HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) - A lifelong association with the military has shown Christina Anthony the difficulties families of deployed soldiers can encounter.
Operation Homefront has let her know how it feels to help relieve some of them.
"When soldiers have financial needs or hardships or fallen soldiers or whatever, we come in and take care of them in any way, means that are possible,'' said Anthony, the client services representative for Hinesville's branch of Operation Homefront. "We don't just take care of them, we make sure they are completely taken care of.
One of the nation's largest non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting military families, Operation Homefront has been offering morale, services and educational programs since its inception in 2001.
In that time, the organization has helped 45,000 military families nationwide. That includes an increasing number in Hinesville since Operation Homefront arrived there three years ago.
"Last year, we had a family that their house burned down and they lost everything,'' said Anthony, whose father is a veteran, was in the Army herself and is now married to a soldier who is deployed for the third time. "So we found them a home, we furnished it, we took care of absolutely everything with the gracious collaboration of the community and their in-kind donations.
"And it took about a week to get them up and running and financially steady again.''
Most of the 1,300 cases the Hinesville branch of Operation Homefront handled last year were less dramatic than that.
But they were just as critical to the families facing them. Instances of car payments or rent needing to be made or groceries being bought for a mother with small children at home.
And in her dual roles with Operation Homefront and as the Family Program Director at the Liberty County YMCA, Anthony has helped blend the program's benefits. She has also seen and felt the impact both have had in her military community.
"Wow, I feel like I'm very blessed to be able to do so,'' Anthony said of serving military families. "I'm thankful for my parents who raised me to be able to give and know that I can receive as well.''