Our Guard. Our Community: Community Outreach Program touches troops, families

dwa

Story by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

Kentucky and Tennessee High School Football National Guard Border Bowl is just one of the events coordinated by the community outreach program. The Kentucky Team is composed of high school football players chosen from the best players throughout Eastern Kentucky. (Courtesy photo by State Community Outreach Program)

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Every day Joe Brummett and Freddie Maggard work to bridge the gap between the Bluegrass communities with Service members and their Families.

“Our mission statement is to connect the Kentucky National Guard with the community and connect the community with the Kentucky National Guard,” says Maggard, National Guard Community Outreach Director.

Kentucky Guard Community Outreach Director Joe Brummett and National Guard Community Outreach Director Freddie Maggard work together to bridge the gap between local communities and Service members and their families. (Courtesy photo by Kentucky Community Outreach Program)

Maggard has “been there, done that” with the community outreach program.

“I had the privilege of being the first outreach coordinator in the nation,” he said.  “We started this five years ago in Kentucky and defined what the program should do and how to do it.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is establishing focus groups with family members to analyze deployment stressors.  From that data we were able to initiate courses of actions to better serve our folks.”

“The communities always go above and beyond to give back to support the National Guard Family,” says Brummett, Kentucky Guard Community Outreach Director.  “That’s the beauty of this whole program.”

Kentucky Guard members and their Families receive a wide range of benefits from the state Community Outreach.  Likewise, local communities are supported by the Guard, as with the “All-Resilient Team,” which celebrates high school male and female student-athletes who overcome adversity on their path to success.

“We partnered with sports broadcaster Tom Leach for the all resilient team,” said Maggard.  “He is a huge believer in the National Guard.  It’s been a huge success, one that really makes us proud.”

Read more about Tom Leach — the “Voice of the Wildcats” — and his All Resilient Team.

Maggard emphasizes the importance of resilience wherever he goes.  “It’s not just for Soldiers and Airmen … it’s for families and members of the community as well.”

Community outreach events include:

  • Military appreciation day at state college sporting events
  • Free concerts tickets to see performers such as Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood
  • Harlem Globe Trotters free tickets
  • UK football coach visit to deploying troops
  • Distributing 16,000 USO Homefront Concert tickets
  • Brickyard 400 and Kentucky Speedway free tickets
  • Developing and distributing more than 40,000 “Unbridled Care” cards which directs troops and their families to many essential resources.
  • Support for welcome home ceremonies
  • VA registration campaign
  • Kentucky and Tennessee High School Football National Guard Border Bowl
  • Keeneland and Churchill Downs military appreciation day
  • Tom Leach All Resilience Team
  • Community excellence awards
DSC_0007

If you got a ticket to see Montgomery Gentry at the USO Homefront Concert, then you've been touched by Kentucky's Community Outreach Program. (Courtesy photo by Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs)

“We want to make the  Guard fun for the whole family,” says Maggard. “We want to show appreciation to those who serve and to the family members who support them daily. Our name is not out there for recognition because we are here to serve and assist the Soldiers and their family members.”

The state Community Outreach Program continues to research and develop more efficient ways to communicate with geographically disbursed Service Members and their Families.  Using social media outlets and educating the military community on Guard assets like as Employer Support of Guard and Reserve, Family Assistance and Resilience Program is helping to bridge the gap.

About kentuckyguard