Armed Forces Foundation
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
|Motto||Serving those who Serve|
|Non-Profit registered 501c(3) Foundation|
|Purpose||Military & their families|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., USA|
|Budget||US$ 8 million (2008)|
The Armed Forces Foundation is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that began operations in 2001 with the mission of supporting the members of the United States Armed Forces from all branches of service, both active duty and retired. With such a broad range of goals the Foundation has expanded tremendously and now has annual donations of over $8 million. Through its efforts, the Foundation currently administers 4 programs and a number of projects with the goal of raising funds and awareness to support service members and their families. The Armed Forces Foundation maintains a 94% ratio of every dollar donated from outside contributions back into its programs.
- 1 Mission statement
- 2 Programs
- 3 Projects
- 3.1 PTSD and TBI Awareness Initiative
- 3.2 Families Serve Too Awareness Campaign
- 3.3 Purple Heart Ride
- 3.4 Soldier’s Home Investment Project
- 4 National attention
- 5 References
"The Armed Forces Foundation is dedicated to providing comfort and solace to members of the United States Armed Forces Community by providing financial support, career counseling services, homeowners education, recreational therapy programs and funding awareness projects."
The Armed Forces Foundation currently administers 4 core programs, each with a different focus.
The Honorable C.W Bill and Beverly Young Financial Assistance Fund
The Honorable C.W Bill and Beverly Young Financial Assistance Fund, named after Congressman Bill Young and his wife Beverly, is the largest program administered by the Armed Forces Foundation and provides direct financial assistance to service members and their families facing financial hardship through injury and other service related situations. With the ability to provide money to service members and their families from all branches of service, the Foundation is able to make a valued impact on the lives of those who serve the United States.
The Foundation helps families cover such expenses as:
- Airline tickets to visit loved ones recuperating in a hospital
- Utility bills
- Rent or mortgage payments (for civilian housing)
- Car payments
- Childcare during illness, surgery or recovery
- Car insurance or registration payments
The AFF Bereavement Program augments the cost of funeral and travel arrangements for families of deceased servicemen and women during their time of mourning. The Bereavement Support Program helps in the following ways:
- Providing monetary assistance for loved ones to attend funeral services
- Providing grief counseling services
- Providing investment and estate planning services
- Yellow ribbon scholarship fund for children of deceased servicemen and women
The Armed Forces Foundation, a national charity, has helped hundreds of families across the United States. Below is a state by state break down of the Foundation's Direct Financial Assistance from 2006 through second quarter 2010.
Michael Stevens Memorial Career Counseling Program
- AFF Information Services: Realizing that the application process and paperwork for veterans service programs can be overwhelming, the AFF works to make these things less stressful and complicated for service members and veterans. In dealing with VA benefits, medical review boards, or any other service related benefits, the AFF staff has the knowledge to guide Veterans through this complicated process.
- Mentoring Wounded Warriors: The AFF Michael Stevens Memorial Career Counseling Program provides career counseling and job placement for transitioning servicemen and women. The process starts by addressing immediate hospital or medical needs and ends in the successful transition of a Veteran into civilian employment.
Wounded Warrior Support Services Program
The Wounded Warrior Support Services Program was established to show gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Troop & Hospital Staff Appreciation Dinners: during hospitalization, simple gestures and warm wishes for wellness play an important role in the injury recovery process. To show its thanks, the AFF organizes appreciation dinners for injured troops and the staff of the:
These dinners feed hungry patients and hospital staff and are catered by local businesses.
Lodging Assistance: While recovering from combat injuries, having a family member by one's side is an integral part of the healing process. The AFF makes this possible through hotel, lodging and travel costs. The AFF provides for hotel and lodging costs to help families be with their loved ones at the following places:
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs
In keeping with the AFF mission to support military families in their time of greatest need, the Foundation continually organizes M/W/R events all around the country, allowing service members and their families a chance to escape the stresses of injury recovery and deployment. The Armed Forces Foundation sponsors a wide range of MWR events, including:
- Welcome home ceremonies
- Golf outings
- Family outings
- Christmas parties
Classic Outdoor Sports The Armed Forces Foundation Classic Outdoor Sports Program fills a vital need of injured servicemen and women and their families - that need being much needed R&R. Through the Classic Outdoor Sports Program, the Armed Forces Foundation along with a number of other supporters plan hunting and fishing trips for injured warriors and their families.
The Classic Outdoor Sports Program has received wide praise from the press for its efforts in providing injured troops and their families with a much needed good time. The program has received recognition from Congressional leaders, ESPN, ESPN2, Outdoor Channel, The Sportsman Channel, Pentagon Channel, and Fox News.
PTSD and TBI Awareness Initiative
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Documentary
The Armed Forces Foundation partnered with 522 Productions to create a 60-minute documentary film which aims at raising awareness of the effects of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury in returning service members from active duty combat.
According to a recent study administered by the Department of Defense, 1 in 6 service persons returning from combat in Iraq acknowledged symptoms of severe depression and PTSD. Of that number, the study also reported that 60% would be reluctant to seek help from commanding officers or their peers out of fear they would be treated differently. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to severe depression, alcoholism, violence and other unhealthy behavior.
Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts
The book Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts, Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, co-authored by Armed Forces Foundation President Patricia Driscoll Patricia Driscoll (Armed Forces Foundation)gives readers an intimate look into the world of U.S service personnel affected with TBI and PTSD. This awareness project has generated a dialogue between the Foundation, Corporations, and Government in what can be done to better care for service persons returning from combat and living with these unseen injuries.
Families Serve Too Awareness Campaign
Operation Caring Classroom
A national education initiative: The Armed Forces Foundation began Operation Caring Classroom, a program recognized in 2007 by Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, honors the bravery of the young children of service members separated from their loved ones by active duty combat. Operation Caring Classroom (OCC) teaches civilian children about the way of life of their peers who grow up in military families. Among the highlights of the program:
- 16,000 children participating each year during the week of Veteran’s Day through letter writing and artwork
- Elementary history lessons and lessons about life in a military family
- Children are taught to show compassion for their peers who are currently in homes with parental deployment, frequent relocation, and death of a loved one.
- This program affords civilian children the opportunity to say thank you to their military dependent peers for their service to their country.
Kids Serve Too Children's Book
The Kids Serve Too Children's Book is an awareness project currently in the works at the Armed Forces Foundation. The book gives an intimate look into the lives of military children. Written by children at Ft. Belvoir Elementary School in Virginia for children of civilian families, the book shows the special challenges and advantages of growing up with the military.
Purple Heart Ride
The Armed Forces Foundation has partnered with the Maryland Blue Knights, Chapter IX Motorcycle Club with the goal of coupling an enthusiastic group of avid motorcycle riders who are just as committed to supporting the troops as they are to their hobby. Past rides have seen nearly 200 riders and drawn their attention to stories of pain and perseverance facing our wounded troops. This project has produced several thousand dollars in financial assistance for the AFF and our troops.
Soldier’s Home Investment Project
The Armed Forces Foundation has partnered with the Soldier’s Home Investment Project (SHIP) committee to enact a plan to renovate the Grant Building on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home.
The SHIP committee and the Armed Forces Foundation are committed to renovating the Grant Building and returning it to use by the residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home for recreational, residential, and rehabilitation use. To that end, the SHIP committee and the AFF have committed to raise funds and awareness for the project.
Located in the northernmost corner of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, the Grant Building is a handsome marble structure, and will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2012.
The Grant Building is a large, rectangular shaped building with a central court from the second to through fourth floors. Plans for its construction were debated as early as the 19th century, but construction did not commence until 1906 and ultimately lasted six years. Baltimore based Architects Baldwin and Pennington designed the structure as both a residence and mess hall
Since the inception of the Foundation and with ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, a large media and political emphasis has been devoted on the cause the Armed Forces Foundation supports. In the past, the Armed Forces Foundation has been recognized by many high-ranked military officials as well as national elected officials.