A series of free Army OneSource apps provide users with resources on the go. Developed by the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command, the apps make it easy to find local services, manage money and stay up-to-date on the Army Family Action Plan. The Army OneSource Services Locator for the iPhone or iPad lets you enter a ZIP code or city and search for services grouped by category, including deployment support and employment assistance.
Prepare your family for the challenges of deployment with this comprehensive iPhone app-free for a limited time. The Soldier/Family Deployment Handbook app provides resources to help soldiers and their loved ones make it through difficult situations, including unique information for those in the National Guard or Reserve.
This service project matches people who want to support military families with the military families who need a lift. Through the effort, volunteers create Card Kits that are supplied to military children with deployed parents. The children can mail the cards to help keep in touch with and boost the morale of the nation's overseas warfighters. The project offers groups the flexibility to make or buy cards, though all must be able to ship for the cost of a first-class stamp. The kits are sent to specific locations and needed at certain times during the year.
The USO in conjunction with the Trevor Romain Foundation has released a free, animated movie titled "With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment." The DVD addresses preparing for deployment, staying connected during the separation and planning for reunion. The movie also helps civilian children understand the challenges their friends in the military community face when a loved one is deployed. In addition to the DVD, military families can receive deployment kits at no charge.
Military families requiring just about any kind of help-from supplies to camaraderie-can find what they need here. Military Family Support Centers (MFSC) Incorporated, located in Salem, Virginia, is dedicated to identifying and meeting the needs of the families of deployed military members. The organization seeks to reduce the stress for troops and their families by providing ways for the community to express its gratitude through offering services, volunteering or making donations.
Doin' a little for those who do a lot, this atypical nonprofit offers troops a chance to battle professional athletes and celebrities in head-to-head video game competitions via the Internet. Pro vs. GI Joe sets up real-time video game competitions among celebrities, high-ranking military officials and politicians stateside and troops overseas using Web-connected technologies such as PlayStation, Xbox Live and Nintendo Wii. The group also attempts to reunite warfighters with family members via webcam during the events. Pro vs. GI Joe works with its official partner the USO to identify participating troops and arrange for them to play from USO centers worldwide.
Finding the right sales and discounts becomes a priority when budgets are tight. Military Shoppers features discounts on groceries, furniture and jewelry. It also includes tools to locate sales at base commissaries, online coupons and a list of base yard sales. Registration is necessary to access many of the site's features. Additional links lead to dieting and fitness sites, charities and online contests. Personnel mustering out of the service may wish to check out the site's JobsForVets.com link, which provides a national list of job openings geared for veterans.
Families of deployed members of the National Guard, Reserve and active duty service members on independent duty and their families are eligible for free family memberships at participating YMCAs in their local communities. The free memberships for Guard and Reserve families are available when service members are deployed for at least six months, and the deploying family member is eligible for a three-month pre- and post-deployment membership. Active duty families assigned to independent duty stations and not receiving support from the service component also are eligible at participating locations. While memberships are free, some classes may have costs associated with them, which military members must pay.