Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund Receives $25,000 Grant from the Disabled Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom Foundation

Iraqi War Veteran, Wife and Friends Behind Generous Gift —

After being recalled to active duty in 2005, then-Captain Brad Ruther served with the 1-110th Infantry Battalion, 28th Infantry Division in Al Anbar Province, Iraq from July 2005 to June 2006. Over the course of his deployment, Brad's battalion task force lost 15 soldiers, including one in his rifle company.

When Brad returned home to Cincinnati, OH on his mid-tour leave, his wife Melissa surprised him by holding a fundraiser to help the families of those killed in action.

Upon Brad's return from the war, they, along with their Cincinnati friends Dave and Susan Noonan and Andy Giannella, formed a nonprofit organization called the Disabled Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom Foundation. The Foundation was successful in providing financial assistance to several family members of "Task Force Panther," and in 2015, the organization's key leaders declared the mission complete.

Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund President MaryEllen Picciuto gratefully accepts the grant from Brad Ruther at the Johnny Mac Memorial Golf Tournament, held at the West Point Golf Course on June 5, 2015.


About Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund

Established in 2014, the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to financially assisting veterans and their family members with education expenses. The fund is inspired by Colonel John "Johnny Mac" McHugh, KIA in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 18, 2010. To learn more about or support the mission of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, visit

Upon its dissolution, the Foundation presented the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund with a $25,000 grant for college scholarships for children who have lost a military parent in the line of duty.