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Homefront Help

May 16, 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.

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation

For most Americans, the sight of a flag-draped coffin is a somber reminder of the highest price for freedom. But for the children who survive the deceased, it also means much more—the loss of a parent forever and possibly the end to future plans. The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation helps to make sure their dreams can still come true by providing scholarship funds for higher education. Though primarily directed toward U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. federal law enforcement families who have lost a parent in the line of duty, the more than $48 million the organization has distributed also has aided families from other military branches. In addition to scholarships, the foundation grants some financial assistance in the cases of Marines' children afflicted with physical or mental disabilities who require special care.

Support from individuals and groups has made the assistance to families possible. The organization has several suggestions for giving including direct donations and scholarships. It also hosts several fundraising events during the year ranging from galas to golf tournaments. Donors can rest assured that their money will be used wisely; the Independent Charities of America awarded its "Seal of Excellence" to the foundation.

Career Decision Toolkit

Military members transitioning to the civilian workplace have a new resource for their job searches courtesy of the U.S. Defense Department. This interactive toolkit walks users through various phases of the employment hunt including: career exploration, financial planning, search success, effective résumés and cover letters, interviewing, and negotiating compensation. The various modules can be accessed in any order and at any time. Though available online to everyone, the resource especially is intended to assist troops who are prohibited geographically from attending Transition Assistance Program classes.

Horses for Heroes

This North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) program offers different types of assistance and therapy to veterans through equine activities. Various NARHA centers across the country participate, each with its own set of help capabilities. Conditions that can be alleviated through the horse activities include traumatic brain injuries and amputations—common afflictions for those wounded in combat. The effort connects the centers with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical centers and clinics and well as with individuals.

Veterans who would like to participate can use the Find a Center search tool to locate facilities close to them or facilities that offer certain activities or serve specific disabilities. Horses for Heroes accepts contributions to help further fund and develop the program.

 

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 Rita Boland, SIGNAL's news editor.