Military Heroes Support Foundation shows those who serve they are valued
By David Volz / December 1, 2014
Serving a military deployment in a foreign and hostile land can be difficult for even the most experienced soldier. And it's eve more difficult for those who don't have someone to send them a Care Package or a letter.
This is where the Military Heroes Support Foundation comes in. The volunteer organization prepares Care Packages that are sent to military personnel who are serving mostly in hostile zones abroad. The packages include granola bars, beef jerky, Slim Jims, trail mix, protein bars, baby wipes and hygiene other products. The Care Package also includes a letter telling the recipient they are appreciated and not forgotten. The foundation, which is a 501 (c) 3 corporation, sends weekly and monthly Care Packages to military personnel with no next of kin, specialty groups and to military police dogs.
The Care Packages are sent to military personnel who are recommend by military chaplains or commanding officers.
"We want to make sure that people who never hear their name called at mail call receive a Care Package. Our mission is to never let a hero stand alone and we will take care of them with Care Packages until they come home," says Karla Smiley, the founder and president of the Military Heroes Support Foundation. "Now with more troops going back to Iraq and Afghanistan, we are seeing more of a need for our Care Packages. I have received emails daily from chaplains and commanding officers letting us know who needs Care Packages."
Smiley is looking for more volunteers and hopes students who need service hours or would like to help military personnel will participate. She is also hoping members of the community in general will join in the effort. A growing number of military veterans now are active in the Foundation.
Smiley especially wants to send Christmas Care Packages to military personnel stationed overseas. "We are sending Christmas stockings in all our Care Packages," she adds.
The foundation is also active in helping military veterans who are making the transition from the military to civilian life. "We help with housing and Veterans Administration appointments. We help veterans finding housing, transportation and getting into college," says Smiley. "We help them find employment. Most veterans are very hard working people."
Smiley notes that it can be difficult for veterans to adjust to civilian life because they are used to very structured way of life in the military. When they enter civilian life, they must become accustomed to a world that is far less structured and they have to be prepared to be independent. Smiley believes it is important for veterans to remain active by attending college or vocational school or going to work.
Those who want to volunteer or help can call Karla Smiley at 954-232-2432 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone interested in the group ca also contact Carol Sain at 954-275-1033.
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