2017 Pedestal Award Recipient

William Hale

After a distinguished military career, Mike Thornton continued his support and involvement within the military community. Because of his relationships, Mike often heard of families in dire need of assistance and was fortunate enough to have friends, family and corporate benefactors willing and able to help.

Serving as an informal middleman over the years, the requests for assistance as well as the number of people who wanted to help continued to grow. In order to better expedite his endeavor, Mike created a foundation to educate the public on the needs and challenges that exist in order to help as many military families as possible.

Recognizing the hardships these families were struggling just to exist, Mike approached the challenge in a militaristic fashion by identifying the objective. What he discovered was a charitable system where the essential needs of families’ fell through the cracks. Although they were many foundations in place to help, most of their by-laws and requirements didn’t deliver urgent support. In the meantime, the families were losing their homes, cars, and unable to meet medical and daily financial burdens until the larger foundation could deliver assistance.

The Michael E. Thornton Foundation (METFUND), aids military families in distress by bridging the gap between the high-priority needs arising in daily life and the long-term support so greatly needed by our military families and Veterans struggling with assimilation back into civilian life.

Following its Mission Statement: To provide immediate support to assist both Active Duty, Veterans, and their families where the need is the greatest, the foundation has paid for, housing, rent, car repairs, beds, tuition, utility and hospital
bills, for over 50 plus active U.S. Military men, women and Veterans. The goal of the foundation is to enlist both the public and private sectors to address these immediate needs of our service members.

To date, the foundation has donated to Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, LCDR Erik S. Kristensen USN 90 Memorial Scholarship Fund, Duskin Stephens Foundation, Crocket Retreat Center, Irish Pub Children’s Foundation, Navy SEAL Foundation, NSW Family Foundation, and Screaming Eagle Foundation. Mike and his wife, Rainey, go to each of the individual foundations to insure the contributions from the METFUND are used as intended.

Donors underwrite the foundation’s office and expenses. All active Board Members donate their time and money to the METFUND, including Mike’s worldwide speaking engagements fees. The commitment of the foundation organization is to insure 100% of all contributions, time and energy is focused on helping these family’s get back on their feet or put a ban aid on until it can get them to the right foundation or person for help.

Although the general public is aware of the financial distress incurred to military families by the death of a spouse or the adjustment back into civilian society, most of us do not comprehend the basic day-to-day hardships of the military families. Taking on a new assignment, Mike and his foundation are dedicated to eradicating these obstacles, envisioning a nation in which every active duty and veteran’s needs are addressed no matter how large or small.

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