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Homefront Help

January 18, 2011
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.

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude supports deployed warfighters by working to provide them with care packages and letters from groups and individuals back home. It sets itself apart from similar organizations by also bringing items to troops undergoing long-term rehabilitation at several military hospitals. To further the physical and mental well being of these warfighters, Operation Gratitude offers a service in which it sends packages from the injured to their unit members on the front lines. This has a two-fold result: those deployed know their wounded comrade is thinking about them, and the patients still feel they are contributing to the battlefield.

The nonprofit offers several suggestions for groups, including Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and individuals who want to support the efforts. These ideas include long-term and one-time participation options. The organization also encourages any service member or unit who would like to receive packages or letters to sign up through the website. Other reasons to visit the site include the chance to read messages of thanks from troops who have benefited from the donations and access to the online store.

Honor and Remember

This organization's mission is to create, establish and promote a nationally recognized flag to fly continually as a visible reminder of the lives lost in defense of the United States' national freedom since the country's founding. People who want to support the cause can sign the petition posted on the website and pass the word about the potential new symbol. Other goals of the group include building consensus among various parties to collectively solicit the U.S. Defense Department and Congress to propose and accept the emblem as the official flag honoring fallen troops; promoting national awareness so facilities and private households will fly the Honor and Remember Flag; and presenting the flag to the immediate family members of those lost during military service.

Wounded Warrior Task Force

The U.S. Defense Department has established a Wounded Warrior Task Force (WWTF) to assist and support the care, management and transition of recovering wounded, ill and injured members of the U.S. military. Areas the task force will examine include medical and nonmedical case management, staff of wounded-warrior units, performance and accountability systems, services for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the effectiveness of various centers of excellence. The 14 members—seven from the Defense Department and seven others—of the WWTF have a four-year mission to provide independent advice and recommendations to the military to help ensure comprehensive services are provided to injured warfighters and their families. Individual troops, family members and the public will have opportunities to offer input as the task force develops its recommendations.

 

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.