What is Nine Line Foundation?
Nine Line Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, dedicated to meeting the financial and specialized needs of severely injured soldiers and their families.
In combat, a Nine Line is an emergency medevac request, and is often the difference between life and death for the most severely wounded soldiers. Nine Line Foundation aims to serve in a similar manner, offering a lifeline once wounded veterans return stateside.
“Our goal is to rebuild, strengthen and enrich the quality of life of wounded veterans.”
What is Our Mission?
- Raise awareness of the harsh circumstances our severely injured service members and their families face once their life threatening injuries are stabilized.
- Greatly improve the quality of life of our wounded heroes, focusing our efforts on each individual candidate’s needs.
Our Journey to Help Severely Wounded Veterans
Nine Line Foundation was founded in 2013 by then CPT Tyler Merritt, a member of the Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Tyler had previously created Nine Line Apparel, a clothing line aimed at / for military veterans. The vision was simple: to create a high quality clothing brand to be enjoyed by patriotic American’s around the globe. As the brand grew, Tyler saw the need to give back to the community he continued to serve as an active duty Army officer, and founded Nine Line Foundation.
In 2012, Tyler’s West Point classmate, CPT Edward “Flip” Klein, lost three limbs fighting in Afghanistan. Flip’s injury was the impetus for Tyler to create the Foundation. Knowing that he could not just give Flip money out of his own pocket, he found the logical solution – create the non-profit Foundation, so that he could help Flip and so many others like Flip, by greatly improving the quality of life in the “new normal”.
The Foundation’s second initiative was to build a wheelchair accessible home for SFC (Ret) Mark Holbert, a Green Beret and double amputee injured in 2010. Nine Line Foundation, in cooperation with other non-profits, was successful in significantly reducing Mark’s mortgage, and in providing / paying for all the handicapped accessible modifications that were necessary and that increased the cost of their home so much.
The Foundation answered another call for assistance, and another, and another – for SGT (Ret) Chaz Allen, CPL (Ret) Jesse Fletcher, SFC (Ret) Aaron Causey, and SGT (Ret) Eric Morante…all calls to help provide handicapped accessible homes for these wounded veterans. The need is answered – whether it’s an adaptive mower to help maintain the property, a handicapped bathroom, helping with the cost of construction – we are there.
Flip, Mark, Chaz, Jesse, Aaron, and Eric, are just a few of the many in need of assistance, and the line of individuals in need continues to grow. Nine Line Foundation has reached out to the community and has watched the interest grow month after month. From marathon runners, to military based motorcycle clubs, to individuals who have never thought about the plight of those returning from combat, people have risen to the challenge and helped Nine Line Foundation continue to raise the funds necessary to significantly improve the quality of life of those wounded in the defense of this country.
An Everchanging Mission with a Constant Purpose
By primarily focusing efforts on one individual at a time, Nine Line Foundation is able to do more with less. However, when the need arises, we are capable of mobilizing and assisting in more than one project at a time – simply put, we answer the Nine Line. We are thrilled to take on the newest venture of our organization – constructing a transitional community for homeless veterans, a Veterans Village, which will provide training and housing to our veterans in most desperate need.
With zero overhead, 100% of all dollars collected are directed to the candidates’ personalized needs, relying on volunteers to ensure the mission is accomplished. As veterans themselves, the Nine Line Foundation team feels a lifelong commitment to support their brothers and sisters injured in combat. We would like to build greater awareness of Nine Line Foundation in the hope that one day we will have enough funding to help every soldier on our list.