D.O.D. Grants To Help Families of Gulf Veterans

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WASHINGTON--The Defense Department has issued $18.3 million in grants to bolster education, childcare, and family-support services to assist the families of reservists and National Guard personnel who served in the Persian Gulf war.

Authorized and funded by the Congress as part of the Persian Gulf Supplemental Authorization and Personnel Benefits Act of 1991, the grants are the first ever awarded by the department to civilian agencies and the first designed to provide comprehensive services to families as a result of a deployment, an Army spokesman said. The six agencies that received the grants--the American Legion, ' the American Red Cross, the Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Salvation Army, and the United Services Organizations--will provide youth programs, crisis intervention, family counseling, budget- and employment-skills counseling, family support-group assistance, and child care.

The agencies were chosen because they already have such programs in place, the spokesman said, and because they would be best able to reach the target population. Throughout the war, schools, communities, and social-service agencies sought ways to provide educational and counseling services for students and spouses whose relatives were sent to the Persian Gulf. ('See Education Week, Jan. 16 and 30 and Feb. 6, 1991.)

Nearly all of the reservists and National Guard personnel who served in Operation Desert Storm have returned to the United States, the spokesman said.

The grants took effect Oct. 1 and will fund the service programs for two years. Although the Defense Department is providing the grants, the Army is administering them.--M.P.

Vol. 11, Issue 06, Page 30

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