England Praises Operation Homefront

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2006 - Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England this morning praised a group that's working to make life easier for military members and their families.

"You all are doing terrific work," England told representatives of "Operation Homefront." "I appreciate everything you've been doing for our great men and women in uniform."

Operation Homefront and its subsidiary,, provide critical assistance to more than 35,000 military families in need, according to the organization's Web site. That assistance includes providing emergency items and financial assistance as well as the means for families of deployed servicemembers to stay connected.

Members of the group are in Washington to sign a memorandum of understanding this evening with the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which highlights corporate and grassroots support for servicemembers and their families.

Operation Homefront, headed by military spouses, is the first America Supports You member to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Defense through its America Supports You partnership, a Defense Department official said.

"It's made a world of difference," Meredith Leyva, Operation Homefront and founder, said.

Leyva said she believes signing an agreement with the DoD program will open doors for her organization.

The document states: "The Department of Defense recognizes that the goals of Operation Homefront are consistent with DoD's America Supports You program in its efforts to support military members and their families."

Through the memorandum, DoD also agrees to inform servicemembers and the military community about the group's efforts as appropriate to DoD's mission and ethical standards.

Operation Homefront agrees through the memorandum to continue to provide support and assistance to military families.

The memorandum will become official when Leyva and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Internal Communication and Public Liaison Allison Barber, architect of the America Supports You program, both sign the document during a reception for Operation Homefront this evening.

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