Warrior Gateway Supporting Student Veterans of America at National Conference

Members of the Warrior Gateway team will be attending “The 4th Annual National Conference presented by Student Veterans of America,” December 8-10, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV.  This will be a great opportunity to connect with student veterans, their families, and the organizations and institutions assisting them.  To see the event schedule, register, and learn more information, click here.

Opening remarks and guest speakers include: Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Col. David Sutherland, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Kevin Schmiegel, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The conference theme is “Combating Veteran Unemployment,” which is a predominant issue right now for veterans nationwide.  One of the conference highlights will be the career fair on Friday, which will involve Student Veterans of America partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and RecruitMilitary to bring employers from across many different sectors together that want to hire veterans.  Top tier employers will be in attendance, such as veteran friendly employers Booz Allen Hamilton and General Electric.  Attendees are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume and employers are asked to bring national and local job opportunities.

We will provide a live feed from the event through social media, so stay in touch!  If you are attending, or know someone who is, please connect with us. We are excited to network with as many student veterans, military families, and other organizations as we can.

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and join the conversation!

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@WarriorGateway supporting @StudentVets national conference in #Vegas: http://ow.ly/7H35R #military #education

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Warrior Gateway will be supporting veterans continuing higher education and employment next week at the 4th Annual Student Veterans of America National Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  http://www.warriorgateway.info/?p=2958

Sea of Goodwill Series: The inTransition Program: Maintaining Continuity of Care through Transitions

The transition to civilian life for service members can be complicated, and if they are also receiving mental health treatment, the challenges multiply. They can find themselves wondering, “How do I continue with my treatment? What support services are available as I transition? Who can I turn to in an emergency?”  The inTransition Program can help answer these and many other questions.

inTransition is a collaboration between the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to bridge the potential gaps in behavioral health support during transitional periods—gaps that can lead to service members’ disengagement from treatment or deterioration of their health status. The program provides a personal coach who will support the service member through the transitional period and help identify community resources.

Enrollment into the program can be initiated by the service member or through referral from a servicemember’s current provider or case manager. All it takes is one phone call to 1-800-424-7277.

Once servicemembers confirm their participation in the inTransition program, they are connected with a transition support coach, who provides one-on-one support by phone. Coaches help service members connect with their new provider and locate local community resources, support groups, crisis intervention services and other assistance in the servicemember’s new location. Coaches do not replace the functions of case managers, but rather facilitate the access to and utilization of health services.

Our goal is ensure servicemembers continue their care without interruption. Join us Aug. 19, 2010 from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. (CDT) for free, web-based training on inTransition. To learn more about inTransition, or register for our August webinar, please visit www.health.mil/intransition.

This post was authored by Dr. Lolita O’Donnell.  Dr. Lolita O’Donnell is the Acting Director of the Clearinghouse, Outreach and Advocacy Directorate at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (dcoe.health.mil).

Sea of Goodwill Series: National Resource Directory: Trusted Support for Wounded Warriors and Veterans

As the United States continues to fight the longest war in our nation’s history, thousands of wounded warriors, Veterans and their families are dealing with a myriad of physical, emotional and financial issues as they transition back to life at home.  The private and public sectors have responded with overwhelming support and action.  Hundreds of new non-governmental organizations have sprung up in response to the unique needs of wounded warriors and Veterans.  How does a wounded warrior or Veteran navigate this “Sea of Goodwill?”

One option available is the National Resource Directory. A collaboration of the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, the National Resource Directory, or NRD, is a free online tool designed to empower wounded warriors, Veterans, their families and others who support them with access to more than 11,000 resources at the national, state and local levels.

The National Resource Directory leverages the tremendous local support alive in our communities today by featuring resources from organizations in both government and non-government sectors.  However, to be listed on the National Resource Directory, non-governmental organizations must follow a participation policy based on relevance and appropriateness.  Submissions are reviewed by a team of Veterans and subject matter experts to ensure quality resources are available to our wounded warriors and Veterans.  Reintegration back to civilian life is complex and sometimes challenging – our goal with the NRD is to reduce time spent looking for answers about key aspects of transition like education, employment, healthcare, mentorship, housing, and family support.

We encourage you to get involved, speak up and welcome wounded warriors and Veterans home with high quality support services.

Here are some great ways to stay informed about new resources in your community:

1)    Sign up to receive weekly e-mail updates from the NRD.

2)    Become a Facebook fan to read our latest news and share resources or feedback.

3)    Check out information by state or territory – if you know of resources to add, let us know.

Visit today: www.NationalResourceDirectory.gov

This post was authored by Dr. Karen Guice.  Dr. Karen Guice is the Executive Director of the Veterans Affairs Federal Recovery Coordination Program.

Sea of Goodwill Series: Teaming Up to Help the Military Community Successfully Steer Through the Sea of Goodwill

“The transition is the hardest part,” says Veteran Steven Pater when discussing the switch from military to civilian life in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, Those Leaving Military Can Use an Assist.  However, the search for help with that transition can also be daunting, even overwhelming.

The recent white paper, Sea of Goodwill: Matching the Donor to the Need, released by the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, estimates  over 400,000 service organizations nationwide are dedicated to making the reintegration back home easier for the military community (active duty, Guard, Reserve, Veterans, and family members).  These service groups take many forms including faith-based, public, fee-for-service, non-profit, local, regional, and national organizations.

With this abundance, members of the military community are continuously faced with the same question: How can I access the right service when I need it and where I live?  How do I know if it is good?

It is the responsibility of those serving our military community to work together to answer this question.  We need to deliver a transparent system of access points to credible, dependable, and consistent information about available resources.  As consumers and recipients of these services, it is vital that military community members have “a voice” in shaping and sustaining this network.

Cooperation and communication across the sea of goodwill is critical:  “We, as a nation, must build key partnerships and link national and local community efforts…to work as a team and provide the highest level of quality of our veterans, Service members and their families deserve.” (Sea of Goodwill: Matching the Donor to the Need).  Ultimately, all of us serving the military community have one goal in mind: easing the transition of military community members back into civilian life.

Were You “Stop-Lossed”? Don’t Forget to Claim Your Special Pay Benefit

Time is running out for service members and veteran to claim their Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay (RSLSP).   With an average benefit of $3,700, there is good reason for veterans and their families to take action.

The 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act established RSLSP, and provides $500 for each month/partial month served in stop loss status. Those eligible for RSLP include service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009.

If you or someone you know may be eligible, visit http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0710_stoploss/ This Department of Defense webpage links to service-specific sites with more information on the RSLSP claims process.

Looking for help navigating the Federal claims process? Visit the Warrior Gateway Directory.  We currently have 1,274 organizations that offer assistance with federal benefits.

Have experience with a claims organization? Write about your experience so others may share your insights. You can also add organizations that are not yet part of the Directory.

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