AMBA Member Starts ‘iPad for Wounded Warriors’ Campaign

When Tim Bartz, vice president of operations for Mold Craft Inc. (Willernie, MN), heard about the work that Will Byers, a veteran of the Iraq war, does with members of the 3/5 Dark Horse Battalion who have been wounded in Afghanistan, he knew he had to help out somehow.

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Bartz heard about Will Byers’ efforts from Will’s father, Bob Byers of Bob Byers and Associates, a company that provides consulting services to mold manufacturers. Bob has been affiliated with the mold making industry most of his life. “My son is a Marine, but just before he was set to deploy to Afghanistan he was found to have cancer,” explains Bob Byers. “My son stayed behind at Camp Pendleton to have surgery, and while recovering and receiving treatment, he works in the office doing the reporting for the Battalion’s casualties. He knows all of these people personally in his Battalion, and many of these came back to the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego for treatment.”

Byers’ son began making regular trips to the hospital to visit the Wounded Warriors Wing where his comrades were recuperating from wounds received as the result of IEDs.  “These guys in the 3/5 are really neat guys,” notes Bob Byers, who has visited the Marines with his son. “I was awed by their attitude and their spirit.”

When Bartz received an e-mail from Bob Byers telling Bartz and the other 23 people on the address list about his son and the wounded from the 3/5 Dark Horse Battalion, Bartz got an idea that he and other members of the American Mold Builders Association could do something for these wounded warriors.  Bartz decided that Mold Craft would make a donation to help these wounded soldiers by purchasing iPads for each one.  He then replied to all 23 people on Byers’ address list and challenged them to do the same.

“We were hoping to raise a thousand dollars or so, but over the course of about a month, we have raised $9,400. Some met Mold Craft’s donation, but many gave much more,”says Bartz.  “We’re buying a bunch of iPads and will take them to Camp Pendleton in March to present to these soldiers personally.”

Bob Byers adds that “the iPads are a great idea, and allows them to do a lot of social networking” on the Internet while they’re recuperating in the hospital.  “I’m very proud of my son and his big heart, but it was Tim and the AMBA members that did the rest. There’s no more patriotic group than the American Mold Builders Association.”