FAMILY ASSISTANCE CENTER: The Virginia National Guard Family Assistance Center (FAC) offers help to service and family members of all branches of the reserve military. Staff will assist with pay problems, dependent eligibility (DEERS) or TRICARE questions, and legal assistance, and works as a liaison with community agencies, organizations and emergency services. FACs are located throughout the state.
Virginia: 1-800-542-4028; 1-434-298-6114; Northern Virginia: 703-392-8858 (business hours); 703-553-5520 (emergency)
FAMILY READINESS GROUPS: Most military units have a Family Readiness Group (FRG), a volunteer group made up of family members of other deployed service members. These groups provide valuable moral support as well information about the deployment and related services. If your service member has not been mobilized as part of a unit, but rather an individual mobilization, you are still eligible to become part of a FRG. A Family Assistance Center can put you in touch with a local group.
OUR MILITARY KIDS: OMK gives grants to children in grades kindergartern-12th grade of the deployed National Guard and Reserves so they may start or continue extracurricular programs including sports, fine arts or tutoring lessons. In Virginia, children are eligible for two grant awards during a deployment. OMK has developed relationships with corporations and has been able to provide hundreds of children in northern Virginia with opportunities to attend professional sporting events. Their staff can refer family members to appropriate resources.
OMK: 703-734-6654 or 866-691-6654: www.ourmilitarykids.org.
AMERICAN RED CROSS: The American Red Cross sends communications on behalf of family members who are facing emergencies or other important events to soldiers serving all over the world. The Red Cross also can help you in case of emergency. Contact your local chapter for assistance or go to www.redcross.org and enter your zip code on the home page as directed. Loudoun County: 703-777-7171; www.redcross.org.
AMERICAN LEGION: The American Legion’s Family Support Network stands ready to assist when a service member has been called to active duty. Help can include grocery shopping, child care, lawn care, fixing the family car and countless other challenges to a military spouse, including temporary financial assistance. Call 1-800-504-4098 and provide details of the need. A local American Legion post will be called and asked to help. You can also request assistance by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS: The VFW offers three programs to assist service members and their families.
MAP funds farewell and welcome home gatherings for military units worldwide.
Operation Uplink provides free, prepaid phone cards to service members.
Unmet Needs can give a one-time grant up to $1,500 for qualifying service members and their families experiencing hardship.
VFW: 800-VFW-1899; 816-968-1149 (fax), www.vfwva.org.
MILITARY ONE SOURCE: Military One Source is an information and referral service for service people, deployed civilians and their families. Military One Source is staffed by consultants who hold master’s degrees in social work or psychology and can talk about a variety of subjects such as TRICARE, child care, relocation, finances, legal issues, elder care, education and everyday household issues. Questions about personnel or pay issues should be directed to the State Family Assistance Center.
1-800-342-9647 (within US); 1-800-346-9188 (hearing impaired); 1-877-888-0727 (Spanish language); www.militaryonesource.com.