5 vet aid groups to benefit from new fundraising

Thursday - 7/5/2012, 3:12am EDT

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Three families are starting an effort to raise $30 million for troops and veterans through a new organization called Veteran Support Fund. It will be a portal for distributing money to five groups already working to help America's military community. The five are:

_Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, with some 200,000 members, provides health, education, employment and community programs for America's newest generation of veterans.

_Operation Mend provides lifelong medical help, reconstructive surgery and mental health assistance for critically injured and severely disfigured active and retiring service members and veterans. It's a partnership between Brooke Army Medical Center, a leading burn and rehabilitation center in San Antonio, Texas; the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; and UCLA Health System.

_Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors provides peer support and other help to anyone grieving the death of someone in the military.

_Operation Homefront provides emergency financial help to active-duty service members and the wounded, such as food boxes or gift certificates for food and rent-free housing for the wounded after their homecoming and while they await veteran's compensation.

_National Military Family Association works for benefits and programs that help the families of active-duty service members.

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