RAW founder Maggie Lockridge, with board members Ron Fairley (Maggie's right) and Dr. Norman Leaf (Maggie's left)
In February of 2007, Maggie Lockridge, RN, the Founder, was watching a television documentary narrated and produced by Bob Woodruff. Bob was a journalist covering the Iraq invasion. The tank Bob was riding in was hit by an IED and Bob sustained severe brain trauma. A year into his recuperation/rehabilitation, he wanted to inform the public of the difficult and arduous path from injury to recovery. The documentary took the viewers into V.A. Hospitals and interviewed traumatically brain injured soldiers. It was evident to Maggie that many had residual facial disfigurements. This was a time when the media was reporting the difficulties that Walter Reed Hospital was having meeting the heavy influx of wounded. Maggie believed that if they were experiencing problems in meeting the structural and functional injuries, they were most likely not addressing the aesthetic ones. Iraq Star was conceived. Maggie’s background included eighteen years in plastic and reconstructive surgical aftercare. She had owned and was administrator of Shanteque, a world renown aftercare facility in Beverly Hills that functioned out of the private wing of a luxury hotel. Fifteen private, custom rooms were staffed by 38 Shanteque nurses and employees. Maggie had an excellent business relationship with all major plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the Los Angeles area. The business was sold in 2005. Maggie realized her knowledge and contacts could help the facially scarred and disfigured wounded. Letters were written to her 30 favorite surgeons in Beverly Hills. Dr. Norman Leaf called her upon receiving his letter. He asked her if Iraq Star had a medical director as yet. When told it did not, he immediately volunteered his services. The Mission of the Iraq Star Foundation was apparent... to prevent the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from permanently disfiguring young lives. Dr. Leaf did not feel that Iraq Star should be confined to California. He felt it should become a National Foundation and immediately began emailing fellow members of the ASPS and ASAPS, plastic surgery associations. Within six months Iraq Star grew from the original 30 surgeons to over one hundred and now boasts 370 surgeons in 49 states. The surgeons volunteer their surgical skills and the Iraq Star foundation pays for the operating room, anesthesia, medications, medical supplies, transportation, hotel, food, etc. There is no cost to the wounded warrior. The expense to Iraq Star for the surgeries provided range from a few hundred dollars to $13,000. Most wounded require 2-3 procedures to obtain optimum results. The wounded are referred to the most qualified surgeon near their home. In December of 2012, the Board of Directors felt that a name change would more adequately represent the mission of Iraq Star as the Foundation was now no longer involved only in the Iraq war. The initials R.A.W. were chosen, representing Rebuilding America’s Warriors. R.A.W now provides services to any and all American soldiers wounded and disfigured while discharging their duties. R.A.W. is the dba of Iraq Star Foundation, Inc.