By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2008 - Servicemembers on extended deployments can rest easier knowing that if their family experiences an unexpected financial emergency, help is available.
The American Soldier Foundation was created to assist servicemembers on extended duty and their families, Daniel Wright, the organization's president, said. Assistance also can extend to families of those killed in the line of duty.
"We believe that the lives of the men and women keeping our country safe should not be any harder than they have to be," Wright said. "The foundation can provide grants or interest-free loans for medical expenses, education, funeral expenses, marriage counseling, financial planning and a wide variety of other services."
Through its Web site, the organization also offers resources for education, family life, employment and personal finance. Military families can get advice on whether to buy or rent a home, check current mortgage rates or even determine how much a skill set is worth in different job markets.
The American Soldier Foundation recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.
"I think the (affiliation) with America Supports You will provide a lot of exposure for a cause that can never be paid too much attention," Wright said. "There is no more valiant, heroic and, regrettably, too often a thankless job in this world than a (servicemember) in the United States military.
"It is because of these individuals that the rest of us can go to work, raise our families, and keep this country," he added.