Services Available for Children of 
Active-Duty   Military Personnel
Phone:  800-424-8360
www.vfwnationalhomedrive.org









Children of Veterans 
Tuition Grant
(ages 16 to 26)

www.michigan.gov/studentaid
1-888-447-2687
OR email osg@michigan.gov
Do you have a (child or another family member) in the Military?   Could you use the support of other Moms in similar situations OR would you like to participate in Service Projects to provide support to the troops overseas??

Then, Michigan Military Moms is for you!

The main meeting is held on the 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at:
Fort Dearborn American Legion
3001 S. Telegraph Road
Dearborn MI  48124

For additional information contact:
Website:  http://www.michiganmilitarymoms.org
Email:  michiganmilitarymoms@hotmail.com

Susan Klotz, founder

There are also branches in Dundee & Troy and Livingston County!
       

The Monroe County Military Family Support Group
Sponsored by the Monroe County Chapter of the American Red Cross

Meets at 7 p.m. Thursdays at the chapter office:
1645 N. Dixie Hwy., Monroe MI  48162

This group is open to any area resident who has a relative serving in the military, whether stateside or overseas.   For information call 734-289-1481


















U.S. Dept. of Labor Reemployment Rights
Phone:  313-456-3180
Ask for Veteran's Bill of Rights Employment Services information


Office of the JUDGE ADVOCATE                                   V.A. Regional Office
3411 N. Martin Luther King Blvd.                                   Phone:  800-827-1000
Lansing, MI  48906
Phone:  517-481-8100
Fax:  517-481-8102
Monday thru Friday






Clean out your closets and bookcases and give a soldier a book.  Visit http://operationpaperback.usmilitarysupport.org

Do you knit, sew or crochet?  This website will show you how to send a gift to a newborn or child of a soldier deployed overseas!  www.operationtopknot.com

Find a full list of many more organizations and agencies through which you can help soldiers at http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/
      ALSO, another program
      for children of veterans! http://www.militaryscholar.org
Please check under these websites for MANY other scholarships!

Websites:  

www.AmericaSupportsYou.com
www.milspouse.org/Educ/Fund
http://benefits.military.com/education/scholarships
www.nmfa.org   (National Military Family Association Scholarship)
www.military.com   (Research scholarships)
                               




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Send a thank you to the troops!                                                                      
www.letssaythanks.com                                                      Operation Dear Abby, an ONLINE 
                        &              message program to troops, go to
www.amillionthanks.com                                                     www.aarpmagazine.org/mailcall

Write to a soldier!
www.mysoldier.com

Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America   (IAVA)                    Operation Iraqi Freedom Website
770 Broadway, 2nd Floor                          Website:  www.mnf.iraq.com
New York, NY  10003
Phone:  212-982-9699
Email:  info@IAVO.org

Operation Quiet Comfort
PO Box 263   LaSalle, MI  48145
Phone:  734-777-5742
Email:  lpate@operationquietcomfort.com
Website:  www.operationquietcomfort.com
Based in LaSalle MI, this non-profits members send care 
packages to wounded American soldiers in hospitals in Iraq, Germany and other areas where 
soldiers are fighting the war on terror.
Purchase gift certificates for Service People serving in Iraq or for those 
recuperating in the hospital!  They can use these certificates on bases as well.               
www.aafes.com/docs/homefront.htm
SEW MUCH COMFORT

A national non-profit group that makes custom clothing for injured service members.  The adaptive garments are made from new clothing donations, which are altered to fit.

Donations needed:  Money for shipping, purchasing fabric and sewing notions (or donations of this), clothing to alter,etc.
Sewers:  No special skills necessary other than the ability to follow directions explicitly.

Michigan's Laison:  Pat Quintero at 248-546-0038 OR email patquin@comcast.net OR www.sewmuchcomfort.org
Don't have a loved one overseas, but want to brighten a soldier's day?  Contact these organizations to find out how you can help.

Packages From Home         www.packagesfromhome.org

A Soldier's Wish List            www.asoldierswishlist.org     (soldiers can sign up for services too!)

Any Soldier                             www.anysoldier.com

Treats for Troops                  www.treatsfortroops.com

Operation Shoe Box            www.operationshoebox.com
Did you know there are well-known businesses who will help you start a business for just a fraction of what it would normally cost?  Please check under "Veteran Resources" on this website, for information on these programs!

Military Spouses:  Go to www.mil.com   for companies that are "family friendly" to military spouses!

Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission is a grassroots 
coalition of Gold Star families, veterans, families with loved-ones 
serving in the Armed Forces, and other Americans that share a 
deep appreciation for our men and women in uniform and want 
to support their efforts to make America safer by winning the 
War on Terror.
www.FamiliesUnitedMission.com
SIGN UP YOUR SOLDIER FOR THESE OFFERS!


Operation Gratitude       Email:  cblashek@aol.com


Cell Phones for Soldiers      www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com







Dunkin' Donuts holds a lottery every month to send a case of coffee 
to a soldier overseas:  50 soldiers win every month!  You can enter a 
soldier at 
www.dunkindonuts.com/aboutus/contact/Feedback.aspx?type=4




Energy Shut-Off Protection for Active Duty in the Military  (Michigan)

If you or your spouse is called to full-time active military service during a time of declared national or state emergency or war, you may apply for shut-off protection for up to 90 days.  You may request extensions of this protection by re-applying.  You must provide verification of active-duty status.  
At the end of active duty, you must notify DTE of your status.  You will still be required to pay for the energy service used during your participation in the program.  They will enroll you in a payment plan for all past due amounts to be paid within one year.  Visit the DTE website at www.my.dteenergy.com for more information OR call 800-477-4747.



All Military Branch Families can apply for GRANTS (NOT loans) to help with "Unmet Needs" from this organization!   
www.unmetneeds.com 
For every service member in Iraq, there are roughly one to two children serving their own tour of duty back home.  One challenge facing these children and the parent who stays behind is finding quality affordable childcare.  But a government program, Operation: Military Child Care, assists in finding and paying for quality childcare while a family member is deployed.  For more information, call 1-800-2246 or visit www.naccrra.org.

SERVICES FOR ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY        
     PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILES

Note:  This page is an EXCELLENT resource for those Americans wishing to contribute to the war effort!   Please share it with your family, friends and civic groups!
















Another way to support a U.S. Soldier!   This is an international organization.
www.adoptaussoldier.org       
This organization has a Monroe, Michigan representative!  Contact Diane Pursley at dpurz@aol.com      
If you can read this webpage, THANK A Teacher

If you can read this webpage in English, THANK A VET!


AMERICA.....Home of the Free, Because of the BRAVE!















NOTE:   For Grandparents helping to raise Grandchildren while the parent(s) 
are deployed, please visit "Grandparents As Caregivers" webpage on this 
website for lots of helpful information!
Request a Phone Card for your deployed soldier!
Phone: 816-756-3390
Email:  Uplink@VFW.org
Website:  www.operationuplink.org/request.cfm




The House of Jerky store is offering a 15% discount on their 
merchandise and FREE shipping!
Website:  www.houseofjerky.net





Service Members can receive one day's FREE admission to Sea World, 
Busch Gardens, Sesame Place, and Water County USA for themselves 
and up to 3 guests!
Website:  www.herosalute.com


Operation Remembrance           
Website:  www.operationremembrance.org
This group creates Remembrance Boxes for soldiers killed in the war.
Project EverGreen is launching a nationwide outreach program connecting local lawn and landscape firms with men and women serving our country in the armed forces away from home.  Lawn and landscape maintenance becomes a definite hardship when a family's major breadwinner is on active-duty away from home.  GreenCare for Troops is designed to show the green industry's concern for
this situation, helping affected families maintain their home's green spaces.  

Interested in participating?  Please call toll-free at 877-758-4835.  (GreenCare for Troops services are based upon participating contractors and are not guaranteed everywhere.  If there is not a contractor currently signed up in your region, Project EverGreen will make every effort to find and assign a contractor to your family).
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has developed a 90-minute teen consumer class which was taught to teenaged military family members.  The course covers use of credit, identity theft, cell phones, and wise spending habits.  Contact information for the local BBB is available at www.army.bbb.org.


A book for Army parents, "Your Soldier, Your Army: A Parent's Guide", not only informs parents about the Army, but it also includes acronyms and useful Websites.  Supplemental articles feature tips and facts about the Army.  The Guide is available in a .pdf file at http://www.ausa.org/pdfdocs/YourSoldier.pdf.  For more info or to obtain a free copy of the book, call 800-336-4570, ext. 630.


"When Duty Calls" and "Moving Again Mom" are part of a series called "Uncle Sam's Kids" that follows a fictitious military family through the ups and downs of military life.  The books are written for children in kindergarten through fourth grade and focus on the stresses of deployments and the disruption of being uprooted during permanent-change-of-station moves.  For more information on the books, visit the Uncle Sam's Kids website at http://www.unclesamskids.com 
The Defense Department has partnered with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to increase awareness among servicemembers and their families about domestic violence and connect them to the 24-hour-a-day hotline.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers access to domestic violence programs in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The hotline provides crisis intervention, information and referral to victims of domestic violence and their friends and families 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in more than 140 languages, with a teletypewriter line available for the disabled. 
1-800-799-SAFE.


Military One Source offers many useful tools to help families through the challenges of deployment.  Visit the website at www.militaryonesource.com to order your free CD copy of These Boots: A spouses guide to stepping up and standing tall during deployment.
Military Pets Foster Project

Website:  www.netpets.org   


As of April 2002, ALL pets are considered "part of the family"!


Operation Noble Foster----another pet fostering project!          
Website:  operationnoblefoster.org

Sgt. Moms
www.sgtmoms.com/home.asp
FREE Tax Services!

Not only can you use the IRS's Free File beginning this year, you can also go to Military OneSource online to access Turbo Tax Basic and 1040EZ for Federal and State returns.

Phone:  1-800-730-3802

Website:   www.militaryonesource.com
                   User ID:  military
                   Password:  onesource
License Renewals

The Michigan Secretary of State will waive any late fees for License Renewals for Service Members 
that have been out of state due to Military Duty.  Service members returning from active-duty should bring along with them a copy of their military orders when they go to the Secretary of States office to renew licenses etc.
Free Packing Supplies from the United States Postal Service!

The U.S.P.S. is currently offering FREE packing materials to spouses and families of military members who are deployed overseas. To find out more information and to order your free supplies, please call 1-800-610-8734.  You can request boxes, packing materials, tape, mailing labels, and customs forms.

You can also access this service via the Internet at supplies.usps.gov (no www.).  You can order every item listed above online except for the tape.  You need to call the number above to get the tape.
Sesame Street DVD Packets Available to Help Families During Deployment

Sesame Street DVD packets, which include a Parent/Caregiver magazine, a child activity poster, and a DVD entitled "Talk.Listen.Connect:  Helping Families during Military Deployment" are available now through Military OneSource at www.militaryonesource.com.  The DVD is intended for children ages 2-5 years.  The kits are bilingual, and will help military families and their young children cope with feelings, challenges, and concerns experienced through the phases of deployment: pre-deployment, deployment, and homecoming. 
New Guide Helps Military Children With Deployment

The Strategic Outreach for All Reserves (SOFAR) has published a guide to help parents, teachers, and other care-providing adults assist military children experiencing the deployment of a loved one.  Although written with Guard and Reserve children in mind, the information provided would be helpful 
to others dealing with the deployment experience.  The pamphlet can be accessed at www.sofarusa.org,  then click on "Resources & Downloads", and then click on "For the Families of Military Personnel."
www.mytricare.com is like a "MyPay" site for TRICARE insurance.  Beneficiaries can check on authorized levels of care, find out their claim status, download claim forms or file an appeal.  It's a great resource for military families to monitor their health insurance process.  There's lots of information available without registering, but the site is most useful to registered families.  TRICARE has also added a new demo for beneficiaries to help them understand the claims process and how to navigate thru the website.  Once they're registered, TRICARE will email them anytime a new claim is processed, plus:

As a member of myTricareclaims, you will have access to these additional features:

Authorization and Referral status
Benefits Summary (annual summary of benefits paid on your behalf)
Claim status (account for every claim submitted)
Eligibility
Maximum out-of-pocket expenses
Other Health Insurance (OHI)
MyTRICARE mailbox
TRICARE Explanation of Benefits (TEOB)
TEOB Notification Preferences



HELPFUL WEBSITES & ORGANIZATIONS FOR FAMILIES!

DefenseLINK
www.defenselink.mil
The official Department of Defense (DoD) entry point for military news and information online with links to the official site for each branch of service.

Military HOMEFRONT
www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil
The official DoD site for military quality of life, with a wide range of information for troops and families.  The "Quick Links" section provides access to Web sites of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard, and Reserve family programs.

Military.com
www.military.com
An unofficial, commercial Web site with information, links, a list of online discussion topics, and other resources for service members and their families.

Military Moms
www.militarymoms.net
An unofficial, family-operated support group for parents of service members in all branches.  It is a Christian ministry site with message boards, chat rooms, information, and links.

American Red Cross
Phone: 1-202-303-4498
www.redcross.org
Services and support for military families, including parents, are provided by local chapters.  The Website provides information on Red Cross programs and a locator for finding the nearest chapter.

National Military Family Association
Phone: 1-800-260-0218
www.nmfa.org
A national organization dedicated to educating and supporting military families.  The Website provides information on deployment and many other topics of importance to military families and contains an extensive list of book reviews, news stories, articles, and links.

Military OneSource
www.militaryonesource.com
Phone:  1-800-874-2273
This free 24-hour service, provided by the Department of Defense, is available to active-duty, Guard and Reserve members and their spouses.




MORE FOR MILITARY KIDS!

Military Child Education Coalition
www.militarychild.org
A national organization that helps military families, schools, and communities with the challenges that school-age children of military families face, including frequent moves and difficult separations. Parents of deployed service members who are caring for grandchildren can get individual help with school-related concerns by clicking on "Ask Aunt Peggie." 

American Red Cross       
www.redcross.com
Look for "Military Members & their Families"

Kids For Our Troops
www.kidsforourtroops.org

Military Kidz              Boys & Girls Clubs of America
www.militarykidz.com          www.bgca.org  OR call 1-800-854-CLUB
      Offers free memberships to military kids 
Kidscom     
www.kidscom.com

Veterans Affairs--Kids Page        Boy Scouts   www.scouting.org
www.va.gov/kids     Girl Scouts     www.girlscouts.org









Overseas and stateside military stores allow customers to use coupons up to 6 months after they have expired.  Donate your coupons to either of these organizations!

Alison Thomspon-Hall                Navy Marine Corps/Family Services Center           Hugs From Home
PSC 2 Box 10421           MCB Camp Butler/Unit 35026                                     PO Box 313
APO AE  09012                              PO AP  96737-5026                                                        Oceanville NJ  08231
Scholarships ranging from $3,0000 to $4,000 available each year for the benefit of veterans, including members of the National Guard, in order to make veterans more competitive  in today's  job market.  This applies to accredited degree OR certificate programs.  Information found on the AMVETS website: www.AMVETS.org
E-Cards especially made for Military families

Cards for everyday as well as specal holidays AND Free!
Visit www.booksforbrats.net/hero/ecards/library.php

Military members:  Download appreciation certificates for your kids for FREE here also!
Military Women!

Visit www.MilitaryWoman.org which is a meeting place for military women to exchange information unique to their military experience and to offer firsthand information to women thinking about a military career.  Meet military women from other services to broaden their perspective and knowledge; dispel sterotypes; change paradigms.  Hear from military women veterans who can share their experience and wisdom.  Keep abreast of current women's issues in our armed forces.
MILITARY SENTINEL            Website: www.consumer.gov/military

Established by the Federal Trade Comission and the Department of Defense, the Military Sentinel is the first online consumer complaint database specifically tailored for the unique needs of the military community and is accessible worldwide 24 hours each day.

The Military Sentinel is a convenient way to communicate consumer-fraud complaints to law-enforcement officials.  The system facilitates the identification of criminal patterns and individuals by more than 550 members of both civilian and military enforcement agencies in the U.S., Australia and Canada.  The program also accepts identity-theft complaints, which are entered into the federal government's central database for such crimes.
Did  you know that TRICARE covers hearing aids and services for active-duty family members diagnosed with "profound" hearing loss?  Only active-duty family members who meet specific hearing-loss criteria are eligible for this benefit.

To view the fact sheet on the hearing aid program, visit www.tricare.osd.mil/Factsheets/viewfactsheet.cfm?id=349

NOTE:  Michigan soldiers & families.....please look under "Disabilty Resources" AND "Vision & Hearing Resources" on this website for even more resources you may be eligible for! 
The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced the publication of 
"Wherever My Family Is: That's Home! Adoption Services for Military Families".  The guide highlights adoption practices that can help to minimize the obstacles military families face when attempting to become foster or adoptive parents.

The guide is designed for social-work practitioners and for military families contemplating adoption or foster parenting.  Copies of the guide may be obtained by calling 888-200-4005 or through the association's Website at www.adoptuskids.org/images/resourceCenter/militaryGuide.pdf
MOAA College Savings Plan

The Military Officers Association of America will offer the Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan to officers and enlisted military personnel, to provide them with a low-cost way to save for a child's college education.  The Vanguard 529 Plan is one of the lowest-cost 529 savings plans currently available.  
The initial minimum investment is only $50 when establishing an automatic investment plan and applying online through MOAAS's Website at www.moaa.org/529.  If the automatic investment plan is not chosen, the minimum investment is $3,000.  Investments in this plan can be used to pay for an education at state and private colleges, universities and other educational institutions.
Withdrawls from the plan are free from federal income taxes when used for qualified higher-education expenses.  

Members of the military can tap into the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at military sites.  Also, see IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide.  Its available at www.irs.gov.  
Or order forms and publications by calling 800-829-3676.
Operation Helmet
This organization provides helmet upgrades FREE to ALL troops (regardless of branch) in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as to those ordered to deploy in the near future.  Note:  Normally the Army personnel does not need the upgrade unless they have the older PASGT helmet!

Operation Helmet
C/O Dr. Bob Meaders
74 Greenview Street
Montgomery  TX  77356
Phone:  936-449-9706  from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Email:  ophelm@operation-helmet.org
Website:  www.operation-helmet.org
Hugs From Home International
PO Box 313
Oceanville NJ  08231
Website:  www.HugsFromHome.org
Provides pen-pals to soldiers & collects coupons for military families.

Also:  Cot Blankets For Our Wounded Heroes      (made by volunteers)
             Email: Kristen@HugsFromHome.org
Defense & Veteran Brain Injury Center
Bldg. 1  Room B 209
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington DC  20307-5001
Email:  info@dvbic.org
Website:  www.dvbic.org
Serves Active-Duty Military, their dependents & Veterans with Traumtatic Brain Injury through state-of-the-art medical care, innovative clinical research iniatives, and educational programs.
Operation From The Heart
Website:  www.OpFTH.com
This organization has shipped over 4000 lbs. of goodies to the troops in the past 3 years.   Sends little love & care packages "from the heart" to U.S. Soldiers deployed overseas.
Soldiers have 90 days to make physical and dental appointments with the VA.  IT IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST to make these appointments within 90 days of the day your DD Form 214 ends.  You may not get in within a 90 day time frame, but DO make the appointments within 90 days.
Complete physicals and dental exams with the VA are essential in order to document any health issues and/or concerns to help ensure future medical benefits for issues related to your deployment.  More information and locations for VA centers can be found on their Website at www.va.gov.
Michigan soldiers and their families should contact their local YMCA's as many of the local ones in partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit is offering complimentary family memberships (including the joiner's fee)  to the families of all Activated US National Guard or Reservists whose children and families have been directly affected by Operation Eduring Freedom.  

A family is defined by the YMCA as members of the same household who are claimed on federal and state income tax files.  "Children" on a family membership must be 22 years and under, or have special needs.  The memberships will be provided in six-month increments while the family member maintains their active military status,  renewable with proper documentation.  
OPERATION HOMEFRONT has announced the opening of the Michigan Chapter!   Its mission is providing assistance to military families of deployed service members so that they are not preocupied by the day-to-day crisises at home and can focus on the War against Terrorism.  It is a grass-root, volunteer based community solution where the needs of military families with deployed service members are matched with the charitable outreach of local volunteers and businesses.

The Michigan branch's address is P.O.Box 2269, Midland, MI  48641-2269 and their phone number is 800-291-3716.  Their website is www.OperationHomefront.net.  

Just some of the things that Operation Homefront  helps with is free gift boxes to families of injured and fallen soldiers, auto repairshome & appliance repairfood resources, vision care, financial help, furniture & household goodsmoving assistance and refurbished computers so that loved ones can communicate.  
The American Legion's Family Support Network stands ready to assist you and your family as you serve our country!  Legionnaires and their families have been in your shoes and understand the problems and stresses that go with separation of loved ones during war.  We will help you with NO charge!  They will help with grocery shopping, childcare, lawn care, fixing the family car and countless other things!  Family members call toll-free: 1-800-504-4098 and provide details of the need and then the Legionnaire's volunteers take over.  An American Legion post in the vacinity of your family will be called and asked to help.  Members will contact your family to determine if and how assistance can be provided.  You can also complete the electronic request form at www.legion.org or email familysupport@legion.org.
Operation Family Fund is a private, non-profit charitable organization that distributes financial grants to eligible members or family of eligible service members without prejudice to race, religion or citizenship.  The member must have been an employee or contractor for the U.S. Federal Government and have been performing duties in conjunction with Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom at the time of their death or severe disability.  Dependent children is defined as any child under the age of 22 who is by birth or stepchild or legally adopted to the member.  Family is defined as a legal spouse and/or dependent child.  

Financial grants for each eligible member or member's family to meet personal, short and long-term living needs in these areas:  food, rent or utilities, emergency transportation and vehicle repair, funeral expenses, legal expenses, medical/dental expenses, assistance with a home, rental. lease, purchase or home improvements, assistance with the purchase, rent or lease of a vehicle.  Grants above $20,000 in a year shall be placed in Trust and distributed monthly from the Trust to the member or member's family by a qualified money manager.

Operation Family Fund                                     
United States   PO Box 837
Ridgecrest, CA  93556 
Phone:  760-793-0541
Email: support@oeffamilyfund.org
Website:  www.OperationFamilyFund.org

FOR OUR WOUNDED HEROS!

Challenge Aspen                                         Special scholarships AND camps for injured soldiers!
Phone: 970-923-0578  (Sarah)
Website: www.challengeaspen.com
Talented volunteers who help those with mental (including brain injuries) or physical handicaps enjoy a winter camp experience including adaptive skiing.  Summer and fall camps assist the blind, those with spinal cord injuries, children who are mentally disabled and others.  There are camps for disabled veterans and for newly injured soldiers, to help them build confidence or participate in activities they might otherwise never get to try.  There are activities such as art, drama, music and summer sports like fishing, swimming, horseback riding and whitewater rafting.


Laptops for the Wounded
1526 19th Street, Cody, WY  82414    Phone: 307-587-9371                
Website:  www.Laptopsforthewounded.com
This group supplies laptops for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital so 
they can communicate with their medical personnel in some cases and for 
communicating with their families.  More than 100 have been donated!
SEMPERCOMM   (Always Communicating)
Email:  lcoffee@sempercomm.org
Website:  www.sempercomm.org
This group helps supply soldiers with the means to communicate 
with family back home and tries to supply entertainment equipment 
to soldiers in isolated areas.
Operation Enduring Christmas       Christmas in July Program
Website:  www.opchristmas.org
To help support the children of fallen soldiers, this group provides year-round help in the form of VIP Theme Park Vacations in Florida and gift cards at Christmas.
















Military Veterans Offered Free Wedding Services!

The Rev. Brian Bjorn (a non-denominational Christian minister) is offering to perform wedding ceremonies, free of charge, to those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The Clinton Township Board of Trustees recently unanimously voted to allow Bjorn to conduct the weddings at the township's gazebo.  

The Clinton Township gazebo is located on the township grounds next to the Civic Center on Romeo Plank.  The area also has water fountains, a wooded nature trail and a Japanese garden.  The Township officials liked Rev. Bjorn's gesture so much that they have expanded it to include any minister, priest, deacon, rabbi or religious official who wants to marry someone with valid discharge papers or active-duty papers.  All they have to do is call the township's Parks and Recreation Departments.
Michigan National Guard State Youth Council 
State Family Youth Coordinator     (for military youth)
Phone: 517-481-8359     Angela Spina
Email:  angela.spina@us.army.mil
Youth Camp, Youth Symposium, Youth Council, Operation Military Kids, Youth Mentorship


Other helpful websites:
http://www.guardfamilyyouth.org                                  http://www.nmfa.org
                       
http://www.militaryscholar.org


Operation Military Kids   
www.operationmilitarykids.org

For more information contact the State 4-H Military Liaison at 
http://www.usda-army-ydp.org/contact_liaisons.html
MARINE COMFORT QUILTS

Website:  www.MarineComfortQuilts.us/
This group supplies memorial quilts for 
each Gold Star Family (primarily next of 
kin only), regardless of which branch of service the servicemember was part of.
Salute American Heroes
100 Broadway
Ossining, NY  10562
Phone:  914-432-5400
Website:  www.saluteheroes.org
Offers online training courses, employment retraining, family support network, career networking and Homes for Heroes (disability-adapted), financial help
Fallen Heroes Last Wish Foundation
30 West Sola Street
Santa Barbara CA  93101
Phone:  805-962-7843
Email:  fhlwf@ghs.com
Website:  www.lastwishfoundation.org
Provides funds to properly raise & educate all the children of fallen soldiers
from Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
Applications for a FREE Retreat for Service members and their
families is being taken by National Military Family Association.  
There are also FREE summer camps for kids too!  For an application
go to www.nmfa.org. 
Service members in uniform should read IRS Publication 3, the Armed Forces Tax Guide.  some provisions available to the military include:
The exclusion from income of combat pay and some other allowances and payments.
The ability to use nontaxable combat pay as earned income for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The deductibility of travel expenses for reservists.
Tax forgiveness for those who die in active service in a combat zone or as a result of an injury in a combat zone.

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 offers protections from eviction, the delay of civil court actions and reduced interest rates (6% maximum) on mortgage loans and credit card debt.
Learn more at www.defenselink.milwww.irs.gov and www.fool.com/taxes.
Starting in the 2008-09 school year, Grand Valley State University will offer free tuition to the spouse or children of western Michigan service members who died serving in Iraq or Afghanistan through the Fallen Heroes Foundation scholarship program.  To be eligible, the prospective student must live in Kent, Ottawa or Muskegon counties, meet the academic requirements for admittance and remain a full-time student in good academic standing. Call 616-331-3234 for more information!
MORE FINANCIAL HELP AVAILABLE TO SERVICE PEOPLE!

Patriot Express Pilot Loan
Phone:  313-226-6075
Website:  www.sba.gob/patriotexpress
Available to active-duty service members as well as veterans and their spouses.  The Small Business Association is making the Patriot Express loan available through its network of participating lenders across the country.  The loans, which are avalable in amounts up to $500,000 which can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real estate purchases.  

AND

Military Reserve Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Loans of up to $1.5 million that can be used to help reservists prepare their businesses before they leave.  They can also be used to help manage their businesses while they are gone.
VFW National Home for Children
Phone:  800-24-8360
Website:  www.vfwnationalhome.org
Currently collecting Campbell Soup UPC's in order to buy another van for the home.....send yours in!
Veterans of Modern Warfare
16945 12 Mile 
Roseville MI  48066
Phone:  586-776-9810
Open to current Active-duty members of the National Guard, Reserve & Coast Guard along with any veteran who served at least 1 day from 8-2-90, the start of Desert Storm.
1st Chapter office is in Roseville with 2 more to follow shortly in Holly & Ann Arbor.
Rapid Deployment Kits/Heros At Home Kit
Website:  http://give.ccci.org/featured/heroesathome
Sponsored by Campus Crusade for Life
Center for Military Readiness
PO Box 51600
Livonia MI  48151
Phone:  303-464-9430
Website:  www.cmrlink.org
Special Bible for Military Spouses!
To help the people on the homefront cope, the International Bible Society of Colorado Springs, Colo., produced a special-edition Bible called "Finding Hope Beyond the Battle".  Besides the traditional scriptures, this book contains stories about 12 women and one man whose spouses are in the military.  They write about their trust and faith in God, deployments, moves, marital stress, illness, fear and anger. Citations to biblical passages accompany each story.  

Individuals can purchase them directly from the International Bible Society 
for $3.00 at www.ibsdirect.com OR by calling 800-524-1588.  
RACING FOR OUR HEROES
6611 Hillcrest Ave.  Suite #343
Dallas, TX  75205
Website:  http://rfoh.org
An organization that takes wounded vets from the Iraq War on V.I.P. weekends to see professional car races.   So far, 68 vets have gone on these trips and received the emotional boost they need to persist with their physcial therapy and recovery.
Send God's Word to a Soldier!
You can send a Bible to a U.S. active-duty man or woman absolutely free.  
The International Bible Society has distributed more than 500,000 NIV 
Military Bibles--in English and Spanish--to our troops as they deploy.  
Go to www.SendGodsWord.com to order one for YOUR soldier!


Rev. Billy Graham's organization offers a FREE gift package for our troops!
"Operation Bless Our Troops"
Website:  www.BillyGraham.org

Freedom Team Salute Program
Website:  www.freedomteamsalute.com
Established in 2005, Freedom Team Salute recognizes Army vets and current service members, including those in the Reserve and National Guard.  Anyone can nominate a veteran.  The program also provides a way for active-duty soldiers to acknowledge the people who have supported them, including parents, spouses and employers.  Recipients receive a pin, certificate and a letter of thanks.
Holiday Inn Hotels offer rooms for $35 for military traveling between duty stations and have orders with them.  The USO has information regarding this and other specials.  Make sure you check out the USO office in the airports---they have specials for motels, restraunts, and even meal tickets!
Click directly on the agency's
logo to be taken directly to that site!
Operation Hug-A-Hero
Make your child a "Daddy Doll"
Website:  www.daddydolls.com 



Allen Park Martial Arts Center
7318 Park Ave.
Allen Park  MI  48101
Phone:  313-928-5288
Dr. Matthew Gonzalez, a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist owns the Center and wants to use his business as a way to alleviate some of the stresses faced by children of Vets.   The Center will provide martial arts scholarships to children of soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan (ages 3 to 14) who have a parent who has died or become significantly disabled as a direct result of combat deployment.  
Go to this website to find MANY more organizations
helping soldiers, their families and our Veterans!
HUGE ASSORTMENT!!!
www.soldiersangels.org
"Give An Hour"
A non-profit organization whose mission is to develop a national network 
of mental health professionals to give a hour a week to provide free mental 
health services to those impacted by the war such as veterans, spouses, 
children, etc........
If you need services such as these, please go to 
www.giveanhour.org for more information!
Help for Grandparents Raising Orphans of War
Website:  www.aarop.org/family/caregiving/articles/iraq_vets_benefits_change.html?print=1

Grandparents and other relatives caring for the children of deployed soldiers received some needed financial security on July 1st, 2008 when the U.S. Military allowed soldiers to earmark a one-time, $100,000 payment (formerly 50% of this amount) to non-spousal caregivers in the event they are killed while serving the country.  Upon the death of active-duty military personnel, the Department of Defense provides families with the tax-exempt gratuity.  But the change ONLY applies to soldiers who proactively name or switch their preferred beneficaries on the military's DD93, or Record of Emergency Data Form.  The old rules still apply to those failing to update beneficiary designations.

MARINE ASSIST
C/O SGT/Dr. Peter Theodorou
Dr. Spero Theodorou
Phone:  917-334-5063
Email:  petrosjt@yahoo.com
Website:  http://www.mc-lef.org/MarineAsst.aspx

Their mission is to render free plastic surgery and dental services to Marine veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.  Services are offered to service-members/veterans released from active-duty AND veterans that served and were injured in the Afghanistan & Iraq wars.  

The plastic surgeons fee and the dentist fee is waived.
The hospital fee, anesthesiologist's fee and materials fee will be covered through donations.
Transportation can be arranged.

MARINE CORPS--LAW ENFORCEMENT FOUNDATION
Website:  http://www.mc-lef.org/Home.aspx
This foundation has distributed scholarship aid for higher education with a value of more than $37,000,000.00 to eligible children of Marines OR Federal law enforcement personnel who were killed on-duty or died under extraordinary circumstances while serving our country at home or abroad.  When a child of a U.S. Marine is afflicted with a physical or mental disability and requires special medical equipment or tutoring, the Foundation may grant financial assistance to that family if their personal insurance does not cover the complete cost of treatment for the child. In the past, the Foundation has also included in the program, the children who lost a parent from all agencies killed in the attack on the Pentagon & on the USS Cole; the children of the Air Force personnel killed at Khobar Towers and the twelve children who lost their parent on the space shuttle Columbia disaster. 





PLEASE GO TO PAGE 2 FOR EVEN MORE RESOURCES!