Joe Foss Institute brings patriotism program to young people

By Curtis Riggs | August 13, 2008

joefossVeterans Inspiring Patriotism based in Scottsdale
SCOTTSDALE - The Joe Foss Institute teaches young people in schools nationwide about patriotic values through its Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program.

"We are plugging away and expanding the reach of veterans," Joe Foss Institute CEO David Roberts said. The program is available to both public and private schools, colleges and youth groups.

The program is designed to inspire patriotism, public service, integrity and an appreciation of American freedoms. It focuses on the freedoms, liberties and rights protected under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Approximately 325 volunteer veterans nationwide visit schools and groups to talk about the freedoms outlined our nation’s founding documents.

"We are recruiting and training more," Roberts said.

In 2007 the program reached 140,000 students nationwide. Roberts expects this number to increase to 250,000 this year.

"The earlier the better, when you can increase the appreciation of American freedoms," Roberts said. "The most impact is early in life." The younger students benefit most from the talks by the visiting veterans.

The program requires the students to read the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights to further their understanding of American freedoms and liberties.

joefossmarineJoe Foss was an "ace" Marine fighter pilot during World War II. He was awarded the Medal of Honor and a Distinguished Flying Cross in 1943.

He became a general in the Air National Guard and later served two terms as governor of South Dakota.

Foss was the first commissioner of the American Football League and a former president of the National Rifle Association.

He lived his later years in Scottsdale until his death in 2003. His wife, Didi, still lives in Scottsdale.

To learn more about the Veterans Inspiring Patriotism program and the Joe Foss Institute call 480-348-0316 or visit the website

Courtesy photos