Retired Army Col. Tim Karcher, Director of Outreach Development and Strategic Planning for No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, spoke to members of the Central Texas Military Officers of America Association on Friday about educational assistance to military children.
His presentation was held during the organization’s monthly meeting.
“Children of service members are our unsung heroes,” said Karcher, who retired in 2015 after a 26-year career. “The goal of No Greater Sacrifice is to provide a debt-free undergraduate college education for the children of our fallen and severely wounded service members.”
No Greater Sacrifice estimates almost 60,000 children of fallen and wounded service members need educational assistance, with $1.51 billion required to fund their education. While many scholarship programs are available, few provide funding like an NGS scholarship, which covers tuition, fees, room and board and any special equipment.
To date, 85 children have received a scholarship with 92-cents from every dollar raised going directly to the scholarship funds.
Karcher explained the eligibility criteria, “The service member must be a member of the U.S. Military, fallen or wounded since Sept. 11, and fallen or wounded while conducting operations in support of the Global War on Terror. A wounded service member must have at least a 60-percent disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
The eligible child must also seek either a bachelor’s, associate’s degree, or trade certificate from a public university or community college, he added. But the biggest difference between No Greater Sacrifice and other scholarship programs is its personalized mentorship program.
“We really get to know the kids and families and help define their educational goals. That sets the children up for success,” said Karcher.
In 2009, while on patrol in Iraq, Karcher lost both legs in an attack during his third combat deployment. He told a moving story of his 14-year-old daughter’s courage when she learned that he might not live. After his lengthy recovery and then retirement, Karcher became involved with No Greater Sacrifice Organization.
Now in it’s 10th year, the non-profit is a small organization that makes a huge difference, he added.
“We focus on where we can make the greatest impact and which family has made the greatest sacrifice,” Karcher said.
Read the article in the Killeen Daily Herald by Valerie Valdez