LRAFB Back to School Brigade

I know this is a little past due! But a month ago today, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, AR. Donations made to Operation Homefront from various sponsors and local businesses, who also had booths set up at this event, enabled us the opportunity to give free backpacks to K-12 graders of military personnel on base. Men and women ranked up to E6 had to register their children online prior to the event. I, along with two airwomen, “manned” the registration table, ensuring each individual who had registered was able to get their ticket to pick up their loaded backpacks. There were over 200 children who received free backpacks and school supplies that day! Though less demanding than other events I have volunteered at with Operation Homefront, this event enabled me to see just how grateful these families were for the donations of Operation Homefront to help ease their burden of school supply shopping. I volunteered from 7 am until 1 pm, witnessing the enthusiasm and appreciation of the men and women serving our country. What a great experience!

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Yellow Ribbon Pre-Deployment Briefing

operation_yellowribbon

 

Today I spent 6 hours with Cecil Ennett, the Community Liaison of Arkansas for Operation Homefront. We set up a table at the State House Convention Center in downtown Little Rock at 7:15 am this morning. This was a pre-deployment event for the Arkansas National Guard 1038th Engineer Company that will be deploying soon in which the following organizations had tables set up that provided information to soldiers and their families about resources they can use during and post-deployment.

Yellow Ribbon

Military Family Life Consultant

Personal Financial Consultant

Transition Assistance Advisor

Military One Source

TRICARE

VA Regional Office

Vet Center

AR National Guard Education Office

Employer Support for Guard and Reserve

Family Assistance Coordinator

Phoenix University

Sexual Assault Response Coordinator

VA Medical Center

Jones International University

Hero 2 Hired

Red Cross

Operation Homefront

It was incredible to see the variety of soldiers that fight for this country. With differences of race, age and personality, they each had their own way about them.  My role was to hand out free 1 pound bags of coffee to the individuals, as well as give them information about how Operation Homefront can help them and their families during this time in their career.  Having my significant other deployed overseas for 9 months, it would have been wonderful to know of such a great resource to help during those tough times. Answering their many questions was something that I never thought I would find so rewarding. This gave me an opportunity to understand their thoughts and concerns as they embarked on a new journey. Many of the soldiers brought along their children, wives, parents, girlfriends, even grandparents to receive as much information as possible and let them all be more at ease knowing how many organizations are available to help them. It was also astounding to see how many young men had advanced themselves to the rank of E-4 in their very early twenties. The rank of E-5 is a sergeant; and to me, their accomplishments of getting that far that quickly is mind-blowing, showing their determination, perseverance and dedication to their duty. I felt honored to be in the presence of such astounding soldiers. May God bless them and their families during their time away as they fight for our freedoms. To them, and all other service members, do I owe such gratitude.

Operation Homefront: http://www.operationhomefront.net

Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program: https://www.jointservicessupport.org/YRRP/yrrpevents.aspx