5 ways to support active duty and retired Sailors, Marines and their families

Posted: August 16, 2023 | Word Count: 644

Military families are incredibly resilient. They face unique challenges compared to their civilian counterparts. Between frequent relocations to deployments and other disruptions to their routines, life can be difficult for the 2.6 million military family members across the globe.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) knows how important it is to provide assistance for Sailors and Marines during their time of need, and that stable and happy military family members are good for national security. To support these Sea Service members, NMCRS offers free, confidential services to active duty and retired Sailors, Marines and their loved ones to get them through difficult times so they can focus on what truly matters.

In 2022 alone, over 179,000 clients received assistance through NMCRS programs and services. Read on to learn about five ways the Society invests in and supports the well-being of Sea Service families.

1. Financial assistance

With inflation on the rise, so many within the military are attempting to make the best of their financial situation. So, when unexpected car repairs or bills come up, it can be stressful for military families. That's why NMCRS provides interest-free loans and grants along with financial education to help Sailors, Marines and their families during their time of need.

Just last year, the Society provided $45.9 million in financial assistance to Sea Service members. In one case, a Marine needed $3,700 for a transmission repair. Instead of financing the repairs with a personal loan from the bank at 17% interest, they were able to access an interest-free loan at NMCRS. This is just one way NMCRS provides judgment-free help when military families face financial challenges.

2. Educational assistance

Many service members, spouses and children desire an undergraduate and/or graduate education. To help military families achieve their academic dreams, the NMCRS Education Assistance Program offers grants and interest-free loans to children of active duty, retired and qualifying deceased Sailors and Marines, as well as active duty and retired spouses.

Last year, the Society provided more than 300 grants and interest-free loans for undergraduate and graduate studies of children of active duty, retired or qualifying deceased Sailors and Marines. Scholarships range from $500-$3,000, and loans are available up to $4,000.

3. Visiting nurse program

Between relocation and deployments, it can be difficult for military families to keep up with their health. Thanks to the Society's Visiting Nurse Program, many military members and their families can access health education and resource referrals no matter where they're stationed.

NMCRS' registered nurses provide health education for all stages of life via home and virtual visits. This includes prenatal, newborn, pediatric and adult health concerns. Nurses also assist in helping clients understand and achieve their health and well-being goals and field general health and wellness questions.

4. Welcoming a new addition to the family

Expecting a baby is an exciting time for a family. There's so much to prepare for, including planning for the financial impact of a baby. The NMCRS Budget for Baby® program offers in-person and virtual financial education workshops to expectant parents.

These workshops help expectant parents develop a basic financial plan, learn how to save money, find local resources and meet other expectant Navy and Marine Corps parents. As a bonus, participants receive a handcrafted blanket and gift card.

5. Emergency travel

When a family member is seriously ill or has passed away, military families may struggle to arrange travel or find the funds to do so. NMCRS is there to assist during these challenging times. The Society helps with expedited travel arrangements and financial assistance so Sailors, Marines and their families can focus on what matters.

These are just a few of the ways NMCRS supports active duty and retired Navy and Marine Corps families in the U.S. and abroad. To learn more about NMCRS programs, visit NMCRS.org and download a free resource guide.

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