Nonprofit Organizations Provide Homes to Heroic Veterans

Homes for Heroes pic
Homes for Heroes
Image: homesforheroes.com

Former Army Major General David Haight, whose experience included multiple combat tours in Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan and directing U.S. European Command and foreign Army operations in more than 52 countries around the world, is now retired. Focused on the well-being of his troops while in service as well as after retirement, David Haight maintains longstanding support for organizations that enable U.S. Army veterans to prosper in civilian life.

Among these is Homes for Heroes, a nationwide team of affiliated businesses and real estate professionals who share a commitment to ensuring that veterans have access to affordable residences.

Another nonprofit, Building Homes for Heroes, focuses on gifting homes to veterans who have suffered losses during overseas deployments. One recent beneficiary in the San Antonio area is Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Melchizedek Martinez, who lost his wife in a terrorist bombing at the Brussels airport last year. She died protecting two of their four children, and this act of heroism led to an outpouring of community support for the colonel and the family, who received a mortgage-free residence from Building Homes for Heroes.

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The Family Readiness Group

Family Readiness Groups pic
Family Readiness Groups
Image: armyfrg.org

U.S. Army Major General David Haight has been at the forefront of defending the United States as a career infantry officer. In his 31 years in the Army, David Haight’s wife, Bonnie Haight, has also been actively involved as the Family Readiness Group (FRG) representative for his multiple commands.

Family Readiness Groups (FRG) are associations comprised of volunteers, family members, soldiers, and civilian employees that are part of an organization or unit that offers a means of assistance, moral support, and a communications network among the members and the chain of command. An FRG unit is made up of all attached and assigned soldiers whether married or single, the spouses, and the children, and dependent parents. Membership is automatic. Also encouraged to become members are boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancees, extended families, and interested community members. This is a voluntary organization.

The unit commander is responsible for creating and supporting the FRG unit. Ideally there are also performance goals to be achieved, although the unit is more of a welcoming and representative organization, and not another strict and regulated army unit.

Among the goals of an FRG are to build family and soldier morale and unity, reduce family and soldier stress, ready family and Soldiers for deployment separation and for stresses of reunion, and encourage greater utilization of community and post resources.

Benefits of Family Readiness Groups

Family Readiness Groups pic
Family Readiness Groups
Image: armyfrg.org

With more than 30 years of experience in leading special operations and regular U. S. Army units, Major General David Haight served as the Director of Operations for the U. S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. By profession an infantry officer, David Haight is well aware of the value of Family Readiness Groups (FRG) in maintaining Army morale. Wherever he and his wife have been stationed, she has contributed to that group.

FRGs benefit the service family, the Soldier, the unit as a whole, and its base. For the family member, FRGs provide a system of supportive friends, especially during deployments. Families learn about the unit’s activities and have a better understanding of the importance of military missions.

While they are gone, the FRG system gives Soldiers confidence their families are well and safe. It also demonstrates that their commanders care about Soldiers’ families and are keeping them as informed as possible.

At the unit level, FRGs aid group cohesion and individual readiness. Resources available to FRGs strengthen families so they can support each other during crises and absences. Potentially, this assistance can reduce distractions during training and missions.

Through education and prevention at military installations, FRGs can identify troubles within families and quickly provide help. These interventions can enhance family interdependence and resilience and reduce the load on community and Army agencies. FRGs work with other Army resources that sponsor new arrivals, reach out to families living outside the base, and counsel families stressed by deployment.

The Harley Davidson Foundation’s Grant Funding

Harley Davidson Foundation pic
Harley Davidson Foundation
Image: harley-davidson.com

With more than 30 years of experience leading both conventional U.S. Army units and Special Operations units, David Haight most recently served as a major general in the U.S. Army. Outside of his career in the Army, David Haight enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Committed to building strong, sustainable communities, Harley Davidson created the Harley Davidson Foundation to partner with charitable organizations that invest in health, education, and the environment. The foundation provides grants to 501(c)3 or 170(c) organizations that work near Harley Davidson’s corporate offices in the areas of Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls, Wauwatosa, or Tomahawk, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Valley View, Ohio; York, Pennsylvania; Plano, Texas; and Yucca or Mohave County, Arizona.

Organizations seeking funding must submit a grant application that clearly outlines their program’s goals and expected outcomes. The grant application must also explain how the organization takes a collaborative approach to solving the issue at hand and how the target population will benefit from the program.

For more information about the Harley Davidson Foundation and its grant funding, visit www.harley-davidson.com/content/h-d/en_US/company/foundation.html.