In 2009, while her husband was deployed, Rose Wilson found herself in need of financial assistance for an unexpected home repair. Unable to afford the repair on her own, Rose reached out to Operation Homefront for help. After receiving assistance from Operation Homefront, Rose decided to volunteer and later became an employee, taking on larger roles in the local office.
Fast forward to 2021, Rose is now a Critical Financial Assistance (CFA) Caseworker III, leveraging her 11 years on the Operation Homefront team, her personal experience receiving assistance, and her role as an Army Reserve spouse to help guide service members and veterans who may need a helping hand. Based in New York state, Rose helps those requesting financial assistance to complete their application process, and then advocates on their behalf for CFA approval, as well as requesting discounts from service providers.
“I love being able to identify a need that is eligible for assistance and will help the service member on a long-term start strong, stay strong journey,” Rose said.
If Rose sees that a service member is renting an appliance, she suggests to the service member that they request assistance to purchase the appliance. If the request is approved, the service member can return the rental and eliminate the monthly rental cost. Rose requests discounts from service providers with the hopes of saving funds for the organization, enabling Operation Homefront to assist more military and veteran families in need.
“My favorite part of my job is the Critical Financial Assistance approvals! I love telling a service member that they have been approved for their financial request,” Rose said.
She recently worked with a service member who needed help to afford dental work for their spouse, who was in constant pain. Like many families on a tight budget, if the family paid for the dental work, they would not have enough funds to pay their monthly bills.
By helping the family with this financial challenge, Rose was able to assist them in maintaining financial security while helping the spouse to have a better quality of life. The service member soon passed the exams to become a barber, which will increase their income and pave their way to being strong, stable, and secure.
For many families reaching out for financial assistance, getting them current on past-due bills and then providing additional resources and financial counseling sets them on a road to financial success. For Rose, behind every financial request is a veteran or service member equally deserving of help from Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program.
“Our clients inspire me because (I know) it is not easy to ask for help,” Rose said, speaking from her own experience.
For anyone considering reaching out to Operation Homefront for help, Rose highly recommends filling out an application as well as exploring the Operation Homefront website for other programs that may be available to them. Working at Operation Homefront has opened Rose’s eyes to the unique challenges that come with the military life.
“I am definitely more understanding of situations I have not personally experienced,” Rose said.
Rose continues working at Operation Homefront and supporting military and veteran families for one reason. “Our service members dedicate their lives to serve and protect our country; this is the least I can do to honor them. I am proud to be working for Operation Homefront and am honored to work with our clients.”