National Guard aid fund under fire

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – A California military relief fund set up to help ial assistance to only three families last year, prompting sharp criticism from lawmakers and calls to reform the program. The California Military Family Relief Fund paid out $7,687 to three families in 2005, a tiny fraction of among 7,000 soldiers act “To find that a year later that we have served only a few people is very disappointing. It’s shameful,” said Lt. Gov. Cruz Bust Bustamante blamed the National Guard for not developing awareness of the program, which grants up to $2,000 emergency relief to n Col. Lawrence Cooper, the National Guard’s director of human resources, said the program was too restrictive. It requires proof o and military incomes. Cooper said the Legislature should reduce or eliminate the conditions so that relief can be issued solely on need, not mathematic “As of yesterday,” Cooper said Friday, “we had 18 applications and were able to grant only three.” One of the families was so said. “We need to take a look at this and see what can be refined to meet the intent of this legislation,” said Sen. Mike Machado, D- lly, we need to make sure that the men and women who are of service to this country receive the benefits.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Bakersfield, called the fund’s record “inexcusable” and vowed to help correct it through legislat A 2004 Department of Defense survey of married National Guard members and reservists showed that 55 percent of those interviewed lian career to military service. For 15 percent of those surveyed, the loss was more than $30,000 a year. One of the three families to receive a grant from the California fund was Steve and Theresa Edwards of San Jose. As a member of t alad, Iraq, north of Baghdad, from February 2004 to March 2005. When he returned, he suffered what has been diagnosed as an acute case of posttraumatic stress syndrome that has left him paranoi himself in a blanket and just sit on the couch. Struggling to deal with a dysfunctional husband and a 10-year-old daughter, Theresa Edwards called her husband’s battalion last s “It was really significant because we did not have the money to pay rent that month,” she said. last_img read more