Thursday, May 10, 2007

Burglars target foundation for returning soldiers

Thieves may have ruined an upcoming retreat for soldiers returning from Iraq.

Burglars hit a Dallas foundation that conducts week-long counseling camps for vets and their families; and it happened just before a planned week-long event for 18 soldiers' families.

"When a soldier goes to war, a family goes to war" is the motto for the Phoenix Project. Founded by Teresa Goforth two years ago, the foundation tries to help returning soldiers and their families readjust to each other.

"Our soldiers are there to repair the damage that has been done through separation and deployment," Goforth said.

Couples get everything from counseling to dancing lessons to horseback rides. But a retreat scheduled to begin Thursday is in peril.

"The soldiers mean so much to me that we need to help, and it's gone," she said. "And what we need now is, we need help."

A trailer stuffed with items designed to help patriots and painted like the Texas flag was stolen.

The trailer was parked next to Goforth's house. Inside the trailer were a dozen saddles, electronic gear and nearly everything the foundation owned. The total worth was averaged at more than $200,000.

Goforth said she is waiting for a miracle on the eve of the event. She has asked the public for help in finding the trailer and a dozen saddles waiting for riders.