By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 13, 2007 – The National Homeland Defense Foundation distributed more than $500,000 in temporary financial assistance to over 300 families of deployed military personnel since 2005, according to the foundation's president. "We have hundreds of heart-warming anecdotes resulting from our program," Donald E. Addy said.
Founded in 2004, the National Homeland Defense Foundation is a new member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations that support military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad.
In addition to the financial assistance, the foundation also offers military families educational and emotional support through its outreach programs.
But the foundation is not only involved in troop support activities. Through its humanitarian, security and preparedness programs, the foundation aims to "secure the future of liberty" for the United States, according to its Web site.
"Our primary activity is conducting an annual symposium, which has become the nation's leading public forum on homeland defense (and) homeland security," Addy said. "(This year's symposium) topics include border security, maritime domain awareness and port security."
Other topics include educational initiatives in homeland defense and security as well as "Winning the War of Ideas," Addy said.
The foundation has invited top-levels government officials to speak at the event as well, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
The foundation will hold a one-day first-responders conference before the symposium. "First Responders and the War on Terror," will address topics pertinent to issues facing law enforcement, fire and emergency personnel, as well as regional National Guardsmen. There is no registration fee for the conference.