Brian Kolfage Jr., a disabled Air Force veteran, has started a GoFundMe page to help Donald Trump pay for the wall at the Mexican border. At the time of writing, the page has raised more than $3 million to help fund a border wall. The crowdfunding page is titled, “We The People Will Fund The Wall.”
Kolfage writes on the page, “It’s up to Americans to help out and pitch in to get this project rolling.” The page was created by a group known as, “The Wall Fundraising Team,” from Miramar, Florida. It was created on December 16 with an original goal of $200 million. That figure has now been raised to $1 billion.
Speaking to reporters on December 18, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump is looking for “different” sources to fund the wall project. Trump has said that the wall will cost $5 billion. Kolfage says on the GoFundMe page, “If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall. That equates to roughly $5 billion, even if we get half, that’s half the wall. We can do this.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kolfage Lost His Legs & Right Arm in a Rocket Attack in Iraq on September 11, 2014
According to Kolfage’s section on the website for the Gary Sinise Foundation, he explains that he deployed to Iraq in 2003. Kolfage, a native of Detroit who grew up in Waikiki, Hawaii, was in his second tour in Balad when his airbase came under rocket attack. During that attack, Kolfage was “thrown into the air, losing both of his legs and his right arm instantly” after a 107mm rocket landed three feet away from him. The piece adds that Kolfage “remained conscious” during his ordeal.
Kolfage was put in an induced coma at the Walter Reed National Medical Center, arriving 36 hours after the attack, for three weeks before he made a miraculous recovery. Less than a year after the attack, Kolfage left Walter Reed. The page refers to Kolfage as “the most severely wounded Airman to survive any war.”
2. Kolfage Is Married to an Aspiring Maxim Covergirl
Kolfage met his wife, Ashley, while she was working as a hostess at Chilis restaurant before his deployment to Iraq, according to a Military Times feature. Ashley, whose maiden name is Goetz, was in high school at the time and Kolfage was stationed nearby. The article said that Kolfage and Ashley reconnected on Facebook after he left the hospital and they took up where the left off. Ashley said she heard of Kolfage’s injuries from her college friends. The couple was married in May 2011.
In 2018, Ashley competed to become a Maxim Magazine cover girl as part of a donation campaign to Homes for Wounded Warriors Foundation. Ashley said of her campaign, “My goal is to raise the most money. I would love to win [the cover], but when I found out that [Maxim] was raising money for wounded warriors, it made me want to do it even more. I love that Maxim supports our heroes.”
Ashley told Maxim Magazine about secret talent saying, “My secret talent is I’m stronger then I look. I am in CrossFit and everyone looks at me and is like no way can she do that. I might be tiny but I am strong! I also can do handstands on command anywhere anytime and walk around. My daughter is a mini-me and she has the handstand down just working on the walk.” When asked what she would do with the $25,000, prize money, Ashley said, “I would invest my money into a fitness program for other moms to help them gain their sexy back. I believe that all moms need to be shown that no matter age we all still have that sexy side of us. I would also donate part to wounded warriors since my husband is a triple amputee veteran.”
In July 2014, Ashley wrote an essay for Cosmopolitan on what it was like to be married to a wounded soldier. Ashley spoke about the first time the couple had sex saying, “The first time we had sex, I was nervous. He has about three inches of leg on his left side and none on his right. I’ve never seen anything like that before, but he didn’t make it awkward. “Legs just get in the way — everything else works just fine,” he said. And he was right.” The essay concludes with the lines, “Loving Brian has made me look deeper before judging. If I had judged him from the outside, I would never have given him a chance … and wouldn’t have known how happy we could be.”
3. Kolfage Claims He Has Been Censored by Facebook
In October 2018, Facebook announced that they had removed more than 800 pages of political content because of “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” Kolfage told the Guardian that his page, Right Wing News, had worked with Facebook in the past and that he had even been trying to arrange a meeting with a Facebook executive. Despite this, Kolfage said his page was scrubbed, along with three other conservative news websites, without warning. Kolfage said, “I’ve talked with Facebook maybe 50 times in the last few months. Not once did they ever say we broke any rules or did something wrong. If they had an issue, they could have brought it up. We had a really close working relationship. That’s why this whole thing is a complete shock.”
Kolfage later told Breitbart that his page was deleted shortly after he raised $600,000 for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Kolfage said, “We need to come together and Zuckerberg needs to get hauled into court. We’re going to take him all the way to Supreme Court if we have to. We’re going to fight for the American people and we’re going to fight for everyone who’s been screwed over by them.”
4. Kolfage, Who Had to Learn to Draw With His Left Hand, Graduated From the University of Arizona With a Degree in Architecture in 2014
Prior to his injury, Kolfage was right-handed. Despite having to learn to draw with his left hand, Kolfage still finished among the top of his class in 2014 when he graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in architecture. Now, Kolfage is primarily focused on his motivational speaking work. On his website, Kolfage says he is dedicated to “a powerful message of being resilient in the face of adversity.” Kolfage’s presence at the Walter Reed hospital is common. In 2014, Kolfage received the George C. Lang Award for Courage. In addition, Kolfage is the founder of Military Grade Coffee, a coffee brand that donates ten percent of each sale to veterans.
5. The Kolfage Family Lives in a Specifically Converted Home
Kolfage and Ashley, along with their two children, live together in a specially adapted home for Kolfage’s needs. Kolfage told the Military Times, “Even with Brian’s injury, we try to live a normal life and do things just like everyone else. He still surfs like he did in Hawaii.” Speaking about their home, Ashley said, “It takes the weight off our shoulders to know we have a forever home that functions for our whole family. This means so much to see people raising money for our veterans.”