Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today rolled out an innovative new program called "Montana Battle Buddies." The program acts as a supplement to existing support structures for the families of soldiers deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Montana Battle Buddies connects businesses and organizations with military families in their community to help with everyday tasks like mowing the lawn, keeping up the house, babysitting or even help with tax preparation.
"While we honor the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform this Memorial Day, we should not forget the sacrifices made by their families," said Rehberg a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "When a soldier is deployed overseas, their spouse must wrestle with the day-to-day tasks without them. Montana Battle Buddies taps into the support of communities by giving businesses and organizations a chance to chip in and help ease that burden."
The idea to create the Montana Battle Buddies program was first conceived by Jessica Flint, Rehberg's Western Montana Field Representative and the wife of a soldier deployed in Afghanistan and Dustin Frost, Rehberg's State Director and a member of the Montana National Guard. Flint will connect the organizations that offer help with the families that ask for it through the website located at http://www.montanabattlebuddies.com.
"My husband is from Montana but he deployed to Afghanistan with the Nevada National Guard, leaving me without the Montana connections to military families I would have if he deployed from here," said Flint who is expecting her second child this week. "While I've been blessed by the help from friends, family and of course Denny, not everyone in my situation has those support networks. Denny asked me to find a way to fill that gap when it exists and Montana Battle Buddies was born."
Montana Battle Buddies uniquely harnesses the social power of the internet to connect people in need with people willing to help. Rehberg promotes the program and its website through traditional media outlets as well as email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
"Montanans are some of the most generous people in the world," said Rehberg. "All we're doing here is giving them a venue to show their appreciation for the families of our military while they put their lives on the line for our freedom. I hope we get a great response, and I encourage folks to participate."