July 17, 2006

Gov. Kaine signs Virginia Military Family Relief Act

By Tricia Riggs
Sandston Family Assistance Center

Shawnee Zollar and Tricia Riggs of the Citizen Soldier Support Council, as well as family members from 2nd. Bn., 224th Avn. Bn., look on as Gov. Timothy Kaine signs the Military Family Relief Act June 19 in Richmond. (Photo by Angeli Wade, Family Wing Coordinator)

RICHMOND - Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine signed the Virginia Military Family Relief Act June 19 in Richmond. The act will create create the Virginia Military Family Relief Fund, which will provide financial assistance to the families of Guard and Reserve members who are deployed.

One of Virginia’s Family Readiness Group liaisons and her family members were there to witness this historic event. They were invited and welcomed by Kaine, who remembered all of the sacrifices families go through when a Soldier deploys.

The Virginia Military Family Relief Fund will provide another avenue for Soldiers and their families to get through the financial issues that sometimes come with a deployment.

At present, 22 other states have established similar funds to provide financial assistance to the families of Guard and Reserve members.

These bills were the result of recommendations by the Virginia Citizen-Soldier Support Council.

In addition, Senate Bill 617 establishes the “Support Our Troops” license plate. Support Our Troops, Inc. expects to have these license plates available in at least 30 states by the end of this summer. The bill will be funded by everyday citizens checking off that block on their taxes this coming tax season.

Support Our Troops, Inc. is a national non-profit organization which raises funds to provide financial assistance to Soldiers’ survivors and families to meet medical or household expenses.

These two bills are a great way for the community to not only show support for Soldiers but to benefit the families of those injured or killed while on duty.

More information can be found at www.governor.virginia.gov


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