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AmeriCorps

The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.Gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.

AmeriCorps Week, held this year March 10 to 18, is traditionally an opportunity for the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps grantees to celebrate members in service and build community awareness for the impact of AmeriCorps. In recent years, it has also been an opportunity for AmeriCorps Alums, Points of Light's enterprise engaging alumni of national service, to accentuate their passion for service and their continued commitment to a lifetime in service.

Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have given more than one billion hours and mobilized tens of millions of volunteers to help their fellow citizens. AmeriCorps Week (March 10-March 18) recognizes their commitment and impact.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) just announced a tremendous commitment to support veterans and military families at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. From expanded grants to increased “people power” in areas of need, we are ready to stand with our soldiers to provide opportunities that will help them continue their service here at home while we serve their special needs.

As we celebrate the 4th of July, we celebrate our patriotism and the millions who have shown their love
of country by wearing the uniform. There are a few Veterans among us -- 16,000 so far -- who came
home and volunteered for a second time and served their communities though AmeriCorps.

Paul Reickhoff, president and CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, has an idea about a great, untapped American resource. He believes national service models based on AmeriCorps to harness and leverage the skills of military veterans and can “help people think about us as the cavalry, not as a problem.

In the spring of 2011, a Marine stood on the porch steps of his new home in Annapolis, MD. He was not
thinking about the beautiful row house that he would now share with his wife and four children, but was
looking down at the porch that he helped build with his own hands. He was contemplating his spirit of
service with a renewed vigor and hope.

After defending our country in locations all around the world, many veterans find more battles await
them when they return home. A new initiative was announced today to support and ease the
reintegration of returning service members, veterans, and their families as they search for jobs and
support services.

Recently discharged veterans shouldn't have to struggle to find work when they return home from
service, but they often do. AmeriCorps VISTA Heather Hays is helping vets make the most of a program
that lets them serve their country in a new way while placing them on a pathway to permanent
employment.

Today, a group of young men and women, many of them veterans, will stand up and pledge to “get
things done for America”. They will join a legion of more than 750,000 Americans who have served in
AmeriCorps and become the first class to also serve as VetCorps members.

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