October 2, 2018
McLean, Virginia – A decorated Army veteran with vast leadership experience takes the helm as the executive director for Our Military Kids today. Rob Clapper, formerly of Your Grateful Nation and Hope For The Warriors, is the first veteran to serve in this role.
Board of Directors Chairman Barry Miller said that Rob’s passion and commitment to military families, as well as his nonprofit and business experience, make him the right choice to lead Our Military Kids. “Rob’s service to our nation, his work on behalf of veterans, and his business knowledge will be an advantage as we build support for military kids.”
Our Military Kids gives grants to the children of our deployed Guardsmen and Reservists, as well as children of wounded warriors of any branch, to participate in an extracurricular activity of their choosing. The program was founded in 2004 as a way to show gratitude to post-9/11 military families. Children choose an activity such as gymnastics, fine arts or tutoring, which helps them manage the stress that comes with a parent’s deployment or injury.
Miller said that Clapper’s ability to foster relationships and collaborate with military organizations will be an asset to the mission’s sustainability. The nonprofit has seen a 25% increase in grant requests over the same time last year, and the 2019 deployment schedule is expected to lead to yet another increase.
Clapper knows firsthand the challenges facing military families. A former Army Special Operations officer, he deployed multiple times, including to Afghanistan when his twins were just six weeks old. “When you’re deployed or dealing with the aftermath of war, the most important thing is knowing your children are okay,” Clapper said. “It’s an honor to be part of an organization that takes care of our service members by taking care of their children.”
Rob Clapper began his Army career after graduation and commissioning from The Citadel in 1996.
While serving in the Army, he was responsible for direct support and coordination with various worldwide embassies and Department of State officials and diplomats, throughout the EU and the Middle East in support of U.S. Special Operations.
In 2005 Clapper was recognized by the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army with the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award for outstanding and unparalleled leadership throughout his Army career, an honor that distinguished him from more than 35,000 Army officers. Rob also was awarded the Bronze Star for rescue operations during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan.
Previously, Clapper served as the founding executive director for Your Grateful Nation and the Chief Advancement Officer for Hope For the Warriors. Both organizations were committed to making a difference for service members and their families. Prior to his time at Your Grateful Nation and Hope For The Warriors, Clapper led three chambers of commerce and worked in the nonprofit community in addition to advocating for veteran’s issues at the state and federal levels.
Clapper currently resides in Vienna with his wife Debbie, their six kids, and his service dog Gunner.