America Supports You: New Housing Facility Welcomes Wounded Warriors
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2008 Servicemembers being treated at military medical facilities in the national capital region now can recuperate with their families thanks to one group’s ingenuity and the generosity of corporate donors.
Christopher Payne Jr. enjoys his new home in the Operation Homefront Village serving Washington’s Water Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., July 15, 2008. The village offers transitioning wounded warriors rent-free housing while they recuperate at one of the medical facilities. Photo courtesy of Operation Homefront
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Operation Homefront welcomed wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center here and the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md., to its new transitional housing facility July 15. The facility offers rent-free, fully furnished two- and three-bedroom apartment units.
“Operation Homefront provides tremendous aid to all servicemembers and their families,” said Army Maj. Gen. Patricia Horoho, commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. “[The organization] knows how to harness the generosity of so many in the community and then quickly take action to fulfill individual or community needs.”
The “OH Villages,” as they are called, also feature extensive community centers, play space for children, and computers with specialized software to accommodate disabilities. Counselors are available to assist with filing benefit claims and educational needs, including scholarships and college enrollment, as well as to help servicemembers train for and find good-paying jobs.
“Servicemembers and their families are a proud ‘can do’ group who apply to Operation Homefront out of genuine financial need,” said Mark Smith, president and chief executive officer of Operation Homefront. “This is where they can begin to build a real future for themselves and their families.”
The villages are open to wounded servicemembers receiving treatment at a nearby military hospital. Those who will be medically discharged or retire within six months also are eligible, and they may stay up to two years after that occurs. Full eligibility guidelines for the villages can be found on the Operation Homefront Web site.
The Washington-area project follows the success of Operation Homefront Village-San Antonio, which opened earlier this year near Brooke Army Medical Center. Both projects were possible thanks to large corporate donations, Smith said.
“Bank of America believes in investing in the communities in which we live and work,” said Patrick Rainey, Military Segment Executive for Bank of America. “We are proud to support an initiative that is giving back to the men and women who have sacrificed a great deal for our country. This facility will afford our veterans what is needed most: the support of loved ones nearby.”
For defense contractor Lockheed Martin, helping make the facility a reality was a gesture of thanks for what servicemembers do on America’s behalf.
“Lockheed Martin never forgets the sacrifices made by our servicemembers and the debt that we owe them for our freedom,” said Robert J. Stevens, Lockheed Martin president and CEO. “With this project, we are honored to assist our wounded warriors as they make the transition back to civilian life.”
Operation Homefront, a troop-support organization that provides emergency assistance and morale to our troops and their families, is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.