If you know of someone providing special support to America's service members and their families who should be included here, please scroll to the bottom of the page and let us know by completing the submission form.
Oregon Supports Our Troops! Full Tuition Waiver for State Universities
The Oregon University System offers full tuition waivers for dependents (children, adopted children, stepchildren, spouses) and un-remarried surviving spouses of U.S. military members who:
- died on active duty after 9/11/01;
- died from service-connected injuries or condition sustained after 9/11/01; or
- are rated 100% disabled by the VA for a service-connected disability sustained after 9/11/01.
The applicant must meet Oregon residency requirements. An eligible child must be 23 years of age or younger at the time the child applies for the waiver.
The waiver applies to all credit hours required for graduation (with some exceptions). And an eligible child older than 23 is also eligible for a waiver for a master’s degree program if the child: 1) Applied for and received a waiver for a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree when the child was 23 years of age or younger; and 2) applied for a master’s program waiver within 12 months of receiving a baccalaureate degree.
Download the application for tuition waiver.
Free Entrepreneurship Boot Camp
for Disabled Veterans
Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University has announced a new Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV). The program is designed to offer cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with disabilities.
The goal of the EBV is to open the door to entrepreneurial opportunity for disabled veterans, by helping them develop competencies in the many steps and activities associated with creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture (and there are many - trust us), and also helping them to understand and coordinate with other programs and services for veterans and others with disabilities.
The bootcamp consists of a series of modules designed to assist veterans in creating and growing a profitable venture. A team of nationally recognized faculty and distinguished entrepreneurs will work with each delegate personally to assist in the many steps and stages of business creation.
The Whitman School of Management is home to one of the most respected and comprehensive entrepreneurship programs in the world. Recently ranked by Entrepreneurship Magazine and the Princeton Review as the #1 Entrepreneurship Program in the United States, the expertise and training of the entrepreneurship faculty at Whitman is unmatched.
The best part? This program is entirely free to the veteran. As a result of the generous support of the Whitman School of Management, and the private giving of individuals and corporations, all costs (including travel, lodging, and meals) have been covered for delegates accepted to the EBV. For more information, and to find the application form, click here.
Free Legal Help for Veterans
Filing Claims for VA Disability Benefits
Law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice helps to support our troops through free legal services. Veterans needing help to file VA claims for disability benefits can get free personalized legal help and review of their claims from attorneys at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC, under their program "When Duty Calls." Womble Carlyle (WCSR) developed the program in conjunction with the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association.
A law enacted shortly after the Civil War (and still in effect) limits the amount a veteran can pay an attorney for assistance in filing a VA disability claim to $10 and thus effectively prevents them from hiring an attorney. Yet the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in a veteran’s initial disability claim are crucial to its success.
The "When Duty Calls" campaign has three goals:
- To provide pro bono assistance to as many veterans as possible through an ongoing series of clinics;
- To work with veterans and the VA to find ways to streamline and expedite the service connected disability application process; and
- To motivate attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to veterans as a way to support our troops.
The VA has provided strong support for this project. Womble Carlyle attorney Tim McClain, former General Counsel for the VA and now a member of WCSR's Washington, DC, office, led a recent training session.
Womble Carlyle hopes to replicate the program in all the states where it has offices. WCSR currently has offices in: Atlanta, GA; Greenville, SC; Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, and Winston-Salem, NC; Washington, DC; Tysons Corner, VA; Baltimore, MD; and, Wilmington, DE.
(In the "small world" category, Tim McClain is a retired Navy Judge Advocate (JAG), and served as a well-respected military judge before whom we argued many Courts-Martial. We can assure you, if he is associated with the program, it is top notch.)
If you live in a state in which WCSR has offices, and you need assistance in filing a claim for VA disability, go to their website to find the phone number of the office nearest you.
And if you live in a state without a WCSR office, call your local bar association and ask if there's a firm in your area with a similar pro bono program. If not, your call just might encourage one.
For more information about the program, click here.
Free Admission to Busch Theme Parks
for Military Members and Families
Anheuser-Busch shows its support for our troops and their families by offering free admission to its family of theme parks. As part of the "Here's to the Heroes" program, any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission to Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks once per year. Each military member is also entitled to free admission for up to three dependents. The program is currently valid through December 31, 2009.
The only requirement is that you register at the "Here's to the Heroes" web site, or complete the registration information at the entrance plaza to any of the participating parks, and show a valid DoD photo ID.
Dependents may take advantage of the offer without being escorted by their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents.
New York Business Exec Donates One Million Miles to Fisher House's Hero Miles Program to Support Our Troops
Information courtesy of Gerry Gilmore, Armed Forces Press Service:
WASHINGTON, June 27, 2007 – Advertising and public relations executive Eric Mower of Syracuse, NY, recently donated 1 million frequent flyer miles that he’d accumulated during business travel with Delta Airlines over the past few years to the Fisher House Foundation as part of a Memorial Day-weekend promotion sponsored by CNN, a Fisher House official reported.
Air mileage donated as part of the program is used to provide transportation for family members when they visit hospitalized service members recovering from injuries suffered in Afghanistan or Iraq. The donated miles also are used to transport injured service members from military medical centers when visiting relatives while on convalescent leave.
Fisher House has administered its "Hero Miles" program in partnership with the Defense Department since 2003. Since then, the organization has provided more than 10,000 cost-free airline tickets to service members and their families, which translates to a savings of more than $12 million.
Fisher House books travel worth between 3.5 and 4 million frequent flyer miles daily for service members’ relatives.
Mower said he watches daily television coverage of U.S. service members’ efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"You have to be brain-dead not to want to think about what these people are sacrificing" for the United States, Mower said. "So, it’s not an overstatement to say that I think about them every day."
Mower said he is just "one citizen, doing very little" to support the troops "in comparison to what they are doing."
Delta Airlines matched Mower's generous contribution. We'd like to encourage other frequent flyers who wish to support our troops with a similar donation to contact the Fisher House Hero Miles Program, and ask their airline to match their donation.
Fisher House Foundation
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You Can Support Our Troops --
Sponsor a Secure Website to Help a Military Family Stay in Touch
What an awesome idea! If you've been looking for a way to show your support for America's military families, here's a project worth supporting.
Your sponsorship of just $99 will provide a secure website to a military family for an entire year, giving them the ability to share (privately) those precious moments that would otherwise be missed, such as first steps, birthday parties, piano recitals, soccer goals, etc.
The sites use multiple layers of security, so the families can safely post photos of children and talk about family activities without fear of the information falling into the wrong hands. This is a wonderful way of helping the families stay connected.
WebsitesForHeroes.com is a nationwide service that helps America's troops stay connected with their families by providing them with free, secure interactive family websites. Launched in 2006, WebsitesForHeroes.com is a joint effort by two California patriots -- Terry Gniffke, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran, and Michael Sawtell, CEO of DigitalPost Interactive, a provider of advanced family website technology -- to help military families maintain strong family bonds and to inspire hope during difficult times.
This will be a most-appreciated way for you to support our troops. For further information or to sponsor a website for a military hero, please visit Websites for Heroes.
The three organizations listed below recently collaborated withABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to build a new home in Oklahoma for triplegic veteran Sgt. Gene Westbrook, US Army (Retired). Two years after Sgt. Westbrook was injured in Iraq in 2004, his family was involved in an automobile accident that also left 9-year-old son James in a wheelchair, like his father.
Adopt-a-Soldier Now connects and provides support for deployed and wounded soldiers. One portion of Adopt-A-Soldier's mission includes helping returning wounded soldiers with their new housing needs by building handicap-accessible homes through their Wounded Soldier projects. Our soldiers deserve to know that we care about and support them. This is not a political statement about the war, but about letting America's sons and daughters in service know that we support our troops, regardless of our political affiliations.
Adopt-a-Soldier Now was founded by American Airlines flight attendant Janet Brady, after her 19-year-old son, Army Private First Class Anthony Landers, was tragically killed in July 2003 in a freak car accident while stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, en route to service in Afghanistan with his unit.
Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is a national, private non-profit organization that provides specially adapted homes for our severely wounded service members. Through their growing network of donations from building contractors, suppliers, corporate supporters and local volunteers, they provide assistance at no cost to the veterans that they serve. With a growing base of corporate sponsors, HFOT has become one of the most effective private housing assistance organizations for veterans.
Lakeshore Foundation enables people with physical disabilities and chronic health conditions to lead healthy, active, and independent lifestyles through physical activity, sport, recreation and research. Lakeshore Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes independence for persons with physically disabling conditions and opportunities to pursue active, healthy lifestyles. Lakeshore Foundation offers a wide range of fitness, recreation, athletic and education programs to children and adults who are diagnosed with conditions including spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, amputation, and visual impairment. The Foundation also serves persons who have been diagnosed with arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, cardiac conditions, and many other related disorders.
Our Military website provides information about Department of Defense programs and various non-profit organizations that support our troops.
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, a volunteer group founded by a Marine spouse provides support to our returning Wounded Warriors.
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These People Support Our Troops!
Do you know of people and organizations that support our troops? Let other military families know about great opportunities available to them. And please, when you take advantage of these special programs, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate their support of our troops and their families.
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