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Veterans

National service comes in many shapes and sizes. Tens of thousands of men and women answer the call to join the Armed Forces each year, and quickly find themselves inundated with the unique demands and expectations of their respective military branches. Many others choose to serve via Peace Corps or AmeriCorps programs, which offer their own unique challenges, not dissimilar from the military. I have had the unique experience of serving in both and have come to believe in the value of both.

James Randall “Randy” Hindert served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a Sergeant from 1967-1970. Recently, he began serving our nation again, this time in the local community as a tutor for AmeriCorps at Big Brothers/Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties in Florida.

He spent 10 years stationed in Fort Bragg, NC; two years in Italy; and more than one year in Iraq. Now his service continues here, on the homefront, as he helps save lives and rebuild communities.

When Joseph Aragon heads to school in the morning you won't find him toting a backpack stuffed with school supplies or carrying a lunchbox. Instead, this 64 year-old brings with him a lifetime of experience and knowledge to share with the students of Blanche Pope Elementary School on the Hawaiian Homestead land in Waimanalo.

Jennifer Byerly, 47, of Rockport, Indiana weathered the trials and tribulations of life, but has made the most of her circumstances through her service with AmeriCorps. She has also become a champion for those with intellectual disabilities.

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.

A few years ago, as I began to travel around the country and talk to all sorts of people, one set of stories always tugged at my heart.They took my breath away.They inspired me.And they motivated me to learn more.They were stories of strength, courage, and patriotism that define our nation's military families. And I know that Fayetteville is filled with them.

For too many veterans, returning home from war does not mean the battle is over. In fact, for some, the battle has just begun. Adjusting to civilian life can be challenging, especially when a veteran is suffering from an injury, depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Yet, some returning soldiers can neither drive nor have the daily support necessary to make it to the frequent appointments required for treatment—creating stress for themselves and their families.

After a long career with the U.S. Military, retired Lieutenant Colonel and Vietnam Veteran Howard Parker Rice found himself unable to stop serving. RSVP of Allen County provided the opportunity for him to continue serving by helping active military members and their families through the hardships of deployment.

As a national service organization, our thoughts and efforts are never far from our troops. If there's one group of Americans that not only demonstrates but embodies the ethos of coming together for others, it is our men and women in uniform. With good reason, we call them our service members.

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