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.
During the next five years more than 1 million of my sisters- and brothers-in-arms will come home from overseas battlefields with the desire to take on their next mission. There's no doubt that they will face a number of challenges as they work to reintegrate into our society.
Some of these challenges will be familiar to any of us as they look for work and try to continue their education. Others will be unique to the soldiers who have been in situations and had experiences that are impossible for most Americans to imagine.
No matter which group our soldiers fall into, we want them to know that we are ready to support them.
This year CNCS will make its largest investment ever to serve and engage veterans and military families as we award $6.2 million in AmeriCorps grants specifically targeted to provide services in education, employment, and wellness. These funds will support more than 1,000 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA members who will provide services including employment placement for veterans, health counseling services, homeless veteran support, and community rehabilitation projects just to name a few.
Our veterans and military family members are resourceful and resilient, and we will make it a priority to expand their opportunities to serve. And while we connect them to these opportunities, we are also expanding the chance for everyday citizens to improve the lives of our wounded warriors, veterans, and military families through service as well.
In addition, our AmeriCorps members in the field will help mobilize another 50,000 volunteers to serve our military families in various capacities. Ultimately, our commitment will contribute more than 800,000 hours of national service impact in 30 states and over 40 nonprofit and community service organizations worth nearly $40 million.
We have a strong tradition of military support here at CNCS. Currently more than 26,000 veterans serve in our Senior Corps as the Greatest Generation lead by example to show that service is a lifetime commitment. Another 16,000 veterans have served in AmeriCorps, and we expect that number to continue to grow as we look to our veterans to help us serve their fellow soldiers on their next mission.
Only one percent of Americans are serving our nation in the military, and their sacrifices can never be repaid. But we can give them 100 percent of our support when they come home.
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Additional opportunities to serve include: