Michael Carnuccio | September 26, 2015
Free Market Friday: Serving those who serve
After more than 13 years of war, almost every American knows the challenges faced by our men and women in uniform.
However, far fewer think about challenges facing the growing number of service members transitioning into civilian life. Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit committed to building strong, stable and secure military families, met in Oklahoma City this week to discuss critical issues affecting military families right now more than ever.
As the military faces budgetary uncertainty while Congress deliberates on funding the government, military leaders have no other choice but to ask those who have bravely served their country to leave the service. In fact, over the next several years 40,000 will leave the Army, which is on pace to be its smallest since World War II.
Transitioning service members often find that their personal finances don’t meet their families’ needs, particularly when the unexpected occurs, like an emergency car repair or home issue. Operation Homefront’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program aids military families coping with these issues and help meet unforeseen budget challenges with payments in the form of grants, not loans, directly to service providers.
The organization is there too for those injured through service to country post 9/11, providing no-cost fully furnished apartments for those brave warriors and their families while they wait for approval of veterans benefits, which can often take months or longer.
Caregivers for these heroes know that their loved one comes back from service to country often changed – beyond just physical injuries. That’s why the Hearts of Valor program is a signature effort of Operation Homefront to provide these caregivers with a network of online and in-person support, including all-expense retreats, to learn how to care for wounded loved ones.
I’m proud to serve as treasurer of the board for this Charity Navigator 4-star rated charity, with 92 percent of its expenses going to programs that support military families. The organization relies exclusively on the generosity of the American public with no federal funding to carry out its mission. Go to www.operationhomefront.net to find out how to get more mileage from the cost of that latte.
Wars may end, but the need to support those who protect and defend our way of life endures.
Former OCPA President