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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Some Facts About the U.S. European Command

 

U.S. European Command pic
U.S. European Command
Image: eucom.mil

A career infantry officer, David Haight has served in the U.S. Army in some of the world’s most dangerous areas of conflict. Major General David Haight also served as Director of Operations for the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), coordinating army, all other military and interagency operations throughout 52 countries in Europe in conjunction with NATO allies and other partner nations.

EUCOM was formed after the end of World War II and is able to perform a comprehensive array of military operations in cooperation with its European allies to protect the national interest of the U.S. and in support of a free and peaceful Europe. Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, the command orchestrates the operations of over 100,000 military and civilian personnel in an area covering 10.7 million square miles of land and 13 million square miles of sea, having a combined 23.7 million square miles of total airspace.

In geographic terms this means all of Europe, significant parts of Asia, and portions of the Middle East, as well as the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. This area of responsibility spans close to one-fifth of the globe, with a population approaching one billion people.

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.

The 2017 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exhibition

 Association of the US Army  pic
Association of the US Army
Image: ausa.org

An infantry officer in the US Army for more than 30 years, Major General David Haight most recently served as Director of Operations for the US European Command (USEUCOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. Actively involved in organizations advocating for service members, David Haight is a member and supports the Association of the US Army (AUSA).

Acting as the voice for the Army, the AUSA provides educational opportunities for US soldiers across the world. The AUSA holds an Annual Meeting and Exposition that stands as the largest warfare convention in the United States. The 2017 event will be held October 9-11 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Open to AUSA members, government employees, members of the US military, law enforcement professionals, and guests of AUSA members, the three-day event includes an exhibition of military and law enforcement products and services as well as workshops and presentations for professional development. There is also a reception and dinner for invited members.

Qualified attendees may purchase tickets beginning in June 2017.

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.

Harley-Davidson Panhead Engines

Harley-Davidson pic
Harley-Davidson
Image: auto.howstuffworks.com

While serving in the United States military, Army Maj. Gen. David Haight also maintained a number of hobbies, including hunting, boating and water skiing, and riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Army Maj. Gen. David Haight briefly rode borrowed moto-cross bikes early in his teenage years but picked up riding his touring bike with clubs many years later and has continued to do so throughout a career that includes a term at Fort Benning, Georgia, as the commandant of the US Infantry School.

The iconic motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson is responsible for the development of a number of mechanical innovations, such as the panhead engine. This popular engine design provided more power over previous designs and gained mass exposure when a Harley-Davidson with a panhead engine was converted to a chopper and ridden by Peter Fonda in the movie Easy Rider.

The Harley-Davidson company discontinued manufacturing the panhead engine in mid-1960s, but many motorcycle enthusiasts and restorers still prefer the panhead-style motorcycle over more modern designs. The Harley-Davidson panhead motor gained popularity because it was easier to work on with its hydraulic lifters and revised aluminum heads, which removed the need to constantly adjust the valves and helped the engine to run consistently cooler.