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Reintegrating our Veterans

This past Monday, we honored out nation’s military veterans. Throughout the country, communities observed Memorial Day in unique ways, like Rolling Thunder here in the nation’s capital. But when the holiday is over, what kinds of programs are having a lasting impact on veterans? Take a look:

A significant issue in America today is the large number of homeless veterans. As a result, The United States Department of Labor created the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. In conjunction with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), the U.S. Department of Labor-Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS) released a publication detailing general best practices when it comes to reintegrating homeless veterans, in addition to several successful programs from around the country.   This program stands alone in its delivery to those who are plagued by problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, psychosocial problems, legal issues, and more.  While many other programs typically turn these veterans away, the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program works to ensure these veterans are taken care of. 

The NCHV, in addition to its reintegration work, provides grants and training services andoffers direction to agencies and organizations that will educate and prepare homeless veterans for future employment. 

The state of Oregon created a Legislative Task Force on Veterans’ Reintegration, whose report detailed findings, recommendations, and more.  In total, the task force presented 39 formal recommendations to Governor Ted Kulongoski on ways to enhance and improve the lives of Oregon veterans. 

Virginia has a program for returning veterans’ mental health, with the goal of providing necessary counseling to all veterans.  Virginia also provides programs to help veterans as well as their families in the readjustment process as they return home. 

You can find many resources related to reintegrating veterans on the Knowledge Network. One report, titled Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan, discusses the readjustments of military personnel upon their return from the aforementioned countries.   This report touches on the issues of deployment of mothers, fathers, and entire families.

All veterans are invited to join the Military Veterans group on the Knowledge Network, where you can ask questions, share files, or simply connect with other group members.  Anyone can join; learn more about our bravest and most courageous. 

What did your municipality do to honor our nation’s veterans on Memorial Day? What long- term programs for veterans do you have in place?