Story Number: NNS140221-13Release Date: 2/21/2014 1:35:00 PM
From Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) kicked off its 2014 Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) Active Duty Fund Drive (ADFD) at an event held aboard Naval Air Station North Island Feb. 20.
Vice Adm. David H. Buss, commander of Naval Air Forces and the 2014 NRSW ADFD chairman, addressed key organizers and representatives from various NRSW commands. Buss spoke of the value of NMCRS and its availability to assist Navy and Marine Corps service members.
"The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is one of those worthwhile causes that gives directly back to Sailors, Marines and their families," said Buss. "The last 12 to 13 years of combat have put an extraordinary amount of stress on all of the services and our families. Couple that with the more difficult economic times that this country has recently experienced, and the stress factors have been off the charts for those who serve in uniform and, by extension, their families. From my perspective that makes this program (NMCRS) all the more important.
"You never know when the next unpredictable events will happen," said Buss. "When something goes wrong, NMCRS is there to assist."
NMCRS has partnered with the Navy and Marine Corps to help service members and their families through those stressful emergencies and difficult financial times for the past 110 years.
For 20 of those years, Traci Schuck, director of NMCRS North Island, has worked with the society as an employee and volunteer.
"We are a financial relief organization for Sailors and Marines," said Schuck. "We are here 24/7, 365 days a year to serve. We want to help. It's what we do best."
Assistance with travel for emergency leave is a common request made by Sailors and Marines.
"So many members walk in with emergency leave and a need to get home right away because of a death in the family," said Schuck. "Within minutes, we get them out the door with an airline ticket."
In addition to immediate financial aid, the program also has a non-financial side. NMCRS services include combat casualty assistance, visiting nurse care, baby budgeting workshops, elderly retiree and widows assistance, and thrift stores that offer low-cost uniforms, civilian clothing and household items.
Buss urged representatives to become familiar with all the programs NMCRS has to offer and to share the personal stories of those who have benefited from them.
"Our goal is to make 100 percent meaningful contact by telling the stories that are associated with this great organization, what it represents and how it gives back to our Sailors and Marines," said Buss.
Last year, NMCRS dispersed more than $7 million worth of funds to 12,000 active duty members and their families, of which $1.6 million was raised by NRSW. The NRSW ADFD goal for 2014 is $1.8 million.
The 2014 NMCRS fund drive will continue through April 2014. See your command representative for more information on how you can get involved.
For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/airpac/.