Troop Support Expands to Communities

MG Whelden (Retired) speaks to Soldiers about a new Army initiative called Community Covenant.

Since the war against terrorism started almost nine years ago, support for American troops has been phenomenal. Yellow ribbons are wrapped around tree trunks and adorn mailboxes. From Boston to Los Angeles, American flags sway in the wind on street corners and front porches. Our nation has banded together to show those serving in the Armed Forces they are supported and loved, no matter where the mission takes them.

In 2008, the Secretary of the Army began to recognize this outstanding support by creating the Community Covenant-a project designed to help bring America’s communities closer to the U.S. Army’s Soldiers and Families. Major General Craig B. Whelden (Retired) spoke with Soldiers attending the ATW about this initiative and explained how the program works.

“The purpose of Community Covenant is to get a committment from communities to support service members from all branches of the Armed Forces,” said MG Whelden. “We know there are communities all over the U.S. that support our troops. This program is a way for us to catalogue all of those efforts and put them in a central, easily accessible location.”

A website allows anyone to access a map of the United States, click on their respective state and see a list of support programs offered in that area. Some programs listed are legislative while others are as simple as a local church providing food assistance to families of deployed Soldiers.

“Since the program began in February 2008,” stated MG Whelden, “We have participated in over 400 signing ceremonies hosted by 32 governors and 800 mayors and county commissioners.” A signing ceremony takes place once a support initiative is added to the Community Covenant group.

Any program or support group to service members can be added to the website by filling out an online application. Once the application is reviewed and the program is accepted, a short paragraph and link to an additional website (if applicable) is added on the Community Covenant’s official website.

“Millions and millions of people out there want to support our troops but aren’t sure how.” said MG Whelden. “Community Covenant is a way for people to link up with support initiatives and help out troops and their family members.”

MG Whelden also added there are numerous programs through our nation that many Soldiers or family members are unaware of. This new program is a way to connect those two groups together to ensure Soldiers are receiving all the support they can.

Anyone interested in locating a support initiative or knows of one to be added on the website can go to the following link: http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil/Home.html. Questions can be asked through the Help tab on the website.

 
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4 Responses to “Troop Support Expands to Communities”

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