THE ARMED FORCES RELIEF TRUST
Mr. GRAHAM of South Carolina. I rise today to commend an initiative recently launched by the National Association of Broadcasters and its local radio and television station members.
With more than 140,000 military personnel stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world, the resources needed to take care of our troops and their families are strained. As an Air Force reservist, I have seen firsthand the financial and emotional difficulties that many families face when a family member is on an extended deployment.
Of course, the military takes care of its own. But, as the war on terror continues and needs escalate, the military cannot do it alone. To respond to this growing need, the four military aid societies have joined together to create a single umbrella organization: the Armed Forces Relief Trust.
In support of this new relief organization, local commercial radio and television stations are airing radio and television public service announcements, asking viewers and listeners to contribute to the Trust. The over-the-air broadcast medium continues to be the most effective way to rapidly disseminate information to the public. Last year, the four military emergency assistance programs disbursed more than $109 million in interest-free loans and grants to more than 145,000 individuals and families in need. With the help of America's local radio and television stations, I am convinced that the Trust will be able to assist even more military families.
I applaud the efforts of local broadcasters to support the families of those who defend us every day.