DAWGS has a long history of supporting veteran causes and honoring military heroes. In March of 2022, DAWGS made a donation to help support the 2022 12th Annual Windy25 Memorial 5K. The annual event honors the memory and supports the families of the fallen heroes of Windy25. The Windy25 Memorial 5K, hosted in Las Vegas, attracts hundreds of runners from all 50 states and nine countries.
Windy25 was the call sign of the aircraft from F Company, 159th Aviation Regiment “Big Windy”. They made the ultimate sacrifice on April 6th, 2005 while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. The crash of the giant Chinook helicopter, 17 years ago in Afghanistan killed all 18 soldiers and civilian contractors on board.
U.S. Army Major Craig Wilhelm lost five of his own soldiers on that fateful day. The other 13 soldiers killed were from other units. To honor and preserve the sacrifice of these service members and the ongoing sacrifice their families endure, Major Wilhelm founded the Windy25 Memorial Fund.
“The idea was to create an organization that supported families of our military’s fallen heroes as a tribute to the Windy25 flight,” Wilhelm said. “We are steadfast in our commitment to their personal stories and to provide life opportunities for their loved ones in their journey to carry on their heroes’ legacy, always in the spirit of – we will never forget you.”
Since its inception in 2010, The Windy 25 Memorial Fund has raised over $1.2 million to help families of fallen soldiers that served in the military. The funds help the families affected by the loss from this unit and others, even providing college grants for both adults and children of the fallen. The mission also grew to include funneling donations to other organizations that assist the families of all fallen heroes.