Massachusetts National Guard Engineering Units Receive $1,000 in Family Readiness Group Grants from Guard Support

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August 03, 2009
Guard Support has awarded two engineering units of the Massachusetts National Guard with a total of $1,000 in Family Readiness Group grants.

101 Engineers HSC Company based in Whitinsville and the FSC 101 Engineers Company based in Melrose each received $500 to help families of guard members organize programs and events for their loved ones who are currently training in Wisconsin in preparation for deployment to Iraq.

“Receiving the $500 grant for our FRG was a huge source of strength for the team members,” said Bridget Lacefield, chair of the Family Readiness Group for the FSC 101 Engineers Company.

 Lacefield, whose husband is currently deployed with the FSC 101 Engineers Company, said that a portion of the grant money has already been used to prepare and send a newsletter to Guard families. “The grant allowed us to focus on reaching out to the families and providing them information instead of worrying about how we were going to cover the costs associated with preparing and distributing a mailing.”

Sheila Layton, treasurer of the Family Readiness Group for the 101 Engineers HSC Company, says that the $500 grant from Guard Support of Massachusetts has been earmarked for supplies to assist family members of deploying soldiers.

“Our Family Readiness Group (FRG) is group of family members of deploying soldiers. Up until we received the GSMA FRG grant, we have been doing whatever we can on our own, says Layton. The GSMA grant has made it possible for our Family Readiness Group to help to keep spirits up and give help where it is needed in ways of support, as well as sending newsletters to all of the families with information to help them. We are truly grateful to GSMA for all of the help and support we have been given.”

The primary mission of a Family Readiness Group is to assist commanders in maintaining readiness for the service members, families and communities by promoting self-sufficiency, resiliency, and stability during peace and war time. GSMA Family Readiness Group grants provide funding for family group meetings, programs, mailings, materials, family events, send-off ceremonies and homecoming ceremonies.

About Guard Support of Massachusetts (

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 2009, Guard Support is in the process of expanding the services offered to meet the needs of the returning troops by adding entrepreneurship training and support (especially in the current economic environment of unemployment, and underemployment), job training, and other education programs.

More News Articles on Engineering Units Receiving GSMA FRG Grants:

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Children's party at the base