Homefront Help

March 20, 2009
By Rita Boland

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.

March 4, 2009
By Rita Boland

Dust off those bikes, take them out of the garage and get rolling for a great cause! Face of America 2009 begins April 25 in Bethesda, Maryland, to raise awareness of service members injured in the line of duty. The 110-mile bike ride, which ends April 26 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, also raises funds for World TEAM (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) Sports, an organization that strives to increase awareness, acceptance and integration of people with disabilities through sports. Face of America focuses specifically on disabled veterans by reaching out and actively including troops who have been severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

February 19, 2009
By Rita Boland

Dust off those bikes, take them out of the garage and get rolling for a great cause! Face of America 2009 begins April 25 in Bethesda, Maryland, to raise awareness of service members injured in the line of duty. The 110-mile bike ride, which ends April 26 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, also raises funds for World TEAM (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) Sports, an organization that strives to increase awareness, acceptance and integration of people with disabilities through sports. Face of America focuses specifically on disabled veterans by reaching out and actively including troops who have been severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

February 5, 2009
By Rita Boland

Troops might not always feel lifted by the wings of angels, but Air Compassion for Veterans is making sure they come close. The organization provides free travel services for eligible warfighters, wounded warriors, veterans and their families to ensure none of them is denied access to distant medical care because of a lack of means to acquire long-distance medical air transportation. Air Compassion for Veterans arranges and provides its charitable patient travel without duplicating the efforts of other charities.

February 7, 2009
By Rita Boland

Launched in November 2008 as part of Warrior Care Month, the National Resource Directory is a Web-based network of care coordinators, providers and partners who have resources for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families and families of the fallen as well as those who support them. The directory includes more than 10,000 medical and other services to help members of the military community achieve their goals as they progress through recovery and rehabilitation to reintegrate with the larger community.

February 3, 2009
By Rita Boland

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." So reads the slogan of Freedom Alliance, which directs all the organization's efforts. The charitable and educational foundation was founded by Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC (Ret.), who said from the beginning that the goal would be to work to "keep America strong, keep America prosperous and keep America free." The mission of Freedom Alliance is to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense. Freedom Alliance carries out its mission in several ways.

December 4, 2008
By Rita Boland

Military4life is designed to provide service personnel and their families with the latest information on military pay, morale and welfare, and lifestyle news. The home page features a list of discounts on items such as cellhttp://www.afcea.org/signal/signalscape/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&po... phones, computers, airline tickets and cruises. Other areas covered by the site include military loans, credit reports, military pay data, TRICARE military supplement insurance and military charities.

December 1, 2008
By Rita Boland

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.

November 4, 2008
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Defense Department, through Military OneSource, has established a Wounded Warrior Resource Center (WWRC) telephone number and e-mail address. Troops, veterans and their families can call (800) 342-9647 or send a message to wwrc@militaryonesource.com to request support if they have concerns or difficulties during the recovery process. Both methods of contact are operational 24/7. Additional phone numbers are available for those who need help in Spanish or require a TTY/TDD connection. Military community members also can request to contact a consultant in a specific field, get counseling information or join discussion boards.

October 30, 2008
By Rita Boland

Patriot Paws trains dogs to work with injured military members and other disabled persons to help restore physical and emotional freedoms. The organization provides high-quality service dogs for the minimum possible price to those who need them. Any physically disabled U.S. veteran or other American with mobile disabilities can apply for a Patriot Paws service dog by downloading the application form online or requesting one by mail. The necessary contact information is listed on the Web site. When an application is accepted, applicants are interviewed, and the organization makes every effort to find a compatible pet.

August 19, 2008
By Rita Boland

The overwhelming interest and generosity of the American public toward U.S. soldiers and their families prompted the Army to launch Gifts to Army as a centralized source of information for contribution and support opportunities. The Army Gift Program is an established effort, but an amendment to the law now enables the Army to accept donations that assist wounded soldiers, wounded civilian employees and their families.

July 1, 2008
By Rita Boland

Friends and family members of U.S. Marines deployed to an operational location in Iraq can send their loved ones a message without ever visiting the mailbox. MotoMail aims to bridge gaps in communications between parties who may not have e-mail access or who just want to send a physical letter for a more personal touch.

June 6, 2008
By Rita Boland

CharityWorks, an organization in the Washington, D.C., area that fundraises for nonprofits, has partnered with Fisher House to raise money for the construction of the new Fisher House at the Washington, D.C., Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The house will have 16,000 square feet and 21 guest suites. The goal is to raise $2 million by the end of September. The selection of Fisher House as this year's charity marks the first time a partner was unanimously selected by the advisory board and membership of CharityWorks.

May 20, 2008
By Rita Boland

Members of the public eager to show troop support can do so through eMail Our Military (eMOM). The organization was created in response to the U.S. Defense Department's cancellation of the "Any Service Member" and "Operation Dear Abby" programs because of security concerns. By using e-mail instead of regular post, eMOM offers a secure method to continue the tradition of troop support with an even more personal touch. Military members sign up with the organization and are matched with civilian registrants.

May 2, 2008
By Rita Boland

Operation Iraqi Children No longer limited to Iraq, this organization assists troops who want to ensure local school children have the educational supplies they need. Founded by actor Gary Sinise and author Laura Hillenbrand, Operation Iraqi Children sends supply kits with school items and other necessities overseas for U.S. troops to distribute. The goal is to bring together U.S. personnel and the citizenry of other countries to foster understanding and goodwill.

November 29, 2012
Rita Boland

Donating to many of the country’s most prominent military charities now is a little bit easier. More than 100 such organizations have come together on The United Heroes Campaign to give people a one-stop shop for giving back. Visitors to the site can choose to share a single or recurring gift with one or more of the charities listed. They can also decide to have their donations shared equally among all the charities. The groups participating cover a range of needs in the military community including wounded warriors, survivors of those killed in action and support for troops currently overseas.

September 20, 2012
By Rita Boland

Normally Homefront Help stories focus on the need-to-know information. But every so often an opportunity arises to take an in-depth look at the dedicated manner in which people across the country use diverse skill sets and interests to serve the military community. Such is the case with Warrior Cry--an all-volunteer group that provides musical instruments to wounded warfighters and helps find musicians to provide instructions when requested.

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