The following is from George Moran (Florida Genealogy Society, Tampa; one of the Genealogy Guys of podcast renown; and frequent presenter at our monthly meetings). It explains a program called Operation Ancestor Search. It is meant to aid our wounded warriors.
Here is what George sent us:
I’ve asked the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) Board for permission to share information with all of my fellow members about a very special program that I believe is important. It is called Operation Ancestor Search, and it is an exemplary program operated by the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR), in partnership with Ancestry.com to help and support our United States veterans.
Operation Ancestor Search (OAS) works with our country's Wounded Warriors - the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who have suffered physical and emotional injuries. This program provides an interest for these veterans to take their minds off their injuries, provides them with a potentially new interest, and fosters reconnection with their family, friends, and their communities.
This program has a lot of benefits to the wounded veterans' lives, perhaps more than you may imagine. Testimonials by participants, their spouses, and their families recount stories of the recovery from substance abuse, restoration of self-esteem, and help in rebuilding their lives.
OAS can bring brave these men and women into contact with genealogical and historical societies, perhaps drawing them into contact with people who will accept them without any judgment - just welcoming support. That involvement can be a step towards reintegration with their communities.
The NSSAR is not using this program to recruit new members. Rather, they are working to establish this program where it is needed to support our veterans. The program is growing, and seeks support and volunteers to promote and help implement it.
I had the opportunity at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on August 22nd to interview Rick Kincaid, the Program Director for OAS, and Kim Harrison of Ancestry.com who works directly with Rick and OAS. The interview is published as part of The Genealogy Guys Podcast that Drew Smith and I co-host. You can listen to that interview in our September 2, 2013, episode at http://genealogyguys.com/the-genealogy-guys-podcast-255-2013-september-2.
In addition, I've compiled a PDF file that contains some important details about OAS, its mission, and how to help. That file can be accessed in the Secure Download area of the Members Only area on our society’s website. (You can access that by entering an ID of the first initial of your first name and your last name (no spaces) and a password consisting of your ZIP code.)
I believe that there is nothing that we cannot and should not do to support our veterans. The fact that OAS is taking advantage of genealogy to help is icing on the cake. We have multiple VA hospitals in our metropolitan area and this could be an opportunity for us, as individuals and as a genealogical society, to begin getting involved with OAS.
If you're interested in getting more information, you can visit the Operation Ancestor Search website at http://www.operationancestorsearch.org. Please also feel free to contact Rick Kincaid at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (502) 588-6147, and let him know that you heard about OAS from me. He's a delight to talk to and would love to hear from you. You can also contact me at (813) 205-3032 for more information.
Please spread the word to your family, friends, colleagues, and to others in your community. OAS provides an exceptional opportunity to support our Wounded Warriors and their families in a very tangible way.
Thank you for listening,