When my husband joined the Air National Guard almost fifteen years ago, I had dreams of a community that would be there for me and ready-made friendships that could make life easier. Little did I know that deployments and TDY’s would be the easy part of my military journey. Turns out that community and support isn’t as easy as one might think. Not all non-profits are the same and requirements for support vary so widely. Who can you turn to for actual assistance among the hundreds of non-profits out there?
5 Military Organizations That Actually Serve National Guard Families
- National Military Family Association – I love organizations that acknowledge the fact that National Guard and Reserve ARE military, no matter what type of orders their service member is under. NMFA has their amazing Operation Purple Camps and family retreats that National Guard and Reserve families are eligible for. There are some preferences that are given to the families, and children of wounded or currently deployed, but there are always spaces for other military families.
- Blue Star Families – In locations where Blue Star Families has chapters, their events and special activities, as well as their Blue Star Museums program, are open to National Guard families.
- Military Health Project – Founded in 2013, the Military Health Project’s mission is to improve health care for all military families. All military families can qualify for assistance with specialized health care needs that are not covered or are only partially covered. MHP also assists and connects veterans and service members in need of service animals.
- United Through Reading – This organization is especially near and dear to my heart. My kids love their books so much and regularly watch when their daddy is traveling for any amount of time. Find a local recording center anywhere near you at USOs, airports and command locations!
- 4-H Military Partnerships – 4-H Military clubs and camp programs are a wonderful opportunity for children, and they offer the same array of programs to NG families in 26 states, Washington, DC and American Samoa. If you are located near a larger installation not in one of the extension program locations, National Guard and Reserve families can contact base 4-H programs to participate in those programs as well.
There are countless local and state groups that been created to fill a need for the families. To them we are also thankful. We have compiled a short list and are still looking. Do you know of a state or local organization? Tell us so that we can share that information. We are one community here, working hard to support one another.
Military Family Support Center – Blue Ridge Area of Virginia/Tennessee/West Virginia/North Carolina