FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: One of the most important things we do as an organization is support those families that are dealing with a loss of a loved one to the war on terror. There is no hiding from the tragedy in dealing with the ultimate sacrifice a military family makes for their country. Part of our responsibility is providing emergency assistance and filling the gaps as the families deal with the grief and life altering experience. Another responsibility we take seriously is partnering with like-minded organizations such as AAFMA (American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association) that put our military families first. We are grateful for the support they have showed Helping Hands for Freedom and for their sound and caring advice and steady hand in navigating the maze of benefits and entitlements that is so crucial to our amazing military families.
AAFMAA has a long and distinguished history that was established on January 13, 1879 by a Committee of Army Officers chaired by Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier General) Roger Jones and Assistant Inspector General of the Army. Their creation stems from the losses suffered at the Battle of Little Big Horn three years earlier. Traditionally, on the frontier, when a soldier died, the others left would 'pass the hat' and take up a collection that would be used to send to the deceased soldier's family back East. After the Battle of Little Big Horn, there were no surviving soldiers to pass the hat (and no one to pass it to!). The Army did not want this to happen again, so at the creation of AAFMAA (then Army Mutual Aid Association), the expressed purpose was "to aid the families of deceased members in a prompt, simple and substantial manner". And 134 years later, that is still at the core of all they do.
All ranks of Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are eligible for membership – Active duty, Guard/Reserve, Retired and cadets/midshipmen at the Service Academies. In addition, honorably discharged veterans in CT, FL, MD, NC, OK, HI, SC and VA are eligible for membership and services. AAFMAA's signature Survivor Assistance Services are included with each member's first life insurance policy. Also, the member benefits department provides valuable Veterans Affairs Claims Coordination services as well as maintains physical and digital vault storage for members' most important and critical documents.