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Delivering Critical Support and Care to Military Families

Army veteran Bennie M. proudly served his country for seven years, including an Iraq deployment. He was forced to medically retire because of a condition that required a hip replacement. His wife Erika became his caregiver and watched as Bennie struggled with tasks that had once been simple, such as getting in and out of the bathtub.

Their home already needed significant repairs they could not afford. The family turned to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that serves America’s military families. Through the organization’s Critical Financial Assistance program, the family was able to fund their home repairs and renovations, including a new walk-in shower for her husband.

“There was a great sense of relief from my husband and me,” Erika said. “Thanks to Operation Homefront, he was able to get his independence and pride back.”

Serving military families

Founded in 2002, Operation Homefront has worked to serve America’s military families in their time of need because they have worked tirelessly to serve all Americans in our nation’s time of need. 

Through a support network of partners, donors, and volunteers, Operation Homefront provides military families with relief through critical financial assistance and transitional housing programs, resiliency through permanent housing and caregiver programs, and recurring support through a variety of seasonally focused family programs. 

With the Critical Financial Assistance program, Operation Homefront helps military families and caregivers with mortgage payments, rent, utilities, car repairs, home repairs, overdue bills, groceries, and more to ensure short-term financial struggles do not become a series of chronic issues that derail hopes for a brighter future. 

Since 2011, its Critical Financial Assistance program has fulfilled more than 45,000 requests from families, providing nearly $30 million in assistance. In addition, Operation Homefront’s Hearts of Valor (Caregiver) program has more than 70 support groups, helping more than 3,800 caregivers nationwide.

Amid the pandemic

This year, Operation Homefront has seen the financial strain that the global pandemic has created across the country, and it has been devastating for so many military families, especially those who were already living on tight budgets, like Retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sebastian L. B. and his family. 

After serving his country for 22 years, Sebastian now works as an Uber driver and graphic designer. He was struggling with medical bills for his daughter with special needs, who was hospitalized last year with a blood cancer scare. Then the economy shut down and so did his income.

More medical issues burned through the family’s meager savings. He suffered what he feared was a stroke. He was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and a serious respiratory infection. Expenses kept piling up. He was behind on his mortgage and utility bills. His two teenagers needed glasses and the car needed emergency repairs.  

He began thinking about what possessions he could sell just to get by but heard about Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program. Sebastian applied and got the help he so urgently needed.

“I don’t know how to say thanks enough,” Sebastian said. “Operation Homefront took my stress level from a roller coaster ride to total relief. My house is paid up. The electricity and water are paid off, and our internet bill too, so the kids can have their schoolwork done. I don’t have any words for what that means to me.”

As the financial impact of the pandemic continues to take a major toll on military families, Operation Homefront has been able to meet the immediate needs of the families struggling to make ends meet.  Since March, the organization has fulfilled more than 1,100 requests from military families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, providing them over $750,000 in assistance. 

For more information on Operation Homefront, the programs available, and eligibility requirements, or to donate, visit our website at operationhomefront.org.

This article has been paid for by Operation Homefront.

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