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.
Orlando Military Discounts
Orlando is a fun-filled vacation destination and many of the theme parks and hotels in the city offer exclusive deals for the military community. Walt Disney World has discounts on tickets, hotel rooms and cruises. It even has a military-only hotel, Shades of Green, sitting on property close to the Magic Kingdom. Current specials are listed on a Disney World special offers page. For fun with an aquatic twist, SeaWorld offers military members and up to three dependents one-day passes for free admission that are available by filling out an online form. The deal is part of the Here's to the Heroes program, which also offers free tickets at other Anheuser-Busch amusement parks around the country.
Military families looking for more fun can buy discounted tickets to Universal Studios at various military bases. The theme park lists participating installations and more information about the offers available on its Military Ticket Program page. Troops also can purchase tickets on base for discount admission to Kennedy Space Center, located east of Orlando, and they receive a 10 percent discount on food and retail items at the visitor complex. The Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando offers a variety of special prices and support activities for the military community as well. The hotel is geared toward families with children.
Many of the deals listed by these organizations expire at the end of 2010.
General Motors Military Discount
Active duty, Reserve and Guard military members from any branch of service, including the Coast Guard, who want new wheels to go with their roller coaster rides can take advantage of discounts on 2010 and 2011 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles. Spouses also are eligible for the special pricing, which applies to the purchase or lease of up to two cars. In many cases, the military discount can be combined with other incentives for extra savings. Deals vary by location and model, but interested parties can gather some specifics on the website under the Regional Incentives tab. The site also posts information about other ways military members can receive benefits in its Support Our Military section.
Solar Power Discounts
Entertainment, lodging and vehicles may seem like obvious choices for military discounts—but home power systems? Activity duty and retired military members in San Diego County, California, can enjoy price breaks on that, too, thanks to a deal by Stellar Solar. The company wants to show its appreciation for the sacrifices troops make by offering them between $1,000 and $2,000 off residential solar systems depending on the kilowatts needed. The company claims that by combining the discount with a 30 percent federal tax credit and the California rebate, users can have small or no electric bills. More information is available on the website.
The SIGNAL Connections staff 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.