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Archive for the ‘Answer The Call’ Category

To honor our Nation’s veterans, Operation Homefront would like to share the stories of the veterans who have touched our lives through our programs. Please join us every day as we feature a new veteran in our #11Days11Stories series leading up to Veterans Day 2019.

An oath for life, and to give your life, is one of the most solemn gifts one can offer to their country and to another. Medically retired Army Sergeant Jennifer Gonzalez and her husband have offered theirs, and it has not come without a high cost.

Jennifer was only 17 when she joined the Army. A recruiter contacted her, and Jennifer became interested in the medical field. Although Jennifer knew of her family’s history of military service, she would be the first and only female from her family to serve. “I thought joining the military sounded cool,” said Jennifer. “And I was spontaneous and liked to take risks.”

During her 11 years with the Army Reserves, Jennifer had one deployment to Iraq that forever changed her. Suffering from post-traumatic stress. Jennifer was medically retired.

Because of her disability, her husband is now also her caregiver, while also dealing with his own transition from military service. When the family moved to a smaller town, Jennifer’s husband found it hard to find a job, especially one that was comparable to his previous job at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Without a second income, Jennifer and her husband soon found themselves in financial stress. When Jennifer received a disconnect notice from the electric company, the couple reached out to Operation Homefront for help with their monthly bills.

Thanks to generous donors, Jennifer and her family will not have their power disconnected. Not only was Operation Homefront able to pay Jennifer’s utility bill, but also paid her auto insurance payment and provided food assistance.
Jennifer is not alone. In 2017, Operation Homefront received 1,900 requests from veterans across the nation that needed help with their utilities. Additionally, over 1,300 veterans needed help providing food for their families, and over 1,300 service members requested help with their auto payment and insurance. With two more months left in 2018, we are on track to see the same, if not more, especially with the recent natural disasters hitting heavily populated military areas, such as the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.

“I am so appreciative and grateful to Operation Homefront’s donors who help military families without another place to turn to,” said Jennifer. “We had no family to turn to for help. It is very humbling to ask for help, but we are so grateful. Your donors think of others after the fact (completion of service).”

“Operation Homefront is a great organization,” continued Jennifer. “My caseworker Erik was great to work with. There are a lot of emotions a veteran feels when they are transitioning; it can be shameful to ask for help and very hard to do, especially for veterans who are very independent. I never felt like I was treated differently.”

Just as these veterans raised their hand to swear an oath to serve their country, you, too, can join in committing to support them through Operation Homefront’s #RaiseYourHand campaign. Learn more at http://www.operationhomefront.org/RaiseYourHand

There are many families who still need our help. Check out our Current Needs page and you can help us serve America’s military families today.

Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. For over fifteen years, we have provided programs that offer: RELIEF (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), RESILIENCY (through permanent housing and caregiver support services) and RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services throughout the year that help military families overcome the short-term bumps in the road so they don’t become long-term chronic problems. Please visit us at www.operationhomefront.org to learn more or support our mission.

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We asked YOU, our community, to join us in our #Mission2Honor and send messages of thanks to our military this Military Appreciation Month..and, boy, did you ever!

Messages poured in from all over the USA and even overseas. Today, we would like to share some of those messages so that our men and women in uniform, their families, and all who love our military can see how much our country appreciates their courage and commitment to protecting our country and our freedoms.

-As we all know FREEDOM ISNT FREE and we SO appreciate all the duty to our great nation that you give and your sacrifice of time away from your families and all the mental and physical sacrifices you are experiencing. Thank you with all of our heart!! You are always in our prayers!!Rita, Utah

-Mahalo to all our military members and their families for their dedication and sacrifice. As a military brat, spouse and mom, I know how difficult military life can be; yet, it can also be rewarding and gives you a special kind of pride that only military families share. I honor you all with aloha.-Lahela, Hawaii

-Thank you so much for your service! My name is Hannah, I am 8 years old, I am a member of American Heritage Girls in which I am currently learning about the military and I want to thank you for all you have done. Thank you for going away from your family and risking your life just to keep me safe. Thank you for helping make it possible to live in a country I can do anything in.Hannah, Delaware

-I would like to thank all members of our armed forces for caring for the greater good of our country with your dedication, sacrifice, and time away from loved ones. I truly appreciate each and every one of you and your families. Thank you for all you did, are doing and will do. You are the awesomeness of America.-Cathy, Wyoming

-I would like to give thanks to all of our service men and women, whose work effort has given a lot of support and gratitude to many nations! God bless our families and give honor and respect to those who serve!-Eric, Florida

-Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. The time away from loved ones and the effort put towards your job does not go unnoticed and we appreciate all you do. Stay strong and know you are thought about. God Bless you!!-Amber, Virginia

-Thank you so much for the sacrifice you have made for your country. I am sure there have been missed birthdays, holidays, and special events. I cannot thank you enough for your service! Please know you are appreciated.-Wilson Family, USN, Arizona

-Words will never be enough to truly convey the gratitude my family and I have for servicemen and women. Thank you and God bless!-Natasha, Ohio

There is still plenty of time to join in #Mission2Honor and send your words of thanks and encouragement to our military families. You can submit your message here.

Operation Homefront has many events planned this summer to give back to our military families. Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.

Thank you for your support!

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One of the reasons we created the Operation Homefront Military Child of the Year® award program is to honor the resilience and strength of the youngest members of a military family who are along for the ride as their parents protect our freedom. It’s not an easy life. But the way most military kids carry themselves shows that they have endured, and survived, some very tough times. Multiple moves. Deployments. Sickness and injury that may affect a family member or themselves.

This year’s award recipients took some time to share how they get through tough times…to let other kids know that they struggle too and to inspire them to persevere.

Their words of advice are remarkable…read on:

 

Moving to a different place can be exciting, but with that comes the challenge of being the new kid in school and having to make new friends. Not knowing where you fit in within the social arena of school life (is hard). The thing that gets me through those tough times is running, or walking outside. Doing any activity outside helps me relieve stress and relax.
Jamal Braxton, 18, Air Force Military Child of the Year

 

 

I always would pack my schedule full during any tough time I would face. I would try new activities that would take up my free time, so that I had no time to think about what was causing that tough time, such as deployment.- Molly Frey, 16, National Guard Military Child of the Year

 

 

 

 

In times of trial, I find comfort in the fact that I’ve already faced and overcome some of life’s greatest challenges, and doing so is not abnormal, but my continual reality. –Henderson Heussner, 18, Army Military Child of the Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

My family (is) very close because of all the moves we have done. No matter how I am feeling I can always count on my family to be there and cheer me up. -Mary Kate Cooper, 17, Coast Guard Military Child of the Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to exercise when I am frustrated or irritated.- Sophie Bernstein, 17, Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several things keep me together during hard times. Two of them are my dogs. They sit with me and love me no matter what I do. It is relaxing to sit there and pet them. Another factor is my family; they discuss my options with me and keep me on track.- Jackson Beatty, 18, Marine Corps Military Child of the Year

 

 

 

The support of my family, especially my mother, who has served as the anchor of my family while we have moved from place to place. My mom is a huge inspiration to me, and the soul of our family. It is because of her support that we have been so successful. I also had great personal consistency through my participation in the Boy Scouts of America. While there were many different things in the places I lived, the Scouting program always allowed me to have a home where I could easily participate in familiar activities and have an instant group of friends in a new location. – Alexander McGrath, 17, Navy Military Child of the Year

 

Find out more about this year’s recipients, take a look at more pictures from this year’s event or watch the 2017 Facebook Live presentation of our awards ceremony

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Your support means real impact on real military and veteran families across the United States. Today, we’d like to share some thanks from those families to all of YOU who have answered the call when YOU were needed the most:

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If you are looking for a way to get involved in supporting our military families, we invite you to join our Answer the Call campaign.

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Today we are joined by guest blogger Steven Mahon, SAIC EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Steven talks about his call to service and the call to service by SAIC Citizens.

Thirty-seven years ago, I made the decision to join the United States Army. I was resolute, but as a young man, I lacked the foresight of all the challenges that laid ahead, especially those that would arise as a husband and father.

Although many years have passed, the challenges of being a service member remain, especially in today’s world where our troops are frequently deployed and tasked with difficult, demanding, and dangerous work. We ask our service members to devote themselves to their mission and their duty to serving our nation, and they unwaveringly accept. However, there is a price to pay to answer the call of the nation. By asking for 100 percent of their focus on the mission, their duties as parents and spouses can’t always be a primary focus.

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Steven Mahon, SAIC EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, and the SAIC Citizens at the Back-To-School Brigade event in Maryland.

Families are often geographically separated and this means that at times there never seems to be enough money for essentials like school supplies. As a young service member, I remember returning to the PX a modest birthday present I had purchased for my wife because we needed the cash for baby food and diapers instead — that was 28 years ago and I still remember how badly I felt about it.

I know that feeling reverberates throughout the Armed Forces, but organizations like SAIC and Operation Homefront are here to help. As an SAIC employee or “corporate citizen” as we say, my service to our country continues, most recently by volunteering with Operation Homefront as a member of its Board of Directors and by volunteering at events that build strong, stable and secure military families, such as distributing backpacks during their Back-To-School Brigade. Let’s face it, school supply shopping is stressful and expensive. Operation Homefront’s Back to School Brigade reduces that burden and financial hardship on military families by providing service members with pre-filled backpacks stuffed with commonly needed supplies. This reduces stress on families, frees up time, and saves a lot of money. For families with three, four, or more children, this is a big help!

saicbloggirlinpinkMy colleagues and I volunteered to stuff and hand deliver these backpacks to needy families, and we were thrilled to do it. The most rewarding sight was to see a young girl, dressed all in pink —including pink glasses — hugging her new pink backpack, with a huge smile on her face! We are proud to work for a company like SAIC that chooses to sponsor organizations like Operation Homefront because our support helps to reduce every day stresses on our military.

We at SAIC and Operation Homefront are honored to serve our military families by paying it forward, and we ask that you join us. Visit www.operationhomefront.net/answerthecall  for ways to help support the families of our service members and wounded warriors. SAIC Citizens will be volunteering across the country during this upcoming holiday season, and we hope to see you there!

 

 

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answerthecallblog9-22-16What motivates a young man or woman to serve their country? They have an entire future ahead of them. What causes them to answer the call to protect the American way of life and its freedoms, at a potentially great cost to themselves and their loved ones?

Here are top 10 answers we recently received from veterans and service members. Their answers are not uncommon among those who join the military.

Read them and be reminded of the courage and strength of those who serve and join us in celebrating and supporting those who answer the call.

  1. “I loved having a one purpose – protecting our country and keeping us free.” – Robert R., Veteran
  2. “What I love most about serving my country is being able to answer the call to service and stand next to my brothers and sisters to defend this great nation.” – Sabrina L., E5
  3. “I stand for my flag, my Country and my neighbor.” – Richard B., E5
  4. “The …feeling of connection and pride I have knowing that I follow in the footsteps of the men and women who have come before me.” – Julius A., E6
  5. “The community and common goal of joining American men and women of all cultural backgrounds to voluntarily serve our country.”  – Cindy C., O5
  6. “The idea that I was giving my all for my family back home.”  – Ian S., E3
  7. “When I was going through basic training, I was asked why I enlisted. My answer was simple, I wanted to be like Xena, Mulan, Pocahontas, and G.I. Jane. I serve because I want to be the 1% that fights back when the enemy comes knocking. I take pride knowing that my family and friends are safe when I am in uncomfortable conditions, wherever it may be, miles away from home.”  – Andrea B, E5
  8. “Being in military has shown me that I am capable of doing a lot more than I ever believed I could.” –Andrew F, E5
  9. “I love being a part of something bigger than myself… an organization comprised of proud Americans with shared values of selfless service, honor, integrity, and loyalty.”  – Robert Z., O4
  10. “Service before self. I serve for my country and for the people in it.” – Matthew L., O6

If you are looking for a way to get involved in supporting our military families, we invite you to join our Answer The Call campaign.

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Many of us have friends, family and loved ones who are serving or have served. You can help us honor, support and serve our our military and their families by taking part in our Answer The Call campaign.

 

Here are three ways you can make a difference today:

 

Support:

When you give to Operation Homefront, you help make life just a little easier for our military families and wounded warriors. 92% of all our donations made go directly to programs and services to support military families. Visit the Current Needs page to read the stories and needs of families we are serving, or you can support one of our ongoing needs.

Honor:

Email your Message of Thanks to AnswertheCall@operationhomefront.net or post a photo on the Operation Homefront Facebook page with #AnswerTheCall of a service member, veteran or military family member you know with their name, branch of service and when they served.

Serve:

Sign-up today to be an Operation Homefront volunteer to support military families in your area throughout the year.

If you have any questions about the campaign or other ways you want to support military families and veterans, please email info@operationhomefront.net.

We also invite everyone to get social with us:

On Facebook

On Twitter

On Instagram

 

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Post your pictures with #AnswerTheCall or email them to us at socialnet@operationhomefront.net

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