Operation Homefront Celebrates 20 Years of Serving America’s Military Families
Media Inquiries: Susan Ziesman Susan.Ziesman@operationhomefront.org or (210) 392-6878
Supporters join impactful non-profit to highlight the service and sacrifice of those who protect the freedoms we enjoy daily.
San Antonio, TX — Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, is proud to mark 20 years of impactful service on behalf of America’s military families, a milestone reached in February. Since its founding, the organization has provided some level of financial support to more than 550,000 service members and their families.
Operation Homefront was founded in the wake of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to support our nation’s combat-wounded veterans and their families. Operation Homefront continues to honor its selfless service, with the support of the corporate, foundation, and individual donors, by offering a variety of relief (through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs), resiliency (through permanent housing and caregiver support services), and recurring support programs (baby showers, back-to-school supplies and holiday meals). These programs help them overcome short-term bumps in the road, so they don’t become long-term chronic problems, especially as they transition out of the military to civilian life. Ninety percent of Operation Homefront’s expenditures go directly to programs that help military families.
“It is a national tragedy when our military families, after doing so much to protect the freedoms we enjoy daily, struggle financially and end up on the outside of the American dream looking in,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President, and CEO of Operation Homefront. “For 20 years, Operation Homefront has been there to help this very special and deserving group of our fellow citizens overcome their financial hardships, get on track financially, and be able to contribute fully to making their communities and, in turn, our nation stronger.”
Air Force veteran Deidrick Caesar and wife Lissette recently graduated from Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Veterans program in 2021, having saved $16,000 plus an emergency fund and they were able to buy a home in the same community in Texas. “It’s more than just home, it’s the security that it provides which opens up so many more opportunities in the other aspects of your life,” said Lissette. Deidrick notes, “I (firmly) believe that we wouldn’t be in the position we are now if it wasn’t for Operation Homefront stepping in and helping us and laying down a good foundation.”
Many of Operation Homefront’s corporate, foundation, and individual donors will be helping to celebrate with congratulatory posts on their own and Operation Homefront’s social media channels using #OH20years. Operation Homefront actively shares its impact on its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn channels.
After 20 years of expanding and improving the many ways it supports military families, Operation Homefront is leaning forward to increase its capacity to respond. Operation Homefront will soon publicly launch a comprehensive campaign in April that will ensure our nation’s military families will continue to receive the support they need, when they need it, from this impactful organization.
“While we are immensely proud of all we have accomplished since our founding 20 years ago, the entire Operation Homefront family — staff, volunteers, board members, and individual, corporate, and foundation donors — share a common belief: to help our military families in their time of need for all they have done for all of us in our nation’s time of need,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President, and CEO of Operation Homefront. “We change lives for the better and I know all are committed to continuing our important work for the next two decades and beyond.”
20 Years of Impact
Over the past 20 years, Operation Homefront has helped achieve the following long-term impacts on behalf of military families:
- Critical Financial Assistance – By the end of 2022, Operation Homefront’s cornerstone program expects to have fulfilled 50,000 requests for assistance totaling $35 million, helping struggling military families with rent and mortgage payments, major home and car repairs, utility bills, food assistance and more.
- Villages – Operation Homefront’s rent-free transitional housing apartments welcome wounded, ill, and injured veteran families to three villages in San Diego, San Antonio, and Gaithersburg, MD to help ease the transition from military to civilian life. By the end of this year, the Villages expect to have housed more than 700 military families, saving them more than $7.5 million in rent and utilities
- Permanent Homes for Veterans – Operation Homefront’s Permanent Homes for Veterans (PHV) program offers military and veteran families the foundation for long-term stability and resiliency. The PHV program has awarded more than 700 families with permanent housing, providing $96 million in deeded value since 2012. In 2022, Operation Homefront expects to graduate our 675th military family from the program.
- Transitional Homes for Veterans – Operation Homefront’s Transitional Homes for Veterans (THV) program serves veteran families who are within 12 months of discharge, served honorably, and are willing to work towards self-sufficiency by providing temporary rent-free housing, financial education, and support services. The program has welcomed 25 families to homes in Florida, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, and Illinois, saving them $350,000 in mortgage costs, and we plan to add 10 homes to the program in 2022.
- Veteran Caregiver Support – Operation Homefront’s Veteran Caregiver Support program is a network of people caring for wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans, created and maintained by Operation Homefront. The program, founded in 2008, has around 2,500 participants and offers retreats, and 75 support groups around the U.S. and an online Facebook group to facilitate connections and sharing of resources.
- Back-to-School Brigade – In 2022, this program expects to reach a milestone of providing 500,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to military kids across the US, saving their families more than $55 million in expenses.
- HMFM – Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military program distributes meal kits to families during various holidays throughout the year. To date, this effort has served more than 600,000 individual military family members.
- Star-Spangled Babies Showers – Across the country, more than 19,000 new and expecting parents have received critical baby supplies to help them get ready welcome the newest member to their military family.
- Homefront Celebrations – More than 8,900 military spouses have enjoyed a special night out, just for them, to make new friends, enjoy a fabulous catered dinner, hear from a motivating guest speaker, hosted by Operation Homefront at various locations throughout the U.S. each year.
- Military Child of the Year® – For 14 years, Operation Homefront has celebrated our nation’s outstanding military children through its Military Child of the Year® awards program, honoring a child from every branch of service and one innovation award recipient with a cash grant, a trip to D.C. and more.
About Operation Homefront
Celebrating 20 years of serving America’s military families, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 90 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.