VFW Works to Keep Troop Morale High with ‘Free Call Days’
April 1, 2012
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U.S. troops stationed overseas recently had the opportunity to call family and
friends back home, free-of-charge, thanks to a VFW Operation UplinkTM “Free Call Day,” proudly sponsored by Sport Clips Haircuts.
Troops and hospitalized veterans in Afghanistan and Kuwait could call the U.S for free for a full 24 hours on March 25. Unlike with pre-paid phone cards, troops are free to talk as long as they are able.
Isabelino Vazquez-Rodriguez posted on VFW’s Facebook page, “I am sure the troops will appreciate this opportunity to call free; they earned it and I am proud of the VFW for remembering our wounded soldiers and veterans.”
Stephen Stoops is stationed in Afghanistan and posted, “Thanks, I called a lot of my family.”
Stoops isn’t alone. He’s just one of the thousands who took advantage of the chance to stay in touch with his loved ones at no cost. By the end of the day, hundreds of thousands of free minutes had been used by troops and hospitalized veterans.
Free Call Days are offered at more than 600 MWR Internet cafes using SPAWAR located at various military installations in Afghanistan and Kuwait. The program is the only one of its kind, providing two designated days each month when deployed service members can make phone calls to the U.S. at no cost.
In 2012, Sport Clips is leading the way for this program, sponsoring 17 Free Call
Days showing their tremendous support for our military.
Overall the program has provided over 6.3 million connections since it began offering Free Call Days in 2006.
The next Free Call Day is scheduled for Easter, April 8, and is sponsored by the
VFW Department of Texas.
To learn more about VFW’s Operation Uplink program and other VFW National Military Services programs, click here.
January 1, 2012 • VFW National Military Services Update
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2011 was a hugely successful year for VFW National Military Services and its programs, which continued to extend support and assistance to service members and their families.
VFW Operation UplinkTM hosted 24 “Free Call Days” for troops stationed overseas for the second consecutive year. Over 1.3 million connections were made by service members to their loved ones by accessing the Free Call Days through MWR Internet Cafes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. The 2012 Free Call Day schedule is now available, with 24 Free Call Days planned. Click here to view the new schedule.
VFW Unmet Needs continued to provide a lifeline to military families facing unexpected financial hardship. In 2011 the program issued 638 emergency and disaster relief grants totaling $569,000 in assistance. Those figures include 145 rent or mortgage bills that were paid, affording struggling military families the comfort of staying in their homes.
VFW Military Assistance Program (MAP) grew as well and continued to provide an outstretched hand from the VFW to the local military. In 2011 the program issued 287 grants to VFW Departments and Posts to cover expenses associated with hosting morale-boosting events for troops and their families.
A huge part of MAP includes the Adopt-a-Unit program. VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary adopt military units around the world, developing supportive relationships with them before, during and after deployments. There were 260 new unit adoptions in 2011 through the program, which now boasts nearly 2,000 adoptions since 2007.
VFW National Military Services programs made an incredible difference for our troops and their families in 2011. Here’s to making 2012 even more successful!
To learn more about VFW National Military Services and its programs, click here.