I work with these national service leaders and our other programs to find ways to support wounded warriors, veterans, and their families.
Consider these numbers: In the next five years, 1.5 million service members, guardsmen, and reservists will be returning home to their families and communities to take off their uniform for the last time.
A 2013 report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families shows that our heroes face challenges. Today, if you are you are male veteran under 24, you have a one-third chance of being unemployed. According to the 2012 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, if you are a female Veteran, your risk of homelessness has increased each of the past three years. The unemployment rate for military spouses is 25 percent. Last week, Student Veterans of America issued a report that tells us that if you are a student veteran, there's a 40 percent chance you won't get your college degree.
These challenges are serious, but they are not insurmountable. That's why the national service community, including AmeriCorps, is engaging our veteran and military families.
One example of how AmeriCorps works for veterans comes from Washington. The state established the first Vet Corps/AmeriCorps program to help soldiers transition from Iraq and Afghanistan back into civilian life and to succeed in college. It is an example of veterans helping veterans, and we've captured the power of this program in the video below.
National service programs are making a difference across the country.
In fact, I am in Wilmington, DE, today, where Gov. Jack Markell just signed an agreement with our CEO, Wendy Spencer, and the National Guard that will help returning guardsmen in his state. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons as well as about 100 AmeriCorps members joined them at this announcement.
What we are doing in Delaware is being replicated in other states, too. We are putting AmeriCorps VISTA members on the ground to provide services for guardsmen and their families who are at risk of homelessness, joblessness, or otherwise in need of economic stability assistance.
In addition to national initiatives, we're also making a difference on the local level. The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is working with the Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington. They will help renovate and restore a former National Guard Armory that now is a Boys and Girls Club serving many military families.
Please share this message with your friends and family, and let them know how AmeriCorps works for veterans and military families.
Koby Langley is the Senior Executive Adviser for Wounded Warrior, Veteran and Military Family Initiatives at CNCS.
Around the country, December is welcomed as a month of hope and good cheer. It may be a season for the exchanging of gifts, or for the sharing of time and resources with community members in need. For many, it is also a time to gather together with loved ones to reminisce about cherished memories and create new stories that will be shared in the future. Such stories preserve the legacy of a family, the history of a generation, and perhaps most important of all, the story of a nation.
As military deployments became more common for National Guard and Reserve troops, the emotional strain hits children left behind especially hard. Operation: Military Kids (OMK) supports military youth age 5-18 with outreach programs to help them cope with the stresses of being away from their parents serving far from home.
The transient nature of military life can make life difficult for students in military families, and many are stationed at Fort Leonard Wood for less than two years or experience parental deployment. They often have challenges with making new friends, fitting into social groups, and connecting with the community.
As President Obama said in his proclamation declaring November as Military Family Month, behind each service member "stands a parent, a sibling, a child, a spouse -- proud family members who share the weight of deployment and make profound sacrifices on behalf of our country."
The annual Veterans Day observance holds special meaning for veterans and military families across the Nation and around the world. It also has deep significance for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). We work closely with the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force and have a long and special partnership with the National Guard Bureau, which has a counterdrug mission. We honor the service of all active-duty military and veterans and salute their dedication and commitment.
My name is Rebecca Lange and I am a proud alumna of the second class of AmeriCorps NCCC. I served at the Central Region campus in Denver, CO, from 1995-1996, a wide-eyed high school graduate looking for an adventure, a unique way to serve, and beyond excited to begin what I hoped to be an awesome life.
On Veterans Day, November 11, we honor the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. There are many ways to give back to the more than 23 million vets who have sacrificed so much.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
For an aging individual coping with the loss of mobility, lack of proper foundations in and around a home can lead to difficulties remaining independent and mobile. This is especially true of our nation's veterans and as a nation, we have a duty to take care of these individuals how have sacrificed so much for our country.
My grandmother lived in Texas, and she would remind me that everything was bigger there -- including their hearts. The work of one person, empowered by a Corporation for National and Community Service program, demonstrates how thousands of people are making a Texas-sized impact on the lives of our nation's veterans.
African American History Month has ended, and while the official celebration is over, our contributions to society don't end on any given particular day. Likewise, our African American service members continue to contribute and make history, even after they take off their uniforms for the last time.
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.
Helping homeless veterans get off the streets feels like work Duane Magee was made to do, and his tireless quest puts him behind the wheel for thousands of miles each year to find them. He is living proof to vets that recovery from homelessness and incarceration is possible because their story is his story, and his quiet mission to assist them led to his nomination for a 2012 Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service Award.
Of the 130,000 veterans in Idaho, more than 30,000 are registered with the Idaho Department of Labor to receive employment resources and job training. However, budget cuts have put this program in jeopardy.
Many years ago, I stepped off a plane from Iraq and onto the tarmac at Pope Airfield in Fort Bragg, NC. The scene was filled with open arms, cheers, the sound of muffled grunts of joy as weeping kids jumped into the arms of their parents, and spouses' soft cries of love and longing. The sounds of reunions were deafening as they bounced off the high walls of the hangar -- it was a sound that I welcomed, and remember to this day.
As America's heroes return from war zones and transition back into civilian life, many are facing challenges finding work. Last month, more than over 857,000 veterans were unemployed, and the jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans is 13.1 percent.
As America's heroes return from deployments abroad and transition back into civilian life, many are facing challenges in finding employment. With the unemployment rate among recently returned veterans hovering around 12 percent, these men and women who volunteered to courageously serve our country should not have to return home with bleak opportunities in sight.
Madison Street Veterans Association began about three years ago with a group of homeless veterans living in an emergency shelter in Phoenix. The veterans decided that they should band together to improve the conditions in the shelter for themselves and any veterans who showed up in the shelter. What a difference they made!
The mood was merry when Dr. Jill Biden hosted a fourth-grade class from White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, Virginia at the Vice President's Residence on Monday, Dec. 12. The festive event focused on helping children understand the challenges faced by military families during the holiday season.
Operation Honor Card has successfully collected 14,000,000 pledged hours of service from Americans who want to honor military families and veterans through acts of kindness, big and small, showing appreciation for their sacrifice.
When our armed forces return from combat, the impact it has on their lives is lasting, though not always evident. For many, they are returning with invisible wounds, that left untreated, can turn into scars.
On the National Service blog, the past few weeks have been dedicated to veterans. We've shared stories of WWII and Gulf War vets, of vets inspiring and helping young people, and of vets serving their country on the battlefield, and off.
Support veterans and military families and veterans who have served our country.