ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Army News Service, Aug. 19, 2010) -- The of the Department of Defense is offering an opportunity to win up to a year of house cleaning to the caregivers who support servicemembers in honor of National Caregiver's Appreciation Month in November.

From Aug. 1 through Oct. 24, 2010, visit www.afrcresorts.com to nominate a family caregiver for a chance to win one of four prizes: free house cleaning for year, free house cleaning for six months (two prizes), or free house cleaning for three months. The website also offers special discounts for caregivers at the resorts.

Shades of Green, Hale Koa and Edelweiss are DoD Armed Forces Recreation Centers, managed by the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command. They are designed to be safe, supportive destinations for members of the military, where the patrons know they're in the company of their comrades in arms and their Families, have access to military support, and are protected by military force protection measures.

In the words of one guest, "If I suddenly realize he's going back to Iraq in a week and break down in tears, I'm surrounded by people who understand and can help. If that were to happen in [a hotel chain], I'd be treated like I was crazy."

The prizes are meant for those caring for wounded Soldiers or Exceptional Family Members.

"Right now we're taking a close look at how our Exceptional Family Member Program works, ensuring we're offering the right support to those families who have members with special needs," said Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones, FMWRC commanding general.

"Leadership wants to acknowledge that all caregivers play an important role in keeping our Army families strong," said Kristen Kea, FMWRC events manager. "This promotion offers any caregiver a chance to slow down and take a break with discounts at our AFRCs, and a lucky winner will get a helping hand through free house cleaning."

An exceptional Family member is a child or adult with any physical, emotional, developmental or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training or counseling.

"The Exceptional Family Member Program is one way we can keep some of the most important promises articulated in the Army Family Covenant ... providing access to Family programs that foster an environment in which families can thrive," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Installation Management Command.

Between now and Oct. 24, anyone can nominate a caregiver to be part of the random drawing. The drawing will be made in early November and a winner announced as soon as eligibility is verified.

For the purposes of the contest, a caregiver is defined as: 1) a person who cares for someone who is sick or disabled (including wounded warriors and exceptional family members), or 2) an adult who cares for an infant or a child of a servicemember.

The winner must be eligible to stay in an Armed Forces Recreation Center -- a military ID card holder or their registered guest -- as defined by the AFRC eligibility requirements.

To nominate a caregiver, visit ARFCresorts.com before Oct. 24, 2010 and select the link to the Family and MWR page on Facebook. Respond to the "Caregivers" thread by providing the caregiver's first name and a brief explanation of why you feel they should win.

The winner will be selected at random, and the promotion is designed to give members of the military Family an opportunity to thank the caregivers in their lives. The nomination will be posted publicly, so MWR officials reserve the right to edit or remove posts that might contain personally identifying information or operational security concerns.

For those who want to nominate a caregiver but are not members of Facebook, an alternate form of entry is also described on the AFRC website.

Page last updated Wed August 18th, 2010 at 17:34