Operation First Response
Our journey has grown and changed to expand to the needs of the families we serve. OFR staff members consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to lighten the load of our wounded and their families. We have seen devotion beyond words from family members to their loved ones. Mothers, fathers, spouses and extended family and friends who have spent endless hours at the bedside of their loved one, because of the severity of many of the injuries this journey can last for several months and for others…several years.
For many of our families the financial hardship begins quickly and for others it is after the domino effect of extra costs and lost wages. At whatever stage they are in when they contact OFR we are committed to doing all we can to support these families because it is our responsibility as American citizens, the heart of OFR is exactly what makes America great… we know that our Freedoms are not free and we are committed to those who make those Freedoms possible.
There are different ways that a wounded Hero may enter into the OFR family:
- Some beginning at a combat support hospital in Afghanistan where a wounded or injured service member may receive an OFR backpack filled with a new set of clothing, travel size hygiene products, a handmade blanket and a phone card to ensure they have needed items until they return stateside.
- Several unit Family Readiness Groups (FRG) from bases across the United States have heard of the services provided by OFR and they contact us directly to obtain help for their wounded.
- Families search for help via the internet after their family member is wounded. Upon finding our website, families have the option of requesting our services via email or telephone.
- Many wounded service members who have received OFR services refer fellow comrades to us for help.
- Wounded service members and their families learn of OFR services through government organizations that provide resource information to the wounded.
- OFR Volunteers visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), this enables OFR to assist the families in a one on one interaction.
Whatever way any of our wounded and their families come into our path they soon learn that they are part of the OFR family. We will always try to be a voice and ready to help in the needs of those we assist.
The staff members of OFR have worked together with our wounded and their families with compassion and understanding to provide an answer to their needs. Taking the time needed to hear their concerns and find appropriate answers and resources to fulfill those needs. We have become seasoned with compassion and understanding in what our families will need to overcome the long road ahead. Realizing that a very large part of what we do is listening and gathering valuable resources ro help them with the multitude of issues that arise.
OFR financial aid varies as each case is based on individual needs ranging from:
- rent/mortgage payments
- payment of over due utilities
- vehicle payments and repairs
- air transportation
- ground transportation which includes taxi rides to and from DC area airports, dollars given to purchase gas for traveling by car to medical facilities and train tickets
- personal requested items by service members and their families
Most importantly OFR keeps in mind that families will continue to present new issues that will broaden the scope of services provided by OFR.
OFR staff members are honored to have become a very important part of the recovery of so many wounded Heroes, we are thought of as family and do not take that responsibility lightly. Our families know they are respected and their privacy is of the utmost importance to us. If their need is out of our financial abilities or scope we will spend as much time as possible on finding other resources that can meet that need.
It is our sincerest hope to educate Americans across the nation to the needs our wounded are facing, we believe with all our hearts that by giving them the respect and honor rightfully due them we will be able to give them the hope of a promising future. In doing this we will ensure that all that have worn the "Uniform" will be an instant reminder to all Americans that a Hero stands before us...one of courage, strength and love for their country and whether their injuries are visible or not... We will never forget... all gave some and some gave all!