By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
July 25, 2007 - Through scholarships, care packages and emergency financial relief, the Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund, a troop-support group in Montana, honors its namesake. Army Pfc. Scott Paul Vallely was attending special-operations training at Fort Bragg, N.C., when he died on April 20, 2004. The 29-year-old, who entered the Army in October 2003, had just completed infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga.
"Scott always helped other people and was a very generous person," Marian Vallely, Scott's mother, said in a statement on the fund's Web site. "The Memorial Fund has been established to assist and provide monetary support to members of the armed forces and/or their families in (their) time of need.
"The fund will also serve to provide scholarship assistance to those young men and women who will be serving in the armed forces," she added.
Each spring the Soldiers Memorial Fund presents cash leadership awards to graduates entering military service. More than 15 such awards were presented to ROTC and high school students in 2006 alone, according to the Web site.
In addition to the leadership awards and the care package program, the group is working to ensure fallen heroes are never forgotten.
The goal of the fund is "to honor, memorialize and pay tribute to those men and women who have fallen in combat and training -- either giving their lives or being wounded in the global war on terror," Scott's father, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, said.
The Scott Vallely Soldiers Memorial Fund also supports the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which works to connect citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.