Gordon Simmons, Retired CEO

Support Military Families

The recent events in Ukraine and building global tensions has many military
families watching closely for word on whether there will be a sudden activation
into service abroad. If you’ve never had the privilege of attending farewell
ceremonies for deploying troops, it is an indescribable moment mixed with honor,
patriotism and love of country with a melancholy blend of emotions as families say
goodbye for now.

But when the music ends and the troops depart, what’s next for those families
whose charge is to keep the home fires burning? What can all of us do for them
and the community in which they live while their loved one is deployed?

Our financial network can ensure that these families never have a crisis of cash
flow during deployment. Credit unions and banks often extend extra customer
service to military members and their families through ensuring family members
have account access during deployment. But there is actually much more that can
be done and much more for all of us to consider.

For example, businesses should free accept a family’s Power of Attorney (POA)
documents to complete reasonable financial transactions on behalf of the deployed
relative. One consideration for military families is to open a checking account for
the deployed member’s spouse into which the primary member can authorize the
automatic transfer of funds from their account on a recurring basis. This closes the
distance between family and simplifies financial transactions.

In addition, pre-approving a line of credit (LOC) that can be accessed by a
designated family member on the deployed member’s behalf is of great benefit to
families. Other options include creating an emergency loan fund for the
spouse/family member from their own account, just in case there is a problem
during deployment.

In this and in every case, military families should keep it simple. All that’s
required is a copy of the deployed member’s orders and identification to tie the
requestor and deployed member together. Details of this fund can vary, but it can
provide assurance and insurance against sudden emergencies.
Military families should enquire of credit unions and other financial institutions
what military discounts are available, such as loan discounts or reduced fees. It
never hurts to ask.

For those wishing to support military families in an impactful way, community
sponsorships through banks and credit unions are a thoughtful idea. And there are
direct donation opportunities.

Such contributions can include donations to the Army Community Services (ACS),
Air Force Family Services and the other military branch equivalents. These funds
go directly to the military families that need it the most. Other worthwhile
nonprofits could include the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, Make A Wish and
Children’s Miracle Network.

Anyone can make a valuable contribution to the families and their deployed
military sponsors that will make a real difference in their lives. Contact your local
credit union or financial institution to see what’s available. God Bless Our Troops.

Gordon A. Simmons

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gordon Simmons

Gordon Simmons has over four decades of experience in the financial industry. He served for 21-years as CEO of Service Credit Union. He specializes in international economic issues and finance. Gordon is now semi-retired, which means he’s now busier than he intended to be.