The Redhorn family didn’t know who to turn to when they were left homeless after their rental home caught fire Jan. 10 in Great Falls, Mont. The family of eight were hundreds of miles away from their support network of family and friends.
In their time of despair, it was The American Legion that helped Ivan Redhorn, a U.S. Army combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, his wife, Shavonne, and their six children.
Great Falls Post 341 Commander and Adjutant Kim Kay McCarty-Martin met with Ivan and Shavonne and helped them fill out an American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) application and provided a roof over their heads until they found a new home. Post 341 and the Department of Montana paid for temporary housing for a week “so we weren’t staying in our car,” Shavonne said. While living in temporary housing, the Redhorns found a new rental home; the TFA grant paid for the security deposit.
The Legion’s TFA program has provided more than $16 million in cash grants to Legion-eligible veterans with minor children since its inception in 1925. The grants – which benefited 433 veterans and 933 children in 2017 alone – help families in financial need meet the costs of shelter, utilities, food, clothing and medical expenses. TFA is my fundraising project during my tenure as your national commander, and the Redhorn family is a testament to the great program TFA is and the need to support its efforts.
“I know that (The American Legion) cares enough to help us in any and every aspect of our life. Having turmoil like this, The American Legion was almost like a hero for me,” Ivan said. “The American Legion eased our financial burden and worry with their assistance to help us.
“If my parents (who live in Browning, Mont.) were here, they would be very thankful. Just knowing The American Legion came and assisted their son, their soldier, in a time of need.”
Donations to TFA can be made to the Commander’s Charity Fund online at www.legion.org/donate. Payments by check can be made payable to American Legion Charities and put “Commander’s Charity Fund” on the memo line. Address is P.O. Box 361623, Indianapolis, IN 46236-1626.
Help The American Legion continue to be heroes to other veterans and their families.