Listen 24/7 as Bob Calvert Founder of TalkingWithHeroes.Com Interviews (Ret) CW5 Dennis McCormack and April Speake Executive Director of Colorado Springs based The Home Front Cares. Dennis will also talk about CIMS (Colorado Injured Military Support) – An Alliance of Many Military Support and Veterans Groups and Individuals throughout Colorado.
Bob Calvert Hosts: TheHomeFrontCares and CIMS Program
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The Home Front Cares and CIMS Program
Dennis X McCormack
Retired Chief Warrant Officer (CW5), 26 years military service in the United States Army – Flight Standards and Training Officer for Aviation Systems. Project Manager for Force Modernization Systems. Helicopter Flight Instructor. Air Traffic Control Supervisor. Sixteen years service overseas in Vietnam, Germany, Greece, and the Middle East in tactical military units. Selected by the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) as the Army Aviator of the Year for the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) in 1988.
Nov 2009 to Present: Retired from full time employment. Work as a volunteer with the Veterans Trauma Court, The Home Front Cares www.thehomefrontcares.org, Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Program, Homeless Vets Coalition, Colorado Injured Military Support (CIMS) Network, and a number of other organizations that support our Military, Veterans, and their families. Also serve on Congressman Lamborn’s Veteran’s Advisory Council. Board Member of Brother to Brother Ministries, a Catholic men’s mentoring ministry. Received the President’s Award from The Home Front Cares for my work with them in October 2009 at the 2011 Annual Banquet at the Broadmoor Hotel. Received the ‘Joe Henjum Service Above Self Award’ from the Colorado Springs Rotarians in November of 2011 in recognition of my years of volunteer work with many Veterans and Military organizations in Colorado.
Mar 2007 to Nov 2009 AW2 Advocate for the Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Program at Ft. Carson, CO. Established the program as the sole Advocate at Ft. Carson, and AW2 now has a team of nine AW2 Advocates in place at Ft. Carson plus an additional Advocate at the VA Hospital in Denver, CO. Support the most severely wounded and injured Soldiers with benefits counseling, career guidance, education opportunities, and extensive networking with local and national nonprofits and organizations that assist our Soldiers. Selected by the Serco Corporation, my employer, as the Top Advocate in 2008 among their eighty-four contractor Advocates world wide.
Apr 2005 to Mar 2007: Vice President for Support Operations and a member of the Board of Directors for The Home Front Cares, a 501c3 non-profit organization in Colorado Springs that supports deployed military troops and their families with financial aid, energy assistance, adaptive housing and vehicle modifications for disabled soldiers, and other services www.thehomefrontcares.org
Worked extensively with the former AW2 program director in Denver, the various counselors at Evans Army Hospital (EAH) Fort Carson, and the counselors at Army Community Service (ACS) at Ft. Carson, CO. Senior Case Worker and Casework Coordinator, dealing on a daily basis with the chain of command at all of the major military installations, the various social service agencies in the area, the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Labor (DOL), and individual soldiers. Also a volunteer with the El Paso County Homeless Veterans Coalition for eight years, working with the Veterans Administration and the DOL to put on an annual Stand Down for homeless veterans along the Front Range of Colorado.
April Speake, Executive Director The Home Front Cares www.thehomefrontcares.org
April Speake was Hired June 2010 as the organization’s first ED and first full-time, paid staff.
April has almost 20 years of experience in nonprofits, joining THFC after a 5-years stint as ED of Big Brothers Big Sisters Pikes Peak.
A longtime military spouse, April’s leadership has guided the organization through a period of tremendous change. She built THFC from a volunteer organization into a professional nonprofit operation, opening our first office and building our infrastructure.
She has since led THFC through growth in funding and aid given, and a dramatic shift in our client base and program focus.
ABOUT The Home Front Cares
Our mission is simply to provide emergency and responsive support and grants for Colorado’s service members, veterans and family members, who have been impacted by deployment in harm’s way.
The Home Front Cares (THFC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help needy veterans and military families with rent/mortgages, utilities, car and home repairs, childcare and groceries, and other essential life needs. We have strong partnerships with Colorado’s military installations, the VA and other veteran organizations, and non-military non-profit and referral agencies across the state. Our aid is grants, not loans, and our clients are vetted to confirm their military service and financial need. Despite this due diligence, we are structured to at fast. Many of our grants are approved in less than 24 hours — an essential capability because quite often, our aid is the last “save” that keeps a veteran from being evicted or a military family from having their power turned off.
According to our 2012 audit our administrative overhead is less than 14% — an outstanding figure for a non-profit. Nearly 87 cents of every dollar goes toward aid and programs: Grants to Families, Energy Assistance, Adaptive Housing and Welcome Home Heroes. Since 2003, THFC has raised more than $5 million and helped more than 2,250 military and veteran families with grants.
THFC began in 2003 as an all-volunteer initiative led by two retired Air Force colonels, Bob Carlone and Joe Henjum. As Vietnam veterans, they were keenly aware of the financial and emotional struggles for families of deployed military members, and how easily these families could fall through the cracks of bureaucracy and society. In 2004, the organization incorporated as a 501(c)3, and in their first full year of operation provided some $34,000 in aid to Colorado military families. Since then, THFC has grown annually, significantly increasing the amount of aid distributed an adding programs like adaptive housing and energy assistance grants. Today, the mission has evolved from serving primarily military families to recently separated veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their families. The non-profit augments its volunteers with a staff of five people, and is a respected voice of advocacy for veterans issues in the Pikes Peak Region.
DEDICATED to increase the scope and depth of our support to Colorado’s military service members, veterans and family members, and serve as a community leader and advocate on their behalf. COMMITTED to remain flexible, relevant, and efficient in supporting the changing needs of our service members, veterans, and families as they remain in the service or transition back into our community.
ABOUT CIMS – Colorado Injured Military Support
The CIMS (Colorado Injured Military Support) Network is a community outreach program of the Army Community Service program at Ft. Carson, CO.
We are in our seventh year of operation and still growing. We welcome any individual or organization that sincerely wants to offer support to our military and veterans in Colorado, especially in the local area around Colorado Springs.
We support all Armed Services, not just the Army, and are primarily an information networking group that attempts to find and share resources in our community. We have no officers, dues, projects, or membership requirements other than a desire to support and serve our military communities.
We meet monthly on the 4th Friday (not the last Friday) of the month at the SE YMCA from 1130 until 1300 hours (11:30 AM until 1:00 PM), and you are welcome to bring your lunch to enjoy during the meeting.
We normally start the meeting by going around the room and having everyone give their fifteen second elevator speech as to who they are and what they do, then we have three to four presentations of about fifteen minutes each by various individuals and organizations as to what their current and future activities are.
Nat Nugin (ACS Family Enrichment Program Manager email@example.com 719-526-4590) and myself are the facilitators for the meetings. I (Dennis McCormack am a volunteer with CIMS and support Nat and ACS in their outreach program.