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Homefront Help

August 16, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections
E-mail About the Author

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available. Homefront Help also has a Facebook page where visitors can gather and share information.

Army Bass Anglers

“Support. Defend. Fish.” That's the motto of the Army Bass Anglers, a group made up of active duty military members and veterans who compete in fishing tournaments to raise awareness for Returning Heroes Home and Fishing For Freedom events. Both programs support the military community. The latter also involves bass fishing tournaments where fishermen partner with soldiers and veterans, including those who have been wounded. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy Bass Angler groups support the missions as well.

In addition to the work with Returning Heroes Home, Army Bass Anglers has joined forces with the Lone Star Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Heroes on the Water to raise funds and awareness for all warriors and for recreation and therapeutic activities in special facilities and events designed only for them. Angler team members also offer tips and ideas for fellow fishing lovers and the website has information about fishing conditions near certain Army posts. More information is available online.

Heroes on the Water

One of the partners of Army Bass Anglers, Heroes on the Water serves wounded and disabled active duty, Reserve and Guard troops. The group aims to help injured warfighters recover mentally and physically through the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks. Participants enjoy guided fishing trips around the country. The programs offer basic kayak fishing instruction, angling clinics and paddling classes for people in various skill ranges. Adaptive kayaks, accessories and angling equipment are made available as needed to accommodate warriors with particular needs. The kayaks, various gear, meals and transportation are provided free of charge. Volunteer staff and program coordinators consist of professional educators, counselors, licensed fishing guides, wildlife and aquatic biologists, active duty military members and experienced kayak fishermen.

Heroes on the Water is seeking cash and materials to run the trips as well as licensed guides, property managers and camp supervisors who can donate use of their facilities. More information about how to make a donation and contact the organization is available online.

ReBoot Camp

Warfighters, welcome back! ReBoot Camp is the 1st Civilian Division—an organization that links up veterans so they can support each other to make successful transitions from the military to civilian life. The program helps reconnect veterans with family, friends, community and careers. ReBoot Camp wants warriors to understand that adjusting to life after combat is difficult, but no one has to do it alone. Currently, there are weekly meetings in Livermore, California, and job readiness workshops in Dublin, California, but the organization is working to expand its efforts to other geographic locations. The program also is developing mentorships and starting a writers group. Anyone interested in those activities is encouraged to reach out to the organization to become involved. Contact information is available online.

ReBoot Camp is in its early stages of development and is striving to put into place the community, career and work resources that veterans need. Program officials would like veterans to provide their information and opinions about what will help them most. Businesses and other organizations also can offer input about their services and how they can help troops acclimate to being civilians again.

 

The SIGNAL Connectionsstaff encourages readers to take advantage of the programs mentioned in this column and to pass along the information. In addition, if you know of a program that is helping service personnel, please let us know about it. Submit that information to SIGNAL's news editor.