Chicopee Guard Unit Awarded a Family Readiness Group Start-up Grant from Guard Support

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August 27, 2009
Guard Support has awarded a Family Readiness Group start-up grant of $500 to the Alpha Company 126th BSB in Chicopee, Mass.

“Thanks to Guard Support of Massachusetts, this Family Readiness Group (FRG) grant will provide vital seed funding for the growth and success of the FRG, helping us to communicate and promote our goals and achievements," said Alpha Company Commander Captain Nick Mascata.

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

Mascata explains: "Family Readiness Groups are a vital element to the continued success of our National Guard. These teams bridge the gap between our soldiers' civilian lives and their military duties. Alpha Company’s FRG is an all-volunteer organization made up of the unit’s friends and family members. Led by Chairwoman Linda Hegarty, our FRG supports and facilitates the flow of information between the unit and family members. The FRG increases our Company's ability to handle complex missions in support of the State of Massachusetts and our Nation.”

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

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 plans to expand the services offered to meet the needs of the returning troops, to include; entrepreneurship training and support (especially in the current economic environment of unemployment, and underemployment), job training, and other education programs.

More news articles about this Family Readiness Group award can be found at:

"Guard Families Given Support", The Republican, September 1, 2009


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Children's party at the base