Contacts and resources for veterans [Infographic]
Military veterans making the transition back into civilian life need support. Fortunately, there are myriad resources they can turn to when things get difficult.
Look to fellow members of the military
Often, veterans struggling with life after service rely on the very men and women they served with, reported The New York Times. Many former soldiers form loose support networks and help fellow veterans adjust everyday life. They also provide aid in crisis situations.
“The guys we served with, they are the only ones we can really talk to,” Manny Bojorquez, a Marine veteran and a member of one of these networks, told The Times.
Others have established legitimate support organizations. One such group, called Team Rubicon, recruits veterans for international humanitarian missions. William McNulty, a Marine veteran and co-founder of Team Rubicon, says the organization helps ex-military members connect and focus on something bigger than themselves.
“Veterans believe in a team environment,” he told The Times. “They want to be part of a team bigger than themselves.”
Tap into traditional services
Despite its recent failings, the Department of Veterans Affairs does offer a variety of valuable services. The GI Bill has provided educational resources to millions of veterans since its establishment in 1944. And, the post-9/11 iteration of the program offers extra services, including vocational and technical training, tutorial assistance and on-the-job training.
According to U.S. News & World Report, over half of veterans who take advantage of the GI Bill and other comparable resources thrive after school. Almost a million former members of the military used education benefits programs in 2012.
Find third-party organizations
Many third-party groups offer assistance to veterans. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America provides a social media network catered to former members of the military and hosts hundreds of events across the country each year. It also lobbies Congress to take action on issues impacting active duty personnel and veterans, reported The Times.
The War Writers’ Campaign hosts writing workshops for veterans and provides financial support to those looking to publish their work.
“The mission right now is to promote social change surrounding veterans’ issues through written awareness,” Ryan Weemer, a Marine veteran and the group’s co-founder, said in an interview with The Times. “We feel that writing has that healing process. Therapy through communication.”