organization through those years. Unfortunately, Azalea announced its dissolving in 2020, splitting its remaining funds among several worthy organizations in the Prince William County area. However, the closing of one door means the opening of another.

For the 15th Annual Chenega Invitational, Chenega MIOS was excited for the opportunity to support a new charity, the admirable Vigilant Torch Association (VTA). VTA is a volunteer organization that provides vital financial support to the Special Operations Community in their greatest time of need. They do this through emergency relief funds, especially for those wounded or killed in action, family maintenance/resilience support, and scholarships for family members.

For those who may not know, the Special Operations Forces (SOF) are highly skilled individuals trained to carry out special and specific types of missions. With this expertise comes extreme responsibilities as well as intense combat in many situations. On top of this, deployments may be longer, and Special Operations soldiers, in turn, are more likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Being in a career that teaches “toughness” and to “keep going no matter the conditions,” there tend to be many barriers to seeking help when experiencing PTSD. When this disease goes untreated, mental health, unfortunately, suffers immensely. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, female veterans are 1.8 times more likely to commit suicide than non-military females. Male veterans are 1.4 times more likely to commit suicide than non-military males. As if those numbers weren’t scary and sad enough, according to the New York Times, between 2007 and 2015, there were 117 suicides among the SOF, a rate of 39.3 per 100,000 servicemen/women compared with 22.9 per 100,000 for the armed forces as a whole.

These statistics are why VTA takes such pride in its mission to serve the Special Operations Community. These service members go through enough in their career of serving our country, so even the slightest bit of assistance can take an extreme load off of their shoulders and give their families much-needed peace of mind.

Now, without further ado, we are extremely proud and grateful to say that for the 15th Annual Chenega Invitational, we were able to raise $102,000 for VTA. We are so appreciative of all of the people and companies that come out year after year to support the worthy cause and are even more excited to have seen some new faces this year.

Our sponsors this year included:

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