Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: Operation Second Chance


September 09, 2022

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: Operation Second Chance

Each issue, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charitable organization that benefits the military, veterans, and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day.

This issue, we are highlighting Operation Second Chance (OSC), a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that supports wounded, injured, and ill combat veterans and their families by identifying and supporting their immediate needs and requests, which often occur while the veteran is waiting for authorization for post-military benefits. Founder Cindy McGrew started the organization in 2005 after visiting friends who were being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. following combat tours in Iraq.

Operation Second Chance’s work with recovering service members often begins as the wounded, injured, or ill person is transitioning out of an intensive care unit: OSC makes initial contact with the family and informs them of the types of assistance the organization can provide. Financial aid in the form of mortgage and rent payments, plus money for utilities, transportation costs, lodging, and other essential emergency costs can help the service member and family avoid losing a home or going into debt during a prolonged recovery period. It also coordinates retreats, sports events, hospital visits, and outings, which helps the veteran and family boost morale and help them transition back into civilian life, reconnect with family, and build a network of peers.

One major piece of OSC’s work is referrals to help connect the service member with additional resources, including those pertaining to counseling and mental health, employment and education, and housing and home renovations if needed. Through Operation Giving Back, veterans and their family members who wish to assist others in similar situations can work as paid interns for the organization to serve others like themselves.

For additional information, please visit

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