Supporting Our Veterans

December 15, 2011
By Rita Boland

Most deadlines for shipping cards and packages to warzones in time for the holidays have passed, but you can still send e-cards to deployed loved ones overseas courtesy of Real Warriors. Users can choose the animated or still version of the "Happy Holidays from Afar" card. Both feature a military theme as well as the contact information for Real Warriors, which provides help for troops, veterans and family members readjusting to life after deployment.

The organization also offers several non-holiday e-card options with "Welcome Home" or "Reaching Out is a Sign of Strength" themes.

 

November 11, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

SIGNAL and AFCEA extend our admiration and gratitude to all veterans. We appreciate your sacrifice not only on November 11, but every day. We have produced a special veterans supplement publication to our November edition. The resource is full of information about programs that benefit U.S. veterans and words of praise from citizens in many walks of life.

The content can be accessed on SIGNAL's  A Salute to Veterans, Troops and Their Families site, which includes a section for people to leave their own messages of support to those who have fought for freedom.

November 3, 2011
By Rita Boland

On Thursday, November 10, inns and bed and breakfasts around the U.S. and Canada are offering free rooms to veterans and a guest in observance of Veterans and Remembrance days. Those who served in the American armed forces can find a list of participating U.S. locations at www.bnbsforvets.org; Canadian veterans and military members can find properties in their country at www.bbcanada.com/bbforvets. Additional information about the offers also can be found on the sites. Veterans should book their rooms directly through the inns and B&Bs, which may require proof of prior service.

October 24, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

Birdies for the Brave is a PGA Tour Charities program that raises money for organizations established to support the military community. The effort involves several types of activities such as letter writing, distributing care packages and fundraising golf tournaments conducted at a network of golf clubs across the United States.

October 13, 2011
By Rita Boland

Some wounded warriors may no longer be able to serve in war zones, but many still have a strong desire to serve their country. The Mission Continues ensures they have opportunities to do so. It offers several programs that connect veterans and civilians in projects that benefit communities. The Fellowship Program offers post-9/11 wounded and disabled veterans a chance to work with nonprofit organizations, providing tangible goods and services to others. These fellowships usually last 28 weeks, during which participants receive a stipend.

October 4, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

The free Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) Pocket Guide app for Android gives health care providers instant access to resources on improving care for service members and veterans suffering from mTBI. Military and civilian physicians, assistants, nurse practitioners and other health care providers can use the app to find information on assessing, treating and managing common symptoms of mTBI patients. It features a wide range of informative resources, including definitions, causes and severity ratings. In addition, the app includes U.S.

September 29, 2011
By Rita Boland

This organization focuses on supporting warfighters and their families who are impacted by combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder. The confidential and anonymous community offers free support and mental health resources to those dealing with these challenges after serving in wartime situations. The website features a self-assessment tool, anonymous forums and various interactive groups for combat veterans, significant others and parents.

September 15, 2011
By Rita Boland

Go all in to support the troops at the USO of Metropolitan Washington's (USO-Metro's) 8th Annual Stars and Stripes Casino Night on Friday, October 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Sheraton National Hotel. Proceeds will benefit the military community through programs such as outreach to children with deployed parents, support services for spouses, emergency housing and wounded warrior care. Attendees will enjoy a buffet and can play a variety of games including Blackjack, Texas Hold 'em and Roulette. The evening also will feature a raffle and auctions.

September 8, 2011
By Rita Boland

An initiative of Microsoft, Elevate America Veterans helps former troops and their spouses acquire the skills and resources necessary for success in the workplace. The effort brings together public, private and nonprofit organizations interested in contributing their expertise, cash or other assets. In August, Microsoft partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the program and distribute 10,000 training and certification packages to veterans over a two-year period.

August 11, 2011
By Rita Boland

The Veteran Artist Program aids artists who served their country in the military promote their works and careers in the mainstream arts world. Help is offered through networking, mentorship, and collaboration with professional artists and original productions. Creators in all artistic disciplines are invited to be part of the group, which emphasizes bringing together the veteran and artistic communities. The group promotes various events and shows in which veterans can participate.

August 4, 2011
By Rita Boland

Veterans, activists and artists come together through this organization that provides a cathartic outlet for those who have served in the U.S. military. Through art-making workshops, veterans can share their personal wartime experiences as well as expand on the traditional stories surrounding military service and culture. In the papermaking workshops, they transform their uniforms into works of art. The purpose is for veterans to reclaim these clothes and to embrace their military experiences. Many of the pieces touch on the harsh, brutal reality of combat and the toll it can take on those who live it.

August 3, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

An agreement between the two largest civilian employers in the U.S. Defense Department expands hiring programs for disabled veterans. The U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) and the Naval Sea System Command (NAVSEA) signed a memorandum of understanding to combine their existing wounded warrior programs: Always a Soldier and the Wounded Warrior Program, respectively. Under the agreement, the commands will jointly set and monitor wounded warrior hiring and lead management of the programs.

July 28, 2011
By Rita Boland

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) launched Real Warriors in 2007 to help returning service members, veterans and their loved ones deal with invisible wounds such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. This program spreads the word about available resources as well as produces stories about troops who have sought treatment for these often-stigmatized problems and gone on to successful military or civilian careers.

July 21, 2011
By Rita Boland

Since 2004, this organization has offered support to Marines and their loved ones in Florida. In addition to working for active-duty families, the group reaches out to reservists, retired Marines, veterans, wounded warriors and those in boot camp or the delayed entry program. "Family" includes not only spouses and children but also mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and friends. Gold and Silver Star families are always welcome to seek support as well. Though dedicated to the Devil Dog community, the organization extends its outreach to include all military branches and other patriotic supporters.

June 2, 2011
By Rita Boland

This North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) program offers different types of assistance and therapy to veterans through equine activities. Various NARHA centers across the country participate, each with its own set of help capabilities. Conditions that can be alleviated through the horse activities include traumatic brain injuries and amputations-common afflictions for those wounded in combat. The effort connects the centers with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' medical centers and clinics and well as with individuals.

May 27, 2011
By Rita Boland

The SIGNAL staff extends its appreciation to our service men and women, veterans and their families this Memorial Day, especially those who have paid the ultimate price. Because freedom isn't free. Share your plans or suggestions for celebrating Memorial Day on on the Homefront Help Facebook page.

May 26, 2011
By Rita Boland

Military members transitioning to the civilian workplace have a new resource for their job searches courtesy of the U.S. Defense Department. The Career Decision Toolkit walks users through various phases of the employment hunt including: career exploration, financial planning, search success, effective résumés and cover letters, interviewing, and negotiating compensation. The various modules can be accessed in any order and at any time. Though available online to everyone, the resource especially is intended to assist troops who are prohibited geographically from attending Transition Assistance Program classes.

April 28, 2011
By Rita Boland

Rising above U.S. Interstate 95 from a site adjacent to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, this museum serves as a tribute to former, current and future U.S. Marines. The facility boasts interactive exhibits, historical artifacts and a restaurant replicating Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the Marine Corps. As extra incentive to visit, the museum is putting on its "Semper Find" photographic scavenger hunt through April 30. Participants must locate 17 items from inside the museum and from the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park to be eligible for prizes. The museum is open every day except Christmas and admission is free.

April 21, 2011
By Rita Boland

Scheduled to open to the public in 2015, this facility located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, will be the U.S. Army's national landmark. The museum will feature exhibits to honor those who serve or have served in the Army, including the Reserve and National Guard; to preserve Army history; to educate the public about U.S. history; and to inspire future and current soldiers. In addition to the public access areas of the museum, plans include a Veterans Hall for use by veterans and their families; the VFW recently donated $500,000 to help construct this section. Activities in the hall will range from planned presentations to personal receptions.

April 7, 2011
By Rita Boland

This initiative launched by the U.S. Defense Department has several purposes to recognize the varied sacrifices and triumphs of the Vietnam War. The goals encompass thanking and honoring Vietnam veterans including those held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action; highlighting the service of the armed forces and other organizations and agencies who supported them; and paying tribute to contributions made on the homefront by the American people. In addition, organizers hope to draw attention to advances in technology, science and medicine because of research conducted during the conflict and to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of U.S. allies during the war.

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