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.
“Where do you find the time?” is a question that could be posed to many parents, but the 2012 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report shows that many in this group are carving space in their busy schedules to help others in their communities. Allison Moore, a military spouse and mother of three young children in Missouri, is a prime example.
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.
A day designed around the idea of “thanks” is a natural for those who want to give back. And as Americans have opened their hearts and wallets to disasters like the Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery efforts, there are many other ways to show thanks by helping those in need this holiday season.
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.
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.