Franchise Helps Group Support Injured Troops

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2007 - Members of Daniel Acosta's family already had a lot on their minds when he arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from serving in Iraq with injuries that ultimately cost him an arm.

And shortly thereafter, his wife, Sandy, delivered their third child.

To ease part of their burden, Maid Brigade is lending a hand with weekly household cleaning as part of a national partnership with Operation Homefront to serve military families in need.

Operation Homefront is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program that highlights the ways Americans are supporting the nation's servicemembers.

"This is the best baby gift ever!" Sandy said. "Maid Brigade and Operation Homefront have relieved so much stress from our lives, and the weekly cleaning allows me to spend precious minutes with my children and help my husband recuperate."

After America Supports You officials introduced Operation Homefront and Maid Brigade, the organizations announced in January their partnership to support military families in crisis by offering free cleaning service.

With a mission to provide emergency assistance to troops, military families and wounded warriors, Operation Homefront anticipates many scenarios like this, where Maid Brigade will make a genuine difference to military families.

Working with Operation Homefront is a way of saying "thank you" to the nation's troops and families who have sacrificed so much, Josie Rangel, the San Antonio Maid Brigade franchisee who is assisting the Acostas, said. "It's nice that Operation Homefront gives regular businesses an opportunity to show their support."

"The work these two America Supports You groups are doing is truly outstanding," Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs and architect of the America Supports You program, said. "Something as simple as cleaning a house or an apartment can make a huge difference in the lives of our wounded veterans and their families.

"Operation Homefront and Maid Brigade are a perfect match, and we're so happy we were able to connect them," she added.

In Arlington, Texas, Maid Brigade and Operation Homefront are helping another family as it relocates to San Antonio.

Marvin Williams was an Army National Guard soldier activated to an Austin-based unit when he was injured in a training accident. Operation Homefront is relocating his wife and 11-month-old daughter.

"Our daughter was born one month after I was activated, and she won't even come to me," Williams said. "Because I am being treated for injuries here at (Brooke Army Medical Center), I could not help my wife with the burdens of packing our entire household to prepare for the move.

"Operation Homefront and Maid Brigade helped my wife in ways I could not," he added. "I can't say thank you enough!"

Keith Clem, of the Fort Worth franchise of Maid Brigade, has agreed to clean the apartment once the household items have been moved out.

"Maid Brigade is bringing genuine peace of mind to families who have sacrificed so much," Meredith Leyva, founder of Operation Homefront, said.

"Our many offices throughout the country have eagerly volunteered to help our wounded warriors in many different ways, and we are proud of the way our people have stepped up to assist our ... wounded military who have sacrificed so much," Don Hay, chairman of Maid Brigade, said.

(From an Operation Homefront news release.)

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