Supporting Our Veterans

April 5, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

An app for Android provides helpful information for disabled military veterans, their families and their caregivers.

Developed by KewtZi.com, the ADA Guide - Disabled Veterans app for Android contains the Americans with Disabilities Act Guide: "ADA: Know Your Rights - Returning Service Members with Disabilities." The publication explains the rights under the act and provides information on where veterans can get assistance.

Topics covered in the application include:

March 10, 2011
By Rita Boland

Troops with lag time between the end of their military service and the beginning of their civilian careers can choose the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) for their medical insurance needs. The program offers temporary health coverage for 18 to 36 months after TRICARE eligibility ends. Those who qualify can purchase CHCBP coverage within 60 days of loss of eligibility for regular TRICARE or Transitional Assistance Management Program coverage.

February 3, 2011
By Rita Boland

The U.S. Defense Department has established a Wounded Warrior Task Force (WWTF) to assist and support the care, management and transition of recovering wounded, ill and injured members of the U.S. military. Areas the task force will examine include medical and nonmedical case management, staff of wounded-warrior units, performance and accountability systems, services for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and the effectiveness of various centers of excellence.

January 27, 2011
By Rita Boland

The mission of Honor and Remember is to create, establish and promote a nationally recognized flag to fly continually as a visible reminder of the lives lost in defense of the United States' national freedom since the country's founding. People who want to support the cause can sign the petition posted on the website and pass the word about the potential new symbol. Other goals of the group include building consensus among various parties to collectively solicit the U.S.

January 14, 2011
By Rita Boland

Two U.S. Army officers who recently returned from deployments to Iraq each have the same advice for industry members who want to help soldiers-hire troops when they separate from the military. In my article "Iraqis Advance Toward Self-Security," in this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Maj. James Trimble, USA, signal officer of the Army's 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, describes the successes and challenges of his unit's year in Iraq. He also discusses his interest in the welfare of his soldiers and what happens when they leave military service.

November 9, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

A Facebook app from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) allows supporters to join a virtual Veterans Day march and earn two vets tickets to the Super Bowl. To join the online march, interested Facebook users can simply "like" the IAVA page. This opens up access to the app, which allows you to donate your status or Twitter update to the cause. The app shows a leader board of how many people in each state have donated their statuses. Two veterans from the state that shows the most support will receive tickets to the Super Bowl.

November 2, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

A free smart phone app makes it easier for service members and veterans to track their emotional health after deployments. The National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), a Defense Centers of Excellence component center, developed the T2 Mood Tracker app. It helps users monitor trends of emotions and behaviors, including therapy, medication, daily experiences and changes in environment. T2 Mood Tracker can record emotional experience from a few days to several months to see results over time.

October 28, 2010
By Rita Boland

Returning Heroes Home offers a place for wounded warriors and their families at the San Antonio Military Medical Center burn unit and the Center for the Intrepid to recover, rest and find support. The building is the new location of the Warrior and Family Support Center and provides a "living room" environment so the injured troops and their loved ones can enjoy the comforts of home during treatment.

September 30, 2010
By Rita Boland

The Armed Services Mutual Benefit Association (ASMBA) STAR Foundation is a voluntary group that assists members of the military community by awarding funds to organizations that support them. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that provide services to troops, veterans and their families as well as their communities. The foundation especially emphasizes groups that provide for combat-wounded troops, military families, scholarships for the military community, veterans and patriotic activities. Requests for capital projects and general operating support will be considered. The ASMBA STAR Foundation only funds individuals under specific criteria.

August 31, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

American Veterans (AMVETS) announced a new mobile app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry that allows veterans to locate AMVETS posts, find their local service officer, connect with headquarters and research veterans' issues. The veterans' organization and FraternalSoft Incorporated teamed up to create AMVETS Mobile, which AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin calls the "latest weapon in our communications arsenal." The demographic of veterans is changing, and the need for instant information is key, explains Jim King, AMVETS executive director. The app provides veterans with the ability to locate the nearest AMVETS posts or thrift stores using geo-location services.

September 2, 2010
By Rita Boland

Warfighters, welcome back! ReBoot Camp is the 1st Civilian Division-an organization that links up veterans so they can support each other to make successful transitions from the military to civilian life. The program helps reconnect veterans with family, friends, community and careers. ReBoot Camp wants warriors to understand that adjusting to life after combat is difficult, but no one has to do it alone. Currently, there are weekly meetings in Livermore, California, and job readiness workshops in Dublin, California, but the organization is working to expand its efforts to other geographic locations. The program also is developing mentorships and starting a writers group.

August 24, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

A team at the Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) National Center for Telehealth and Technology developed an iPhone app called iBreathe, which will be available for free in the iTunes app store after January 2011. It aims to help military personnel, veterans and their family members deal with stressful situations by practicing deep "belly" breathing. DCoE researchers say high-stress situations often result in a "fight or flight" mentality, and the lingering stress can take a physical and mental toll.

August 19, 2010
By Rita Boland

"Support. Defend. Fish." That's the motto of the Army Bass Anglers, a group made up of active duty military members and veterans who compete in fishing tournaments to raise awareness for Returning Heroes Home and Fishing For Freedom events. Both programs support the military community. The latter also involves bass fishing tournaments where fishermen partner with soldiers and veterans, including those who have been wounded. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy Bass Angler groups support the missions as well.

June 24, 2010
By Rita Boland

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.

June 17, 2010
By Rita Boland

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.

June 10, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

Sons and Daughters in Touch (SDIT) will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Washington, D.C., June 18-20, including a special ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also known as The Wall, on Father's Day, June 20, at 10 a.m. SDIT members and others who lost their fathers in military conflicts will lay 2,000 roses at the base of the memorial. Army Chief of Staff and SDIT member Gen. George W. Casey Jr. is scheduled as the keynote speaker. Other activities include all-day sharing circles moderated by trained counselors, washing The Wall at sunrise on June 19 and a banquet that evening.

January 15, 2010
By Rita Boland

The name says it all. This organization connects Americans with deployed military members, enabling participants to choose their level of involvement, from writing letters to sending entire care packages. Each adopted warfighter is assigned several sponsors so the flow of support never ceases. Troops can register to be adopted, and the public can sign up to adopt a service member on the organization's Web site. Individuals and groups can adopt more than one soldier. The Web site also includes an online community and lists of how to donate and what to donate.

May 8, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

The value of the virtual realm for training has been recognized for some time, but now artificial reality is being exploited for many other applications. Web 2.0 capabilities have opened new doors in cyberspace, and people and organizations are embracing the new world of virtual collaboration. The only limits to using this make-believe realm may be those of human imagination. SIGNAL's May issue looks at ongoing efforts to explore collaboration in the virtual world. One picture may tell a thousand words, but sometimes it takes more than that to generate a particular image. That was the case with the cover of this month's SIGNAL Magazine.

April 15, 2009
By Rita Boland

The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) extends a helping hand to any homeless veteran facing the challenges of addiction, trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, and unemployment; however, the veterans must be committed to sobriety, nonviolence and working for personal change. The organization is located in Boston, and though most clients are from the Boston area, the NECHV has aided veterans from all 50 states. Homeless veterans seeking help should go to 17 Court Street, any time of the day or night, and request assistance. Veteran status will be verified through the discharge form (DD214).

March 26, 2009
By Rita Boland

The Fisher House Foundation, in concert with Newman's Own and the Military Times Media Group, is sponsoring the 2009 Newman's Own Awards. The program awards grants to organizations with ideas to improve the quality of life for military and veterans' families. A total of $75,000 is available. The top prize is $15,000, with the other $60,000 being distributed at the judges' discretion. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2009, and winners will be announced in September 2009.

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