Eilhys England Hackworth was wife, partner, co-author, and muse of Soldiers For The Truth (“SFTT”) founder, the late Colonel David H. Hackworth—America’s most valor-decorated soldier—from the late 1980s until his death. Since the passing of this great American hero in May 2005, Ms. England Hackworth has kept her deathbed promise to her husband to continue his mission by taking up the responsibilities as Chair of SFTT.
So committed is England Hackworth to her late husband and his vision, she shuttered her successful public relations and marketing agency in order to more fully support Hackworth on the issue of accountability and reform in the United States military, fighting with him to ensure that America’s front line troops get the best possible leadership, training, and equipment, and the best chance possible of making it home alive, in one piece.
“It’s a difficult issue and this wasn’t exactly an easy job when Hack and I were together, so you can imagine what it’s like now,” attests England Hackworth. “You could cry a river. It is so much easier to raise money for arts endowments and disease prevention than to convince the American public that their government is hanging their soldiers out to dry instead of giving them the right stuff.”
“We have recently decided to expand our mission to call attention to the need to protect our troops from traumatic brain injury (‘TBI’) and post traumatic stress (‘PTS’) and the urgent need for proper medical care for those that have been afflicted with such injuries. We need to insure that our troops have the best headgear possible to protect them from these devastaing injuries and insure that they receive immediate and disciplined medical treatment following any head injury.”
A career Marine Corps officer from 1967 to 1990, Roger Charles has enjoyed a second career as an award-winning investigative journalist. He was a member in 2004 of the 60 Minutes II production team that earned a Peabody Award for the segment “Abuse at Abu Ghraib.”
Among his other journalistic achievements: Charles was awarded a Medal for Excellence in Investigative Reporting by journalism’s Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) association for his 1992 Newsweek cover story, “Sea of Lies,” and was an Emmy finalist for best investigative piece for the Nightlight Special “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War” in 1992.
For television, Charles has served as a consulting investigative reporter and contributor to segment development for 20/20 (a special project on the Oklahoma City bombing), ABC World News Tonight, Nightline, Frontline, Prime Time Live, BBC News, and CNN, among others.
Charles has served as an advisor on numerous stories for various print and electronic media outlets including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and The New Yorker. He has been published in Newsweek, Insight, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Chicago Tribune, Soldier of Fortune, Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, and the Marine Corps Gazette, where he served as editorial board member from 1987-1989. In 1996, Charles broke the story of the fraudulent use of combat insignia by Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations.
“I saw while I was on active duty that many of the national media that cover security and defense issues are truly ill-informed about basic things they need to perform their job properly,” says Charles of his shift to a civilian role as an investigative journalist specializing in a range of national security issues. “This just destroys any kind of credibility this reporting has for any military audience.”
In 1998, Soldiers For The Truth Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan, apolitical, educational foundation whose purpose is meaningful reform of the U.S. defense establishment, was formed, with Charles serving as the editor-in-chief of its newsletter, Voice of the Grunt. Charles remained active on the non-profit’s Board of Trustees until December 2004, when an ailing Hackworth asked him to assume the foundation presidency and Charles now fills the role of Vice Chair, “The foundation was created around three issues: leadership, training, and equipment,” says Charles. “Think of a stool with three legs. Remove any one of those legs and the stool falls apart.”
A commissioned infantry officer from West Point John Batiste served the US Army for over 31 years. A two-time combat veteran his combat and peace enforcement experience includes deployments to Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1995 to 1996 and, years later, Kuwait.
While working for the Deputy Secretary of Defense, he was involved in the early planning stages of the Afghanistan war and Iraq war. He was promoted to major general in 2002 and was deployed to Iraq from February 2004 to March 2005.
After retiring from the Army as a major general in November, 2005, Batiste entered into the private sector. He is president and CEO of Klein Steel, in Rochester, New York. As of June 2011, he is a member of the board of advisors of the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, a board and executive committee member of the Metals Service Center Institute, a board member of the Rochester-based Veterans Outreach Center, the president of the Rochester Regional Veterans Business Council, and chair of the Warrior Salute Advisory Board (a non-profit focused on treating veterans with PTS).
Bob served with the 229th Aviation Battalion (First Cavalry Division) in the Republic of Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He received a commission and extended in Vietnam as the battalion aviation safety officer. He served as division artillery aviation officer, artillery battery executive officer and troop commander at Fort Hood, Texas before separating from the service in 1971.
He spent 25 years in the civilian nuclear power industry in Arkansas, Georgia and at the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C. In the nuclear industry, he began as a training manager, with responsibilities continuing in the areas of operations, maintenance and support services, and industry and government relations.
Bob is presently a National market manager for the 3M Company in Washington, D.C., working with legislators and government agencies in the areas of homeland security, disaster relief, incident response, and energy conservation.
Richard (“Rick”) W. May, who served in Military Intelligence at the Pentagon from 1969 to 1971, joins SFTT as Director, Communications after an extensive career in international banking and finance. He runs several internet businesses and, together with his wife Sheila, owns Therese Saint Clair, a stationery store, located in Greenwich, CT. He has already leveraged his extensive business acumen and computer-tech skills to manage a host of communications across the digital spectrum including the SFTT website reconstruction. “It is an honor and a privilege to continue on with my ‘service’ to SFTT, supporting the brave young men and women who defend our freedoms,” May said.
Whether you are on active duty or retired, a friend or family member we encourage you to share your story. As proud Americans we salute our heroes and thank you for your courage and sacrifice. We want to hear from you and so do our readers.
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Stand For The Troops (“SFTT”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Educational Foundation established by the late Col. David H. Hackworth and his wife Eilhys England to insure that our frontline troops have the best available leadership, equipment and training.
In the past four-plus years SFTT'S active campaign has focused on ensuring America's frontline troops get the best available individual protective equipment and combat gear.
Donations and contributions from concerned Americans help fund the SFTT website.
Includes rare footage from Hack's memorial service at Fort Myers Chapel and burial in Arlington National Cemetery.
All donations received from purchasing of The Hackworth Memorial DVD go to Stand For The Troops a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, non-partisan apolitical foundation established by Hack and his wife Eilhys to make sure that America's front-line forces—the kids Hack loved out at the tip of the spear—always have the right training, leadership and equipment to meet their assigned missions and make it home alive and in one piece.