Akbar Arsiwala of Chicago is the Military Hero. Akbar is a U.S. Navy veteran and coordinator for the Travis Manion Foundation, an organization that offers training programs and resources to veterans and families of the fallen.


Last year, when Akbar learned that the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center was forced to close its food pantry due to the pandemic, affecting the many Veterans who rely on the pantry, he sprang into action to organize pop-up pantries across Chicago. The pop-up pantries, created with the help of other veteran organizations, averaged 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of food being distributed monthly during the difficult summer of 2020.