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!