Patriotism Spotlight: Operation First Response
There’s no shortage of patriotic organizations in the United States. These groups exist at the local, state and federal levels—all with the same mission: to provide support for those on the front lines of protecting us. One such organization that has shown its true patriotic beliefs and support for our military since 2004 is Operation First Response (OFR).
OFR operates on a mission to bring attention to tens of thousands of soldiers who return home wounded from service. The organization works to aid veterans who’ve experienced emotional and financial effects. They lend a hand to these individuals and their family members by raising money to help with medical bills, mortgage payments and other financial obligations. They do this through a wide array of donations and fundraising efforts. They want veterans to rest easy knowing that they are getting the financial help they need.
In addition to helping financially, the organization also provides emotional support to these individuals and their family members in many different ways. Here’s a closer look at OFR, including the many outreach programs operated by the organizations and its committed members.
Military Family Assistance
Sadly, depression and other mental battle wounds affect many warriors who’ve returned home from war. There are staggering suicide rates among military members. In fact, 2013 statistics showed the suicide rate among military personnel exceeded the number of combat-related deaths from Afghanistan and Iraq. This is why proper reintegration into the civilian world is paramount. However, managing this transition is often difficult, especially when experiencing issues with the VA claim process.
Since the VA claim process can take more than a year, military personnel often have to find other ways to financially support themselves and their families, which only adds more mental anguish. The OFR combats this by working to provide heroes the financial help they need through the Military Family Assistance Program.
The Last Mission Project
PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition many veterans deal with. Symptoms of this condition include sleep loss, intrusive thoughts, depression, anxiety and anger. Untreated PTSD often makes it difficult to keep a job, which only exacerbates many of the mental health issues veterans are actively working hard to cope with.
OFR allows veterans suffering from PTSD to focus on their recovery by providing financial assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, etc. Veterans can focus on their mental health and wellbeing, knowing that OFR is behind them, providing critical support that keeps stress levels as low as possible.
Operation First Response Backpacks
Overseas wounded veterans sometimes end up stuck in a hospital bed without any personal belongings. OFR sends backpacks filled with plenty of gifts to wounded veterans in need of some comfort before returning home. The organization also takes donations for handmade quilts and blankets, which they deliver to military medical facilities all across the United States. For many individuals in recovery, these possessions give them strength and optimism as they battle through the lingering effects of an injury or mental wellness condition.
Operation “Final Salute” Project
OFR’s Final Salute Project allows families of fallen soldiers to honor their loved ones by sponsoring portraits. The beautiful portraits serve as a great reminder of the sacrifice made by these brave heroes. Operation First Response has sponsored over 449 portraits of fallen soldiers. Artist Kaziah Hancock paints all 18”x24” portraits on canvas, which are then shipped directly to the fallen soldier’s family. Portraits are not exclusive to soldiers killed in action, either.
Operation First Response Events
Each year, the OFR team holds fundraising events to raise money for wounded military heroes and their families. They use these funds to help individuals with anything from mounting financial obligations to medical bills. Since 2004, OFR has raised over $11 million for veterans. During that time, they’ve served more than 21,840 wounded heroes and their family members.
How You Can Help
OFR invites the community to attend events and lend a hand to those veterans in need. Visit the OFR website to see upcoming events. Try to attend one or more if they’re held in your local area.
OFR also accepts monetary donations if you'd like to help out in that way. Over 95% of donations and fundraising dollars received go directly to support the emergency needs of wounded heroes and disabled veterans.
OFR is the perfect example of a patriotic organization that strives to help those individuals who safeguard our country and the freedoms we enjoy because of it. We'd like to give a huge round of applause to the OFR team members and donors who lend a hand to those who serve! Do your part by checking out the OFR website today for details.
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