Gives Troops Break on Rent
Samantha L. Quigley
the rent just got a little bit easier for military personnel
in Ohio thanks to Empirian Property Management’s “Service
company’s program, military
personnel and civil servants can get $50 to $100 off their rent, Julie Yesnick,
a senior regional manger
in Ohio, said.
felt that it was a good way to honor people that are serving
our country,” she said.
honors active-duty, reserve-component and retired military
personnel, as well as fire and police department employees,
management company would eventually like to offer the program
in all its markets, it selected its Ohio market to test the
Service Appreciation Program. This is largely Yesnick’s
volunteered my region because I knew what it was like to be
an enlisted soldier and be kind of strapped for cash and not
know where the best place to live was,” Yesnick, a former
Ohio National Guardsman, said. “This presents a lot of
options for enlisted personnel in the … military and
other hometown heroes.”
has set some guidelines for the program, however, she said.
Five percent of its participating properties have been reserved
for renters eligible for the Service Appreciation Program.
Military personnel wishing to rent under this program must
be new customers and be able to provide a valid military identification
card or discharge papers for veterans.
rents are fixed for the one-year lease, and start as low as
$299 for a studio apartment, Yesnick said. Lease renewal rates
have not been determined, however.
program launched March 1, the Cleveland market has shown the
most interest, she said. Reservists have rented all five apartments
rented through the Service Appreciation Program.
and a listing of properties eligible for the program are available
at Empirian’s Web site.
we’re doing is trying to make it possible for our service
personnel … here to have the benefit of having housing
that doesn’t place a burden on them,” Yesnick said.
Note: Military families can also avail themselves of the Defense
Department’s America Supports You program, which highlights
home-front groups across the nation that are providing a variety
of services and support to troops and their families. A listing
of these groups and information about their efforts is available
Works on Behalf of Military Families
Samantha L. Quigley
began in 1969 as the Military Wives Association, the National
Military Family Association, with headquarters here,
has been a voice for military families.
Military Family Association is a member of America Support
You, a Defense Department program highlighting
the ways Americans are supporting
the nation’s servicemembers.
seven branches of the military, including the National Guard
and Reserves, the organization initially worked to create financial
security for the survivors of servicemembers and retirees.
Those efforts resulted in the Survivor Benefit Plan. By 1984,
however, the association had expanded.
realized that as it grew as a professional organization, those
who benefited from the work were military families, and not
just military wives,” Michelle Joyner, communications
director for the organization, said. “As the association
grows and military life changes, we understand that military
families also include family members … who aren’t
necessarily uniformed services ID card holders.
family members support the servicemember and are affected by
the challenges of military life,” she added.
years, the association has continued to educate military families
about their rights, while fighting for better quality of life
for those same families, Joyner said. Some of its many accomplishments
include improvements in the areas of health benefits, dependent
education, retiree and survivor benefits as well as spouse
in military communities worldwide, there’s a direct link
between the families the association serves and the central
also administers the Joanne Holbrook Patton Spouse Scholarship
through its Military Spouse Scholarship Program. Ranging from
$500 to $1,000, the scholarships may be used for tuition, fees
and school room and board. Full details about the scholarship
program are available on the association’s Web site,
workload, the National Military Family Association’s
paid staff is small. But the organization has a solid corps
of 200 volunteers who are committed and passionate about the
work they do, Joyner said. Whether paid or volunteer, most
working with NMFA are military family members who have a unique
understanding of the issues and can speak from experience.
volunteers lead the association as board members around the
world, and support military families through the events of
our lives such as deployments, reunions, moves, births and
deaths,” she said.
membership in America Supports You has made its job easier
by providing the means to connect those in need with those
who can help, Joyner said.
Supports You) has allowed NMFA to reach out to the American
public with information about resources such as our summer
camps for military children and scholarships for military spouses,” she
said. “(It has enabled) many more families to benefit
from these incredible programs.”