By DeFranciscoAugust 20, 2009
Visit Fort Stewart
Community Programs and Services
This grass roots effort allows citizens to connect directly with a 3rd Infantry Division soldier based at Ft. Stewart while they are in Iraq or Afghanistan. When a flight of 3rd ID soldiers leaves Hunter Army Air Field for a combat zone, an Adopt-a-Soldier table is set up at the terminal and soldiers are offered an opportunity to sign up to be adopted by a civilian while they are deployed. Patriotic citizens who want to support our troops are assigned a soldier with his/her e-mail address. The sponsor e-mails the soldier, introduces him/herself and sends care packages, e-mails and letters to the soldier for the duration of his/her deployment. Many friendships have been established between soldiers and their sponsors. Those interested should e-mail Carol Megathlin, program coordinator at email@example.com
Hinesville Military Affairs Committee
Working hand-in-hand with Fort Stewart, the Hinesville, GA Military Affairs Committee conducts programs in support of military members and their families, especially those who deploy. The committee sponsors farewell picnics for deploying soldiers and their families as well as celebrations upon their return. The committee also manages an Adopt-A-Unit program to supplement support for deploying units. For more information visit www.hinesvillemac.org or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operation Free College
Returning Soldiers (as well as their Families) have an opportunity to begin or restart their academic pursuits thanks in part to Operation Free College, a new outreach initiative offered by Savannah Technical College. Beginning with the summer (2008) quarter, any Soldier (or Family member) who can validate an overseas deployment will receive a fee-free application and, with the combination of tuition assistance and the HOPE Grant, free tuition.
The Blue Star Program
The Savannah Area and Hinesville Chambers of Commerce have secured the participation of hundreds of commercial entities that offer significant discounts to Families of deployed service members.
Family Support Programs
Local area businesses and non-profit organizations provide a variety of support programs such as the Holiday Gift Giving Program (additive to the Toys for Tots).
Free Christmas Trees
A local tree farm provides free Christmas trees to Families of deployed Soldiers.
The local YMCA provides reduced memberships and child care services for the Families of deployed Soldiers.
Warrior's Walk Memorial
GMH, the military housing partner managing housing at Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, provides trees and plaques to honor fallen heroes.
Members of the Warriors-in-Transition program at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Administration Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia participate in a kayaking recreational therapy program in which over 50 local community volunteers donate kayaks and mentor participants.
The Landings Army Relief Fund
Residents of The Landings, an exclusive gated community in Savannah, provide funds to military Families for unexpected emergencies. This restricted fund has dispersed over $95,000 while assisting over 700 Family members. To date this organization has raised over $270,000 to assist our Soldiers in the future. www.savannahredcross.org.
Operation Rest and Relaxation
Residents of Hilton Head Island donate use of their vacation homes to military Families and Hilton Head Island restaurants, golf courses, jet ski rental establishments, and other commercial establishments offer significant discounts to participating military Families.
USO and Red Cross
Local chapters are at Hunter Army Airfield's Truscott Air Terminal for every flight of deploying and redeploying Soldiers providing the Soldiers snacks and sundry items and well-wishes and welcome homes.
Dog Fostering Program
Residents of The Landings foster dogs for deployed service members for the duration of their deployment.