Valdosta - As Family Assistance Coordinator for Valdosta's National Guard unit, Tinie Stringfield stays busy. "A lot of women call in and they can't pay the rent," said Stringfield.
It's her job to help military families find the resources they need to make ends meet, but many times, the money just isn't there. "It would be nice to have someone we could call who could give us those funds to help the families while their loved ones are gone," said Stringfield.
Senator Tim Golden of Valdosta is trying to make that happen. He wants Georgia legislators to approve a military relief system that allows Georgians to donate money to the National Guard when they submit their taxes. "The money would in turn be sent to a 501(c)3 fund that's already set up at the Georgia Department of Defense and that money would be turned around and be given out as grants to Georgia National Guardsmen," said Golden.
Military spouses like Stringfield love the idea. She thinks it would help our guardsmen stay focused on the task at hand. "These soldiers cannot concentrate and train properly when they're worried about their spouses and families," said Stringfield.
But when Senator Golden introduced the idea last week, Republican senators moved to engross the legislation, which shuts down all debate on a bill. "This is just a way to show support for our families and our guardsmen who are putting their lives on the line for freedom and this is the least we can do," said Golden.
Senator Golden says he's not giving up on the bill, and will try to find another way to get the tax-check off system approved. Until then, military families will do what they can to get by until their loved ones return home.