Warrior Gateway Recognized as a 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate!

Warrior Gateway has been recognized as a 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate by IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program!  For more than two decades, the annual award program has honored visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.

Warrior Gateway has built the country’s largest, most accurate information exchange for the military community — the G.I. Network. With more than 220,000 listings, the G.I. Network revolutionizes the way in which the military community finds and connects with the help they need by ensuring efficient delivery of consistent information through multiple access points to increase transparency; and enables users to make better, more informed decisions.

“It is an honor for Warrior Gateway to be recognized as a 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate by creating a world where service members, veterans and their families can find support and get consistent answers when they need it, wherever they are, and through any organization or website they trust,” said Devin B. Holmes, CEO of Warrior Gateway.

“Through robust partnerships and innovative tools, the G.I. Network gives the government and nonprofit communities the power to break down the barriers that prevent the military community from finding reliable and trusted information,” Holmes added.

Warrior Gateway will formally accept the Laureate award during The Computerworld Honors Program’s Gala Evening and Awards Ceremony on June 4, 2012 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

View the full press release by clicking HERE. Please SHARE with others by clicking the Tweet and Facebook buttons!

Thank you for your continued support everyone!

 

About The Computerworld Honors Program

Founded by International Data Group (IDG) in 1988, The Computerworld Honors Program is governed by the not-for-profit Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation. Computerworld Honors is the longest running global program to honor individuals and organizations that use information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change. Additional information about the program and a Global Archive of past Laureate case studies, as well as oral histories of Leadership Award recipients can be found at the Computerworld Honors website.

The Impact of Technology: Text Messaging to Prevent Suicide Among Young Veterans


 

 

 

Izzy Abbass, Commander of VFW Post 1, is a regular guest blogger for Warrior Gateway.

 

 

Unfortunately, we still lose over 18 Veterans a day to suicide across the US.  Some of these men and women are still wearing the uniform; others have been out for a short time or possibly many years.  However, one thing is common in all cases – easily accessible help may have led to a different outcome.

The Department of Veterans Affairs launched the Veterans Crisis Line four and a half years ago to help curb this epidemic.  The Crisis Line is a 1-800 number with trained counselors available 24 hours a day.  They are now up to over 1,000 calls per day and average 25 rescues a day – a rescue is when they dispatch 911 services to a veteran’s location to save a life.  This is a great service which is having significant impact within our veteran community.  But, how do we more effectively reach younger veterans?

In November, the VA took a bold step to do just that – reach younger veterans through the technology they use – mobile phones.  On November 3rd, a text help line went live connecting veterans to the same counselors via text messaging.   Knowing that the under 30 veteran did not grow up with 1-800 numbers and that they are far more likely to text than to place a phone call, this was seen as a natural next step.

By texting to 838255, veterans receive an automatic text letting them know they’ve connected to the Crisis Center and asking if they are in immediate danger.  At the same time, an alert is sent to the VA Crisis Center and an operator takes control of the discussion through a computer interface.  It is basically instant messaging via text.  This is all completely confidential and there is no cost for the text messages to or from the number which was built by CrossLink Media in San Antonio, Texas.

Since launch, the number of contacts through the text line has grown steadily with over 900 veterans reaching out via text since launch and more than 300 in February alone.  This represents over 30,000 text messages going back and forth.  One reason for its popularity is the confidential nature of texting.  Unlike a phone call which can be overheard, texting can be done with other people around and in fact a number of vets have remarked that they are using the service so they do not wake up their family members.

The goal of the counselors is to still get the veteran on the phone with a counselor and then get them into treatment.  However, since in some cases the veteran does not feel like talking or won’t because of those around them, the text help line serves as a much needed lifeline to these men and women.

While no one believes that this alone will end veteran suicides, it is one more tool that is making an impact.  If you find yourself feeling lost and with thoughts of taking drastic action, reach out to the dedicated men and women who want to help.  Text to 838255 – it can be a single word, a question or just the word help and someone who cares will be there anytime you need them.

 

Izzy Abbass

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/izzyabbass

 

Re-Tweets

Text messaging to prevent suicide among young #veterans: http://ow.ly/9CFph #techmonth #guestblog

Reducing Suicides: Over 900 #veterans have reached out via text since November: http://ow.ly/9CFph #techmonth

 

Interested in Guest Blogging?

Email us at socialmedia@warriorgateway.org with your thoughts!


 

Texas Veterans Summit Focuses on Serving Veterans Through Coordination and Collaboration

Warrior Gateway‘s Serena Hayden and Nathalia Magri attended the Texas Veterans Commission 14th Annual Veterans Summit this week in Austin, Texas.  The summit focused on serving veterans through coordination and collaboration, and brought more than 600 providers of veteran services and 80 exhibitors under one roof.

Warrior Gateway hosted an exhibit table, and participated in several of the breakout sessions featured during the summit.

“With approximately 1.8 million veterans across Texas, it’s vital that all organizations work together to address the unique needs of the military community,” Serena said.  ”The Veterans Summit provided an incredible platform for building partnerships and learning how to best impact the men and women who serve our country.”

In closing, Col. David W. Sutherland, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Warrior and Family Support, spoke about the resiliency, strength and courage of the military community.  Specifically, focusing on the “Sea of Goodwill” and the importance of partnerships.

Serena, who led Sutherland’s public affairs team while deployed to Divala Province, Iraq, from October 2006 through December 2007, was highlighted during the speech as the colonel highlighted the strength of the military community through the Army’s Warrior Ethos – “I will always place the mission first.  I will never except defeat.  I will never quit.  I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

“I am grateful to the Texas Veterans Commission for bringing all of these military-focused organizations together,” Serena continued.  ”Warrior Gateway is eager and looking forward to working with the many organizations we had the opportunity to learn about.”

Retweetables

#Texas #Veterans Summit focuses on coordination & collaboration to serve veterans: http://ow.ly/8ON1i @WarriorGateway

Warrior Gateway Heading to Texas for the “14th Annual Veterans Summit”

Two members of the Warrior Gateway team will be attending the “14th Annual Veterans Summit” at the Crown Plaza, Austin, Texas January 31st-February 1st.  The Summit will feature various breakout sessions for attendees to attend; topics include: veteran-owned businesses and property tax exemptions, housing claims, mental health, grants, and much more.  There is no cost to attend the Summit, but attendees must register online to attend.  Go to www.tvc.state.tx.us and click the “Submit Registration” link.

Focused on serving veterans through coordination and collaboration, the annual summit is put on by the Texas Veterans Commission, whose mission is to advocate for and provide superior service for veterans in the areas of claims assistance, employment services, educaiton benefits and grant funding that will significantly improve the quality of life of Texas Veterans and their families.

Connect with us!

If you are attending the Summit, stop by the Warrior Gateway table and say hello!  Meet members of our team, and learn more about our mision to support the military community and their families.

Engage with us on Social Media

Follow the Warrior Gateway Twitter and Facebook accounts for Summit updates and photos.

Widows and Daughters of Fallen Military Get Their Own Miss America Experience

Warrior Gateway has partnered with Got Your Back Network, The Miss America Organization and others to form an iniative called Project Gratitiude.  Project Gratitude, in its third year, will take 22 wives, daughters, and one mother of fallen service members on a unique, once in a lifetime experience this week with the Miss America 2012 pageant in Las Vegas.  The highlight of their visit will be a ceremony Friday evening January 13th when each will be pinned by former Miss Americas with a crown pin, symbolizing their status as the newest honorary Miss Americas.  The families will travel from around the country courtesy of Air Compassion for Veterans and American Airlines Veteran’s Initiative.

“We started Project Gratitude out of a deep, heartfelt sense of gratitude and highest respect for the ultimate sacrifice that was made by our nation’s fallen heroes and their families,” explains Sharlene Hawkes, former Miss America and President of Remember My Service Productions.  ”By recognizing each of the women and their daughters as honorary Miss Americas – and giving them the VIP experience that Miss Americas’ have received over the years, it is just our way of doing what we can to pay tribute to these great Americans.”

Project Gratitude is a great example of how communities can step up, work together, and support our military community and their families.

Warrior Gateway is honored to be a part of Project Gratitude in supporting widows and daughters of our fallen military members.  Initiatives such as Project Gratitude show how communities across the nation can step up to work together and support the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Alongside Got Your Back Network and The Miss America Organization as well as other partners, we are honored to join these families of our fallen in Las Vegas for the Miss America pageant,” said Devin B. Holmes, CEO of Warrior Gateway.  ”Warrior Gateway remains committed to supporting all members of the military community as they return home and seek out their new normal life.”

Keep in touch with us throughout the week for updates, photos, and much more:  FacebookTwitter, Foursquare

If you would like further information on Project Gratitude, please visit the Got Your Back Network website.  If you are interested in supporting the initiative, please click here.