Lehigh Valley, PA Turkey Farmer Gives Thanks at Thanksgiving, in his Own Way

$50,000 Gift Honors Wounded Military Veterans

November 8, 2013, Allentown PA – Turkey farmer, David Jaindl, owner of Jaindl Farms, Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania, hosted a Tough Mudder event on June 1 and 2, 2013 at one of the company’s farms in Heidelberg Township, Lehigh County. Jaindl’s motivation to host this event was stimulated by Tough Mudder’s commitment to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). The event attracted 22,000 participants and 8,000 spectators and was considered one of the best venues yet for the race.

Jaindl decided early on to commit all of his net proceeds received from hosting the event to charity with the “lion’s share” going to the Wounded Warrior Project. 

In fall 2013, Jaindl contacted the Wounded Warrior Project headquarters, located in Jacksonville, Florida and reached USMC Lieutenant (Ret) Denis M. Oliverio, Director of Major Gifts. Given the level of this gift, Denis felt it would be appropriate to make the trip to Pennsylvania to receive the contribution in person. Denis is not only employed by WWP but is a wounded warrior himself. 

Today, Oliverio spoke briefly about his experiences during an assembly for history students at Parkland High School in South Whitehall Township and then accepted the contribution from Jaindl. Local dignitaries were also present.

A check for $50,000 was presented to WWP’s Oliverio from Jaindl on behalf of the David Jaindl Family. The contribution was strongly supported by Jaindl’s family and staff, many who are service veterans themselves and who collectively spent over 600 hours to prepare the land for the Tough Mudder event.

“Wounded Warriors such as Denis deserve our sincere appreciation. It is important to take the time to honor our servicemen and servicewomen, not only on Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, but every day. There is no more worthwhile cause than the Wounded Warrior Project,” noted David Jaindl. “With this gift, we give them our thanks.” 
About Denis Oliverio, First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps (Retired)
Director, Major Gifts, Wounded Warrior Project

Having enlisted in the Marine Corps on August 11, 1987, Denis served as a helicopter crewchief/door-gunner, up to and through the Desert Storm War. He then taught for three years at the Navy Survival School in Brunswick ME. After that, Sergeant Oliverio reported to Patuxent River Naval Air Station for duty as a V-22 Osprey Developmental Flight Test Crewchief.

Six years later, the Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP) accepted Gunnery Sergeant Oliverio’s application, and he went off to Officer Candidate School (OCS), The Basic School (TBS), and Armor Officer Basic Course (AOBC). He graduated with honors from OCS and TBS, and was the distinguished honor graduated and Warrior Spirit Award recipient at AOBC. Upon graduation, he reported to 1st Tank Battalion in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

He deployed to Iraq as a tank platoon commander in 2005. On October 14, he sustained a gunshot wound to the left arm in action against the enemy, and was medically evacuated. The bullet tore through his left arm; shattering the humerus, severing the brachial artery and median nerve, and severely damaging his tricep and bicep. To date, he has undergone 14 surgeries to reconstruct and regain the use of his hand and arm. He has 3 titanium plates and 23 screws that remain in his arm today. He medically retired with 20 years of service on August 31, 2007.

Denis Oliverio was born on January 25, 1969 in Somerville Massachusetts, a city just on the outskirts of Boston. After military retirement, Denis worked for Precise Systems, a defense contracting company, for 4 ½ years before being offered a job with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). He now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and works as the director of major gifts for WWP. Oliverio married his wife Kate on February 26, 2005 and they had their daughter, Natalie, on February 5, 2007.

Oliverio’s personal decorations include the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with numeral 4, Navy/ Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/ Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, the Combat Action Ribbon, and several others.

About Wounded Warrior
It is estimated over 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts, another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist one another, and to provide unique direct programs and services to meet their needs. Founded in 2003, WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. This is also the location of WWP’s Sacrifice Center, a museum space that uses the words of warriors and their families to tell their stories of empowerment.

WWP’s 18 programs are specifically structured to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies, and encourage their economic empowerment. Warrior families and caregivers are provided comfort, care, and education to help support the recovery of their Wounded Warriors. All programs are provided free of charge for warriors and their families.

About the Jaindl Companies

Through various business enterprises, one of which is Jaindl AG™, the Jaindl Companies have a proud and proven history spanning four generations. The Jaindl name is synonymous with excellence in sustainable crop agriculture covering more than 10,000 acres of prime farmland in a four county region; integrated turkey production that includes breeding, hatching, growing, feeding and selling more than 750,000 Grand Champion® turkeys each year; quality orchard produce; and first class residential, industrial, and commercial land development.
Wounded Warrior Gift Presentation at Parkland High School

November 8, 2013


Lehigh Valley, PA turkey farmer gives thanks at Thanksgiving in his own way