Brought to you this month by:

“I have worked with members of the military for almost all of my career, “explained Charlottesville resident David Rathburn.   He is our “Friend of Freedom” winner for March 2021 because of his generous support of Gratitude Charlottesville, and many other military related charities–the VFW, the Navy League, the Marine Corp Foundation, the Coast Guard Foundation, the National D-Day memorial, the Pacific War Museum, the National WWII Museum. and Wounded Warriors among others.

David moved to Central Virginia in 1980 from Western PA.  “How can we live in a world where the public servants can’t count on Americans to support them? Incredibly disappointing.  Are there bad apples among them – absolutely.  Are there good people who sometimes make a bad decision – absolutely.   Does that mean, to quote my mother, that we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Absolutely not. These people serve at a rate of pay so low for what they do that it is almost contemptuous, we owe them our respect and support.”

Mr. Rathburn credits his grandfather, a civilian support employee at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver Co. for more than 30 years, for instilling his grateful attitude from an early age. “I believe it is important for us to take every chance to appreciate those that make our lives better and recognize in the public forum the things they do for us.”

Sometimes small gestures can create a big lift for our local heroes.   “When I am at Tip Top and the cops, or the fire fighters, or the EMT’s are there to eat the owners know that I want to buy their lunch so I can just say thank you in a small but noticeable way – hasn’t happened that much – maybe a half a dozen times over the last couple years, but as a community we need to be finding ways to encourage and support them – what will it be like if we don’t have them?”

Each month, “The Freedom Fund”  Board of Directors will choose a FOF award winner to be featured on  Winners will get a trophy and sometimes a monetary award.  To nominate person or organization that promotes and protects freedom in our community, email us at

Gratitude Cville

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