Hero’s Salute for Gold Star Families (Immediate Support)
*If you are a family member seeking support please contact us immediately at 1-84-HELP-VETS*
For over a decade, the Military Friends Foundation has assisted families of Fallen Service Members across Massachusetts. Today Military Friends Foundation (MFF) is proud to be the only non-profit organization charged under Massachusetts General Law with supporting Massachusetts Gold Star Families of all eras. We offer a wide range of support to local military families whose service member died on active duty in the Armed Forces.
We want express our thanks to the Gold Star Wives, Gold Star Mothers, Massachusetts National Guard, Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) and Casualty Assistance Officers (CAOs) for their assistance in designing this program. The funding to support Families of the Fallen 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 1-84-HELP-VETS.
MFF HERO’S SALUTE GRANTS:
Military Friends Foundation acts immediately upon notification of an active duty death to offer assistance to a family. MFF dedicates an immediate $1,000 for eligible families to use prior to a funeral or memorial service to assists with needs not covered by the military. This may include travel and lodging for non-immediate family members or extended family, memorial photo buttons, hand-held American Flags, and more. The funds, designed as “first-responder” support, can either be accessed by the family’s primary contact or the Casualty Assistance Officer calling 1-84-HELP-VETS. Additional support may be available on a case-by-case-basis.
Memorial Photo Button: Please email the Service Members Rank (include any posthumous promotion), First Name, Last Name, Branch of Service and a high resolution photo to firstname.lastname@example.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. These buttons are made available at a wake or funeral/memorial service and should be ordered 72 hours prior to the service to guarantee delivery times.
Community Support to Honor the Fallen (Flags): As part of a Hero’s Salute, families may choose to have a display of hand-held United States Flags during a funeral procession route or memorial service. MFF volunteers will be available to 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.
LONG-TERM SUPPORT SERVICES FOR GOLD & SURVIVING FAMILIES
Gold Star Community Events:
MFF offers year-round community building events for families of Fallen Service Members. These events include the Massachusetts Run For The Fallen, Tough Ruck in partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, MA State House Gold Star Families Tree and more. MFF also hosts private events for families to further connect with their Gold Star community. Families wishing to receive updates about events are encouraged to contact MFF directly.
Case Management and Referral Services:
Military Friends Foundation works with Gold Star Families of all eras to connect them with support services and other benefit providers. These services help ensure family members are aware of benefits on both the state and federal level along with other public programs. Families interested in these services can contact MFF.