In Honor of all Servicemen and Servicewomen
Past, Present, Future
Cost of Freedom, Inc.
Donors who make charitable contributions will receive an acknowledgement from Cost of Freedom, Inc. and may be eligible for a tax deduction on their income tax return.
Congratulations to our board member,
Gretchen Evans, for winning the
PAT TILLMAN AWARD for SERVICE!
2023 President's Message
A Message from our President
It is both an honor and a privilege to have served as President of Cost of Freedom, Inc. for the past 17 years. Our mission remains to honor our servicemen and servicewomen, those that defend our borders and protect our nation’s greatest treasure – freedom. As our theme last year was “A Higher Calling,” we are continually reminded of all those that serve their fellow man – military, first responders, clergy, teachers, law enforcement, volunteers, all those that put others before self. The purpose of each year’s theme is to imprint a special message upon our hearts, enabling us to move forward, fight the daily battles we face, and be encouraged to move toward a higher ground. This year’s theme was “Rope Team Matters.”
Our Cost of Freedom weekend, which included the Army-Navy game at Lincoln Field, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was represented by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, SEALs, Special Forces, and other organizations that love our Veterans – a family of patriots that formed our “rope team” for not only the weekend, but for days to come. We came away with enjoying the support people in our lives; and being that support person for someone else. Navy SEALs call it Swim Buddies – Airborne has its Band of Brothers – Cost of Freedom has it’s “Rope Team.”
We were honored to have several special guests this year who exemplified and shared with us how their “rope team” mattered in their lives: LCpl Mattias Ferreira, USMC (Ret), Sgt Adam Kieselewski, USMC (Ret), Maj Dan Runion, USA, Special Forces, Green Beret, Airborne Ranger (Ret), and Cdr Jon Macaskill, Navy SEAL (Ret), all shared their journey, giving us a greater appreciation of how to overcome adversity with the help of others.
CSM Gretchen Evans, USA (Ret), recent recipient of the ESPY Pat Tillman Award for Service, and a member of the Military Hall of Fame, head of her team Unbroken, with service dog Rusty is the epitome of “rope team” mattering.
Major General Jeanette Edmunds, USA (Ret) brought the rope team matters theme to a conclusive end with three words we need to think about – acknowledge, accept, and act.
In addition to celebrating with over 100 Servicemen and women in Philadelphia, including 18 children, the Cost of Freedom team again engaged in a reach out program to Veterans in need, coordinated by Deanna Filosa.
Cost of Freedom has also sponsored a total of 12 puppies with a purpose through America’s VetDogs in memory of or in honor of those that have served their country or have made an impact on the lives of others. This year we sponsored two puppies, Dinky in memory of Robert Stecher, a USNA ’72 classmate, and Mac, in memory of Jim McNamara, who served his country in Korea and the police department, and whose three sons have been instrumental in allowing Cost of Freedom to continually honor our Veterans in very special ways.
2022 marked the 15th year our Gold Star family, Marianna Winchester, Kristina, RJ, Anthony, and Brian, have joined us to ensure “we must never forget” those that have given all. 1st Lt Ron Winchester, USMC (KIA) remains a part of our lives, so long as he is not forgotten. Part of our mission is to never forget and to carry forward the ideals and values that Ronnie lived by – honor, courage, and commitment.
Thank you for your continued support of those that serve – it is our turn to serve them.
CLICK HERE for MassMutual’s video tribute to Cost of Freedom and the 2021 Community Service Award
Our Board of Directors
Bob Madden, Co-Founder and President*
Ron Stowell, Co-Founder and Treasurer*
Paul Huck, Secretary*
Sgt Adam Kisielewski, USMC (Ret)
Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Gretchen Evans
Bob Zimmerman, Director Emeritus*
Hugh Blomeke, Director Emeritus*
*USNA Class of 1972
**We are in need of tickets**
to the Army Navy Game on
December 9, 2023 for our honored Veterans. If you have access to tickets, please contact us.
“Autograph a Heart” - Making a Difference
Spreading hope, love, and goodness to those in need of it
Honoring Female Veterans
Atlanta Drive Thru Baby Shower
Type your paragraph here.
COF Board Member, Deanna Filosa, was awarded a $25,000 Community Service Award by MassMutual.