Wounded Warriors Unit Receives Grant for Family Readiness Group

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November 19, 2009
Guard Support has awarded a Family Readiness Group start-up grant to the Community Based Warriors Transition Unit Massachusetts (CBWTU-MA) based in Concord, Mass.

“We are grateful and thankful to Guard Support of Massachusetts for their dedication and support of the soldiers we serve at CBWTU-MA. GSMA’s generous grant recognizes the overwhelming dedication of our warriors and gives us all renewed appreciation for the important work performed by the members of our Family Readiness Group," says CBWTU-MA Commander Major Mark O’Clair.

The CBWTU-MA is an active-duty Army unit that remotely manages the healthcare needs of over 250 wounded warriors in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Unit members consist of National Guard, Army Reserve and Active Army soldiers who have been injured while mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since its inception in late 2003, the CBWTU-MA unit has helped over one thousand soldiers - returning 70% back to the fighting force.

Family Readiness Groups assist commanders in maintaining readiness for service members, families and communities by promoting self-sufficiency, resiliency and stability during both peace and wartime.

GSMA Family Readiness Group grants provide funding for family group meetings, programs, mailings, materials, family events, send-off ceremonies and homecoming celebrations.

Photo courtesy of Guard Support of Massachusetts

70 Combat Wounded Warriors from across the Northeast were at the Combat Warriors Transition Unit (CBWTU-MA) in Concord, MA the week of November 2nd, 2009. GSMA awarded a start-up Family Readiness Group grant to the unit. GSMA's Executive Director, Sherry Handel met with several of the unit's soldiers at a Family Readiness Group meeting held at the unit on November 5th, 2009.

Photo Front row, left to right:  MAJ Allen, SPC Lopez, and SSG Heusner; Back row left to right: SGT Tatum, SGT Dereck, SSG Lopez, SFC Keltner, and SPC Paga

About Guard Support of Massachusetts (www.guardsupport.org)

Guard Support of Massachusetts was founded in July of 2007 to help the families of the men and women serving in the Massachusetts National Guard.  Since September 11, 2001 the Massachusetts National Guard has deployed over 6,000 soldiers and airmen in support of the global war on terror.  Families frequently need emergency financial assistance after one spouse deploys overseas, and Guard Support was originally founded to help meet this need.

To date, approximately 60% of Guard Support grants have been for direct emergency assistance to the families of the men and women of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Examples include rent payments, electric bills, car payments, gas and heating bills.  The remainder of GSMA grants awarded support unit Family Readiness Group meetings, programs and family events, including send-off ceremonies and homecoming events; as well as links between the men and women of the Guard and their families, examples include, subsidized transportation on leave, subsidized internet links and internet phone links for units in Iraq.

In early 2010 Guard Support plans to officially launch the Entrepreneurs’ Funding Program to provide entrepreneurship training, capital and support to start-up and existing businesses founded by members of the Massachusetts National Guard.  Providing support for entrepreneurship is especially important in the current economic environment of unemployment, and underemployment.  GSMA has partnered with the SBA Massachusetts Small Business Development Centers and several organizations that provide support to entrepreneurs including; The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network, The EntreTech Forum and the Center for Women and Enterprise.


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