VFW Aids Service Members Who Weathered Second-Worst Storm in U.S. History

Recent storms illustrate vitality of programs like Unmet Needs

The homes of service members and their families stationed at military bases across the south were not spared by last week’s deadly tornado outbreak. According to The National Weather Service, an estimated 266 tornadoes touched down across seven states, killing more than 340 people, injuring thousands and leaving hundreds unaccounted for. It is the worst tornado outbreak the region has seen in nearly 40 years and has been deemed the second-worst storm in U.S. history.   

In the path of the storms’ destruction lie the devastated military communities of Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg and Little Rock Air Force Base. Though officials are still surveying the scope of damage nearly one week later, VFW knew upon hearing initial reports of the storm’s intensity and projected path it needed to gear up to assist America’s military.  

The VFW National Headquarters reached out to its state departments asking them to rev up their efforts in spreading word of the VFW Unmet Needs program in the storm-stricken areas. Within just a few hours, applications for financial assistance began pouring in. 

“Unfortunate events such as these well illustrate the vitality of the Unmet Needs program on a large scale. When our service members are suddenly displaced, left without food or even basic supplies, VFW does not stand idly by, we act,” said Mike Penney, Director of VFW’s National Military Services.        

Enacted in 2004, VFW’s Unmet Needs program assists service members and military families who experience unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other hardships directly related to military service. 

Through Unmet Needs, VFW has already disbursed a total of $20,200 among service members for basic daily necessities, and the number of applications for assistance is expected to grow in the coming days.  

Burger King Restaurants is a proud sponsor of the Unmet Needs program. If you’re interested in donating to Unmet Needs, please visit: www.vfw.org/Contribute