Your gift is matched 2X: Support our military families in need

Double My Gift
Get help now


Desire to Help Military Families was Inspired by Mom

By Operation Homefront

Kristen Henry’s desire to help military families started early in life. “Growing up, my mom worked as a nurse at the VA, and she would tell me these incredible stories of the bravery of the veterans she was taking care of that served in Vietnam, WWII, and the Korean War,” Kristen said. “I was always so humbled and inspired to hear her stories of those that sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today.”

As the program manager covering Tennessee and Kentucky, Kristen has been able to witness the goodness that Operation Homefront provides to military families. She proudly touts the positive impact that Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance, Transitional and Permanent Housing, and Caregiver Support programs make for military families across the country. She is also very animated about the recurring family support programs that she and her team deliver to military families in Kentucky and Tennessee throughout the year, such as the Back-to-School Brigade, Star-Spangled Babies, and Holiday Meals for Military which show support and appreciation, while providing financial relief and giving the families the tools they need to Start Strong and Stay Strong. “It’s more than just giving out baby bundles or holiday meals. You are changing lives and giving hope to those families who are dealing with deployments, loneliness due to separations, health issues, or financial hardships.”

“At a Holiday Meals for Military event in 2019, there was a family attending that had lost everything in a house fire right before the holidays,” Kristen said. “The parents were afraid they would not be able to provide toys or a holiday meal for their children.” A volunteer walked the family around, got to hear their story and was humbled and moved to learn about what they had endured losing their home in the fire. “The family was so grateful for the support from Operation Homefront and they shared how much it meant to them and uplifted their spirits!”

Another highlight that Kristen remembers vividly was a partnership with Chevy where military families were invited to attend the CMA Festival in Nashville. “Several veterans had post-traumatic stress and their spouses were a little concerned about how they would handle the bright lights and loud music,” Kristen said. “The veterans loved it. Several spouses shared how they haven’t seen their veterans so happy in a long time.” At one of the concerts, a couple said it was the first date-night they’ve had without their kids in over seven years and how much they needed it. “I cried when they told me because there are times we take certain things for granted. It can seem like a small thing to us, but to this couple it’s just what they needed and could be life-long memory for them,” Kristen said.

Another area where Operation Homefront helps families Start Strong, Stay Strong is through our Volunteer Reserves. “I am continually inspired by our amazing volunteers,” Kristen said. “Some of our volunteers are already pulled in a million different directions, as veteran caregivers, parents of special needs children, or homeschooling, yet they volunteer their time and love helping.” Kristen believes that investing in our volunteers and empowering them to lead events provides outlets for those that are military caregivers, veterans, or stay-at-home parents. “We even have some military spouses volunteering with a goal to gain experience in working with a nonprofit in hopes to one day secure a job in this sector.”

“I am so grateful to be able to give back and serve our military and veteran families who have sacrificed so much for us,” Kristen said.

Get help now