Mississippi Guard Forces Shift Gears to Help Needy 172d AW Family

  • Published
  • By TSgt Ed Staton
  • 172d AW
Thanks to the combined efforts of Mississippi Army and Air National Guard personnel, a deployed MS Guardsmen's family has seen first-hand how a lemon can be turned into lemonade.

Although Master Sgt. Terry Medley's family didn't literally see lemonade made, what they did witness was an overwhelming rush of support that enabled them to overcome an exasperating and expensive dilemma with their lemon of a family vehicle. The story developed almost immediately following the departure of the 172d Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant on an overseas deployment. With the family already wrestling with the impact of having their loved one away from home, the Medley's van broke down with transmission problems. And quickly a bad situation got worse.

"After dumping $2500 into repairs and many calls to the States, it still didn't run right said Medley. It stranded my wife many times and she was getting the runaround from the mechanic who wanted us to put more money into it."

When 172d AW personnel learned of the Medley family's plight, they jumped into action with the goal of helping a Guard family in need. While gaining additional facts, they learned that a separate automotive repair shop had declined to work on the van because it was still gushing transmission fluid. And this was after the previous mechanic had worked on it.

With Military Family Relief funds available to help offset hardship expenses incurred by families of Title 10 deployed Mississippi National Guardsmen and Reservist, solutions for the Medley's vehicle issue were explored. And through this program that is managed by the Mississippi Secretary of State and funded through generous donations from individuals and businesses, family support personnel applied for a grant to mitigate the Medley's expenses.

Based on the circumstances that included the conclusion that the Medleys had suffered from shoddy mechanical work, the family received a grant to not only help offset the monies they had spent on repairs, but to also help purchase another vehicle. This was accomplished in just two weeks as family support members and additional personnel from the 172d AW, State's Joint Force Headquarters and Gulfport's CRTC worked towards resolving the family's hardship. With the grant approved, the Medley family purchased a replacement vehicle on April 3, 2013 and was suddenly mobile again.

"The Guard family was just super to put forth the maximum effort to make this happen," an appreciative Medley said. "The family and I are so grateful, especially my walking teenagers. A big thanks to the MSANG for the team effort!"

The State's Military Family Relief Fund includes no appropriated funds and is approved through the State legislature with additional approving authority through JFH. Title 10 deployed Mississippi Guardsmen, Reservist or their families that want to seek more information about the program can contact Major Johnny Waldrop at the State Family Program Office (601) 313-6379 or contact the 172d AW's Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager, Marianne Breland at (601) 405-8211.