Lockheed supports ‘Homefront’

Published 9:00 pm Friday, July 3, 2009

It may be a bleak economy, but that did not stop local corporate and community foundations from donating more than $60,000 to the Hampton Roads chapter of Operation Homefront within the past six months.

“Without individual and corporate donations, Operation Homefront would be dead in the water, because we don’t get any federal funding at all,” said Carol Berg, president of the Hampton Roads chapter of Operation Homefront. “The corporate giving is a huge investment in the community.”

Since January, corporations such as Wal-Mart, Bank of America and Dollar Tree have made donations to support the organization’s work.

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Lockheed Martin, which has a location in North Suffolk, is a platinum sponsor for the organization and has donated $10,000 this year.

Michael Mulleavey, communications manager for Lockheed Martin, said this support is based on the corporation’s devotion to the country’s soldiers.

“It comes under the tagline that we use, where we say, ‘We never forget who we work for,’” Mulleavey said. “Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest global security firm. Along with that, we’re one of the largest U.S. government contractors, and so there is a connection that we are working for the warrior, the war fighter, which is what Operation Homefront is aimed at helping.”

Berg said that donations from corporations like Lockheed Martin show a devotion to the military families in the community.

“It shows the interest in the community that they have for their military residents, and for the stability and financial security for the military families that live here,” Berg said. “This is a huge opportunity for these corporations to give back to their community and help stabilize military families that have experienced some problems.”

Specifically, Berg said that Lockheed Martin has “really stepped up to the plate” to help out in the community.

Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization with more than 4,000 volunteers and 30 chapters across the country. The organization serves the families of deployed service members and disabled soldiers by providing services such as vehicle repair, providing computers and emergency financial assistance.

For example, after the tornado came through Suffolk last year, Berg said, there were several families who came forward with different needs that could not be met by the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

“We’re just one more resource they can contact so they can bridge the gap of what’s being provided by other resources. We’re an organization that can take a look at what is being unmet by others,” Berg said.

With hurricane season just beginning, Berg said, these recent donations will play an integral role in the services Operation Homefront can provide this year to victims of storms.

For more information on Operation Homefront, call 806-6150 or visit www.operationhomefront.net/hamptonroads.