Homefront America Offers $25K in Scholarships

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2007 - A troop-support group has launched an essay contest to award scholarships to military children in gratitude for the sacrifices they have made while their parents serve the nation.

Homefront America has joined the W. Daniel Tate family and Sara's Hope Foundation for a second year to host a scholarship contest awarding $1,000 to 25 military dependent children.

The organization is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program designed to connect U.S. citizens' support directly to troops and their families.

"This is the launching of a huge campaign," said Mamie Maywhort, Homefront America chief financial officer. "It doesn't matter if people only contribute a dollar; we want this to be the beginning of an endowment perpetuated every year."

Maywhort said she began the program because she saw a need due to heightened operational tempos.

"With parents being deployed so much, some of these kids might not have the role model there to encourage them to pursue further education or the resources to make going to school possible," she said.

Maywhort said that she and Tate have long been passionate about encouraging youngsters to pursue higher education, especially those connected to the military.

"We are happy to have this opportunity to help our military families," Tate said. "I did not serve in the military; my children are not in the military. This is our way of serving."

"We strive to provide our military families with opportunities whenever possible," said Homefront America President Arthur Hasselbrink in a statement on the organization's Web site. He said the dream of providing scholarships to military dependent children has become a reality thanks to Tate's generosity.

This year's essay topics focus on patriotic and military themes. Contestants are asked to submit essays on one of four subjects:

-- America ... It's a Wonderful Country;

-- Turning Challenges into Opportunities;

-- Why I am Proud to be an American; or

-- My Dad/Mom ... My Hero.

Essays are due by April 23 and should not exceed 500 words. They will be judged by independent volunteers based on content, originality, grammar and spelling. Winners will be announced in May.

Full instructions and application procedures are available at the Homefront America Web site,

[Web Version:]