Operation Families of The Fallen

 
 

Our district covers 9 counties in NE Ohio. Each of these counties has lost loved ones to the US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last decade. Our young men and women have lost their lives trying to keep us safe at home. But once the pageantry of the military funeral ends, the journey forward for the families left behind just begins.  For many it is a path of grief and loneliness with little or no support from the government.

 

As Rotarians, dedicated to serve our communities, it is our turn to serve these families. Every county in Rotary District 6650 has survivor families, with the highest number in Stark, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. We can have access to them through the U.S. Army SOS ( Survivor Outreach Services ) coordinators.

 

With the help of the SOS coordinators and some Rotary survivor families, Stark County Rotarians initiated “Operation Families of The Fallen” 2 years ago, serving these families in the following ways and getting the message out to them that the Rotary community CARES, and that we wish to help.

  1. Planning  regional dinners/get-togethers for survivor families, to give them the chance to share, connect and heal.  Experienced Military Grief Counsellors are invited as well, encouraging the discussion with them as well as among the families. A picnic is planned at Atwood Lake in early August.  Rotary clubs in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties are planning  a get together dinner for survivor families, sometime in September, under the leadership of Presidents Paul Garchar and Janet Keene of the Youngstown and Salem Rotary clubs respectively.
  2. Adoption of surviving families by Rotarians offering acts of kindness: especially during holiday seasons and the death anniversaries of their loved ones. This could also involve Rotary clubs offering scholarships for members of surviving families.
  3. Trying to organize a yearly conference of the survivors focusing on their concerns, to give them a collective voice.

Help us make it a District 6650 Operation.  For more information, contact Meena Patel, Chair of the District 6650 Community Avenue of Service Committee. Meena’s  email is   durdarshan19@gmail.com