Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

“Hero’s Salute Program” for Families of the Fallen

               

***If you are a family member seeking support please contact us immediately at (617) 733-7994.***

Since 2003, the Military Friends Foundation has assisted families of Fallen Service Members across Massachusetts.  Today the Military Friends Hero’s Salute Program offers a wide-range of support, services and financial assistance to Gold and Surviving Families who have lost a loved one in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*. This is the first Military Friends Foundation program which is open to families of all Massachusetts active and reserve components.

We want express our thanks to the Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Mothers, Massachusetts National Guard, Veterans Service Officers (VSO) and Casualty Assistance Officers (CAOs) for their support in implementing this program.  The funding for this program comes from voluntary contributions made through Question 32E on the Massachusetts State Tax Form and  generosity of private donations. To donate or for more information about supporting families of the Fallen, please contact us at (617) 733-7994.


IMMEDIATE SUPPORT SERVICES FOR GOLD & SURVIVING FAMILIES

Immediate Financial Support:

Military Friends serves as a ”first-responder” program for families who have lost a Service Member.  We offer a $1000 grant to a family in the days immediately following a military related death.  Families can utilize the grant for needs not covered by the military, including but not limited to flights, lodging, and travel expenses for family and extended family.  We then work with the family to evaluate other need0 on a case-by-case basis.  Military Friends is pleased to work with the CAO, VSO, and local officials to connect this support with families.

Additionally, we offer 500 memorial photo buttons for each family that displays a picture of their loved one (selected by the family), branch of military service and date of birth & death. These buttons are made available at a wake or funeral/memorial service.  Families can email a photo to sarah@militaryfriends.org.  Please note that the higher resolution the photo the clearer the button will appear – click here to view a sample of a memorial button.

Community Support to Honor the Fallen (Flags):

As part of a Hero’s Salute, the Military Friends Foundation offers every family an oppportunity have a display of hand-held United States Flags during a funeral procession route or memorial service.   Volunteers will be available to donate and distribute flags as part of a final salute to the Fallen Hero.  If you would like to become a volunteer or have your organization become an official Military Friends Hero’s Salute volunteer group, please contact us at www.militaryfriends.org/volunteer.  We traditionally donate a minimum of 1000 flags to the community and all flags are Made in America.

  Download the Hero’s Salute Program Application Packet

 


LONG-TERM SUPPORT SERVICES FOR GOLD & SURVIVING FAMILIES

Community Events:

Military Friends Foundation hosts events throughout the year in various parts of the state to bring families together.  Please email sarah@militaryfriends.org to receive updates about our 2012 events.

Memorial Tribute Grants:

Military Friends Foundation is proud to be the only program in the state to offer specific grants to support memorial tributes and dedications for the Fallen such as bridge, park and road dedications.   Our grants are designed to ensure that such dedications can both recognize and celebrate the life of the Fallen Service Member.  Grants have been used to support tribute photo programs, food and event expenses, travel for Service Members from the Fallen’s unit to attend the event, memorial buttons and more.   Please contact the Military Friends Foundation at (617) 733-7994 to apply for this program.

Counseling Referrals:

Military Friends Foundation works with a wide-range of partners to connect a Fallen Service Member’s family and extended family to counseling resources.  Many of the resources are free of charge and available in different regions of the state.  Please call (617) 733-7994 for more information about these services.

*The families of service members, whose official Home of Record is Massachusetts, are eligible for these programs. Although we are unable to pay for funeral expenses, we are able to assist with most other personal family expenses.