Mike Fornear, VetSTOCK Creator Passes
It is with a heavy heart that the band remembers Little Feat friend and friend of veterans everywhere, Mike Fornear, who passed away from ALS Monday, Nov. 19. We will miss his spirit, his compassion and his eternal commitment to helping America’s homeless veterans. He cared deeply about music, about veterans and about his wife and family. All dominated his life. At 58, he left us far too soon. “It’s so, so sad, but knowing how ALS is, from watching our friend Neon Park have his life cut short by it, Mike is in a much better place. I hope to see the VetSTOCK crowd at our shows and we continue the VetSTOCK work in Michael’s name.” said Paul Barrere.
Mike believed in the 30 percent of the homeless men in this country that are military vets. He, and the countless people he reached with his message, found that sad, ridiculous and just plain unacceptable. In the tri-state area where he lived in near Pittsburgh, he said there were more than 2,500 homeless vets, and the second highest percentage of homeless Vietnam era vets in the country. He responded with BurghSTOCK, later to become VetSTOCK, to assist local non-profit organizations help homeless vets reclaim their lives. He considered helping homeless vets a great honor. We agree. As we have said before, there should be no homeless vets….only homeless politicians.
We became involved with Mike as soon as he approached us his concept to raise money for homeless vets through concerts. He referred to it as “kinda like our Woodstock.” He once said, “Little Feat were the first major leaguers to give us a hand.” We remembered how genuine Mike’s desire was to help homeless vets and we responded by getting involved immediately. It was a cause we all believe in, one for which we knew fans would rally. The rest was one positive experience.
We hope Mike’s passing will not be an end to his work. His message to America was to help our homeless heroes. It’s an eternal appeal for help. If you’d like to get involved, or honor Mike’s memory, the family suggests memorial donations be made to Shepherd's Heart Veterans Home, P.O. Box 7218, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Little Feat will also look to continue to be a vehicle to help support this cause at our future concerts.
Rest in peace Mike, and know we still believe one homeless vet is simply one too many.