Operation Comfort Warriors and Heroes to Hometowns, The American Legion’s two disabled troop support programs, have merged under the Operation Comfort Warriors banner. Resolution 12, passed during the National Executive Committee’s Fall Meetings earlier this month, consolidated H2H into OCW, making all troop-support efforts for wounded, injured or ill servicemembers and service-connected veterans fall under the umbrella of OCW – a program that provides comfort items and recreational events to wounded warriors recovering in military medical facilities and warrior transition units.

The consolidated OCW program will still work to give all of the aid it previously provided to wounded warriors, such as, electronics, sweatsuits, giftcards, exercise equipment and other popular items. Its services will be enhanced by what was previously provided under H2H – an outreach program that relies heavily on a national network of volunteers to assist servicemembers and their families with the transition into civilian life. This included checking eligibility for temporary financial assistance, housing and family support. Whereas OCW previously focused on wounded warrior units, Heroes to Hometowns concentrated on helping individual troops with disabilities transition home.

The benefit of the consolidation is twofold. The Legion saves administrative costs from running two similar programs separately, and resources from both initiatives can serve one large pool of applicants.

Giving H2H coordinators the power of OCW – a nationally renowned troop assistance program – can help them better assist veterans in their assimilation back into regular life.

National Commander James E. Koutz has made OCW his primary fundraising project program during his tenure, with his goal to raise $500,000 for it. Thanks to the consolidation, veterans and servicemembers who previously would have applied only to H2H stand to benefit.

To inquire about aid under OCW or to be connected with a local volunteer H2H coordinator, email ocw@legion.org. Donations can be made to OCW – an official American Legion 501 (c )3 Charity – by going to www.legion.org. Every dollar of every contribution made to OCW goes to benefit wounded warriors. Administrative and marketing funds come from membership fees paid by Legionnaires.