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United Front at Home: CADCA, National Guard and the CNCS Connect Returning Veterans with Critical Support

by Kate Enos

Supporting our nation's troops, veterans, and military families is critical to our national security and to strengthening our communities. It is also a top priority for of Corporation for National and Community Service, stemming from the bipartisan Serve America Act. On Thursday, CNCS joined forces with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and the National Guard Bureau (NGR) to further reinforce this commitment with the launch of VetCorps.

This new program will help returning veterans and their families access the critical services and support they need – ranging from social, mental and physical health services to housing and employment assistance. In its first year, VetCorps will be located in CADCA across 28 states.

With more servicemen and women returning home every day, many have difficulty readjusting to community life, experiencing a tough time finding jobs or adequate housing, or suffering from mental, physical and substance use disorders. For National Guard and Reserve members in particular, deployment stresses have an even greater impact due to disparities in accessible services.

Because of the dual military and civilian coexistence of the NGR, their problems are unique and pose greater challenges. For example, when not deployed, the NGR do not have access to the full range of medical services available to the regular military.

“We developed VetCorps to improve the overall quality of life for veterans and military families, particularly National Guard and Reserve members who don't benefit from services readily available on military bases, such as family support centers and counseling services,” said CADCA Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean.

CADCA will recruit 100 military veterans to serve as AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members within CADCA's community coalitions across the country, where they will work to increase the community's capacity to provide economic opportunities for veterans and their families, receive access to housing, health care, and family support services available, including substance abuse prevention and treatment.

“The honor and selflessness of our veterans makes America proud, but all of us can do more to support them during their deployment, homecoming, and transition back to day-to-day life,” said Robert Velasco II, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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