By: Darci Miller
PUEBLO, Colo. – This weekend, 15 of the best bull riders in the world head to Corpus Christi, Texas, for PBR Air Force Reserve Cowboys for a Cause. The invitational team event will feature five teams of three cowboys, riding on the deck of the USS Lexington to support military members and their families through PBR’s new charity initiative.
Fans can catch all the action on Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. ET or 5 p.m. ET on CBS (check local listings) and don’t miss the PBR Air Force Reserve Cowboys For A Cause Preshow on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. ET and Nov. 22 at 2:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.
PBR and select partners will donate money for every second the rider stays on his bull. The charity bull riding will benefit a series of charities, including Operation Homefront.
Operation Homefront is a nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, secure military families that can thrive in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.
For more than 15 years, Operation Homefront has provided programs that offer relief, resiliency and recurring family support programs. The goal is to help families overcome short-term issues so they don’t become long-term problems.
Before PBR bull riders make the 8-second whistle for charity, here are three things to know about Operation Homefront.
View this post on Instagram
1. Housing and financial assistance
Some of the most pressing concerns for service members involve financial crises and housing during the transition back to civilian life. Operation Homefront works to alleviate both of these issues.
Operation Homefront’s Critical Financial Assistance program helps military families address critical financial shortfalls, often assisting with mortgage payments, rent, utilities, car repairs, home repairs, overdue bills, critical baby items, and groceries.
When it comes to housing, there are a number of resources that provide relief for families.
Operation Homefront’s Transitional Housing Villages are designed to enable families to heal together, while bridging what can be a lengthy gap between military pay ending and veteran benefits beginning, or when veterans’ disability claims are reviewed and received. The Villages’s three locations provide rent-free, two- and three-bedroom apartments to wounded, ill and injured warriors and their families as they leave the military and transition into civilian life, and provide a comprehensive package of individualized family support and financial planning services.
There is also the Transitional Homes for Community Reintegration program, which offers families the opportunity to live in a rent-free, single-family home for two to three years while receiving financial counseling and community reintegration support.
Meanwhile, the Homes on the Homefront program prepares veterans and their families for home ownership by providing a mortgage-free home and the opportunity to work directly with Operation Homefront caseworkers and financial counselors and learn how to prepare for home ownership.
View this post on Instagram
2. Caregiver and family support
Since September 11, 2001, more than two million Americans have served in overseas combat zones, and tens of thousands have returned home with severe physical injuries and psychological wounds.
Hearts of Valor is a program that supports the caregivers and spouses of these service members, who deal with the stress of being on call 24/7 and coping with personality changes, frustrations, and compassion fatigue.
In Hearts of Valor, caregivers can apply for all-expenses-paid retreats offering respite, expert coaching and assistance in developing caregiver skills. The program offers support from caring professional staff members with experience in military trauma, providing guidance and encouragement.
Operation Homefront also supports every military family member, caregiver or not. There is a gala each year that recognizes extraordinary military kids as part of our Military Child of the Year Awards, and there are multiple Homefront Celebrations, Star-Spangled Babies Showers, Back-to-School Brigades, Holiday Meals for Military and Holiday Toy Drive events each year to show appreciation to military families.
3. Wide-reaching impact
Operation Homefront has fulfilled 46,000 requests from military families around the U.S., and 600 families are housed in rent-free transitional housing in three Operation Homefront villages. The organization has given $29 million in financial assistance to help families pay bills, buy groceries and more, and has provided $6.5 million in savings on rent and utilities. There are 75 caregiver support groups nationwide, and more than 8,700 military spouses have been honored at Homefront Celebrations.
For more information on Operation Homefront, visit operationhomefront.org.
© 2020 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.