Homefront Help

June 15, 2010
By Rita Boland, SIGNAL Connections

Homefront Help is SIGNAL Connections’ effort to support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. The column highlights programs that offer resources and assistance to the military community ranging from care packages to benefits and everything in between. In that same spirit, Homefront Help presents opportunities for readers to donate time, offer resources and send words of thanks to those who sacrifice for freedom. Programs that provide services are listed in red. Opportunities for the public to reach out to service members are listed in blue. Each program description includes a link to the organization's website, when available.

America's Heroes at Work

America's Heroes at Work addresses the employment challenges facing service members returning from overseas duties who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This U.S. Department of Labor project, managed in conjunction with other U.S. agencies and offices, equips employers and the work force development system to help these troops succeed in the workplace. It focuses particularly on veterans of operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Both TBI and PTSD are common injuries in those conflicts. Though the injuries often are invisible, sufferers can experience headaches, vertigo, balance trouble, anxiety and sleep disturbances as well as cognitive symptoms, all of which can affect everyday activities on the job. America's Heroes at Work engages in an education campaign to increase awareness of these conditions in the work force system and to inform employers of accommodations they can make for these employees.

The Resources page has a list that includes frequently asked questions, fact sheets and training tools to help employers. Additional resources such as places to acquire more education on TBI and PTSD, more information on hiring injured veterans and contact numbers are posted on the site.

CareerOneStop Military Transition

CareerOneStop is accessible through the HireVetsFirst site, but companies seeking veterans and veterans seeking employment can save time by going directly to the military transition section. The main page features links to more information about obtaining credentials, certification and licenses, locating a job, planning education and training, transitioning to civilian life, financial resources, local services and disabled/injured resources. Another page offers help for civilian spouses hunting for jobs. Veterans searching for local help can use a search tool to find employment, educational, National Guard/Reserve and homeless veteran information organized by state. The Businesses page includes a tool to help write job descriptions, a military-to-civilian occupation translator and tips for recruiting veterans.

CareerOneStop also has 3,400 One-Stop Career Centers around the United States that help connect employers and veterans. These locations offer specialized local Veterans' Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program staff. Site visitors can use the locator tool to find offices near them. The centers recruit, screen and refer veterans from entry-level workers to skilled professionals.

The SIGNAL Connectionsstaff encourages readers to take advantage of the programs mentioned in this column and to pass along the information. In addition, if you know of a program that is helping service personnel, please let us know about it. Submit that information to SIGNAL's news editor.