Homefront Group Awarded $5.9 Million Grant

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2007 - Operation Homefront, a military support group dedicated to providing emergency assistance and morale to servicemembers and their families, recently received a $5.9 million grant to expand its services.

The grant came from the California Community Foundation's Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund.

"We were deeply honored to receive this grant, and it will fund some big dreams that we, and our volunteers, have had," Meredith Leyva, chairman of Operation Homefront, said. "For example ... we've been able to launch our Wounded Warrior Wives project."

The new Wounded Warrior Wives project is a combined effort of Operation Homefront and its online community, The program is designed to provide comprehensive support to caregivers of wounded warriors, according to the CinCHouse Web site.

Operation Homefront and, are members of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.

"The grant allowed us to hire Dr. Julie Storey, a recently separated Air Force psychologist specializing in (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other issues related to wounded warriors," Leyva said. "She's overseeing our Wounded Warrior Wives effort."

Storey's role includes offering guidance to online and real-world support groups as well as providing articles and information through the CinCHouse.come site, she said.

Leyva said the most exciting thing about the grant is the ability to fund developments with Operation Homefront's state chapters. Many of those chapters began as small military support groups and have come under Operation Homefront's umbrella.

"It's hard to run a nonprofit. There's a lot of paperwork, administration, accounting, all the stuff that seems to pull you off the mission," she said. "Operation Homefront has worked really hard to develop easy-to-use-tools that take that burden off the volunteers and let them focus on the core mission."

The grant funds will be disbursed to the group over a two-year period.

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