The military provides world-class medical care for injured service members. But sometimes gaps open up between the support the military can provide, and the support the injured and their families need.

The Yellow Ribbon Fund helps fill the gaps throughout the recovery process, from hospital to hometown.

Whether they’re recovering in the Washington, DC, area at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, or back in their home communities, YRF provides real support for real heroes.




When a service member is injured, a family member or close friend leaves home to come help with the recovery, often for a year or longer. YRF’s FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM has pioneered support for caregivers. We’re still one of the only service organizations to offer childcare and family-oriented activities, plus stress-relieving massages and spa visits, mutually supportive dinners out, and more — all at no charge.

We also provide free HOTEL ROOMS for visiting relatives desperate to be at the side of their injured loved ones.

We provide free RENTAL CARS and TAXI RIDES to give them some freedom and control at a time when they control very little.

As injured service members recover and become outpatients, we provide free, furnished APARTMENTS for families who otherwise would have to endure the added stress of separation or crowding into a hotel room.

Meanwhile, after a life-changing injury, our innovative MENTORING PROGRAM helps injured service members start planning for the future, with education and career guidance, networking, and job shadowing that opens doors.

Yellow Ribbon Fund volunteers and donors also make it possible for the injured and their families to enjoy sporting and cultural events, tours, outings, and get-togethers. Combined with those of the Family Caregiver Program, we organize MORE THAN 100 ACTIVITIES every year.

These events are more than just fun — they’re an important part of the healing process. YRF activities offer stress-reducing breaks from the grueling rigors of recovery, while reducing isolation, nurturing family relationships, facilitating mutual support, and building confidence.

After injured veterans return home, our AMBASSADOR PROGRAM connects them with volunteers all over the country. These “ambassadors” provide one-on-one support to help them build new lives and ensure no one falls through gaps in community safety nets. If needed, ambassadors can even refer veterans and their families to YRF-funded legal services.(Read the Ambassador Program brochure.)

Veterans facing more complex issues receive additional support from YRF’s WELLNESS PROGRAM. Our staff social worker help empower them to find short- and long-term solutions to financial, physical, emotional, legal, and family challenges. Financial problems and post-traumatic stress are the top two issues facing those in need.

We’re also building a supportive community of veterans in partnership with Blue Titan Fitness of Rockaway, NJ. The veteran athlete ambassadors on YRF’s TAKING UP FITNESS (TUF) TEAM have personally experienced the healing power of community fitness, and now inspire and mentor their fellow vets. (Visit the TUF Team website.)

In addition, our FAMILY CAREGIVER PROGRAM continues to provide support to the caregivers of injured veterans after they return home. Retreats and outings for mutual support, VA guidance, scholarships, and career mentoring help caregivers adapt to their new role.

Latest News on
Hospital-Based Programs:

“We salute Medal of Honor recipient CPT Florent Groberg, a YRF hero”

Latest News on
Veteran & Family Programs:

“Recruited to represent his country at Invictus Games — but how to pay for the bike?”

CPT Groberg received the honor from President Obama in  White House ceremony.

CPT Groberg received the honor from President Obama in a White House ceremony.

Army Captain Florent Groberg’s selfless actions in Afghanistan saved many lives. Afterward, he spent 3 years recovering from his injuries at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. During most of that time, he lived in a nearby apartment provided by YRF.

Your donations help provide well-earned support to injured heroes and their families during long recoveries at Walter Reed and Ft Belvoir Community Hospital in the Washington, DC, area.

Living out in the community during treatment helps ease the transition to civilian life.

Living out in the community during treatment helps ease the transition to civilian life.

In addition to free rental cars, cab rides, and hotel stays, YRF maintains 10 apartments near Walter Reed. Having a place to call home out in the community helps injured service members and their families rebuild normal lives during extended outpatient treatment.

Read CPT Groberg’s courageous story.

A serious injury doesn't have to come between a veteran and the athletic life he loves.

A serious injury doesn’t have to come between a veteran and the athletic life he loves.

When Blake Johnson was recruited to try out for Team USA, it was proof of how far he’d come since the accident that wrecked his leg and nearly wrecked his life. But cycling is an expensive sport — too expensive for a medically retired veteran.

Blake had enlisted in the U.S. Army at 17. An Army brat and an athlete, a military career came naturally to him. He trained to repair Apache Longbow helicopter armaments, electronics, and avionics systems, and in 2012 he deployed to Forward Operating Base Sharana in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. He came home uninjured.

The sticker on the back of Blake's car.

The sticker on the back of Blake’s car.

But for returning veterans, home can prove more dangerous than the combat zone. A motor vehicle accident shattered his patella, femur, and tibia, plus caused additional serious leg trauma. During two years of physical therapy, there were days when he was on top of the world and days when it seemed like he was getting nowhere.

Getting involved in team sports again made the difference. He had thought his injury meant that part of his life was over, but he discovered that wasn’t true. He was soon competing in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, shotput, discus, and even CrossFit.

As a TUF Team veteran athlete, Blake competes in CrossFit.

As a TUF Team veteran athlete, Blake competes in CrossFit.

He joined the Yellow Ribbon Fund’s Veteran TUF Team (Taking Up Fitness), and joined in reaching out to help other recovering veterans. Adaptive sports helped change his mindset. He’s stronger, healing faster, and no longer feels like his injury took away the athletics he loves.

Then came the invitation to try out for the Invictus Games in swimming and cycling.

Britain's Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, too, helped found the Invictus Games.

Britain’s Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, too, helped found the Invictus Games.

The Invictus Games started in Great Britain and debut next year in the U.S. The word ‘Invictus’ means ‘unconquered’. It embodies the fighting spirit of wounded, injured, and ill military service personnel and what these tenacious men and women can achieve, post injury. The Games harness the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country.

For Blake, though, cycling didn’t seem possible.

Blake with the staff of Performance Bicycles in Columbia, Md.

Blake with the staff of Performance Bicycles in Columbia, Md.

Then Performance Bicycle stepped up and partnered with the Yellow Ribbon Fund to sponsor him. Recently at the Performance Bicycle shop in Columbia, Md., Blake was outfitted with every piece of equipment and clothing he needs to prepare for the 2016 Games in May.

including a

The donated gear inlcuded a $2500 racing bike that Performance Bike will maintain and fix free of charge while Blake trains.

As more and more injured veterans return home from military hospitals, the Yellow Ribbon Fund partners with communities and organizations nationwide to continue providing the support they deserve. Our Wellness and Ambassador Programs and the TUF Team help fill the gaps with community efforts like this one — serving those who have served us.

With the new racing bike on his car, Blake's ready to begin training.

With the new racing bike on his car, Blake’s ready to begin training.