At the “Path to Healthy Homecomings” conference held in Feb 2009, a number of organizations came together to discuss the problems facing service members transitioning out of the military–namely, that while myriad resources exist for the military community, there are numerous obstacles that prevent easy discovery of and access to these resources.
As a result of the questions raised at this conference, BENS (Business Executives for National Security), Booz-Allen Hamilton, and Gallup teamed up to perform a study looking at challenges facing veterans at the state and local levels, specifically through the eyes of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (SDVA).
The study was undertaken by conducting interviews with 21 SDVAs. The interviews sought to shed light on some of the following questions:
- Where are the gaps between veterans’ needs and services?
- Why do those gaps exist?
- How can our nation best address them?
The study concluded with a report entitled Veterans Reintegration: A View from the States. Following is an excerpt from the report:
While the study reveals that veterans initiatives at all levels need additional resources, it is also true that as a nation, the United States already devotes enormous resources to veterans’ issues. But reintegration doesn’t occur at a national level. It happens at the community level. And so key to addressing reintegration challenges is identifying and quantifying the needs in specific regions and communities, and then ensuring that appropriate resources are made available and communicated to veterans in a timely manner.
These goals can be accomplished through greater collaboration and partnership among reintegration stakeholders—at all levels of government and within all sectors of society—that have shared?mission responsibilities to assist our nation’s veterans. This will require moving beyond the traditional lines of communication and authority to determine how the varying needs of veterans in different regions and communities can best be served, and then applying resources to bring about the necessary changes.
You can view or download the report by clicking the image above or by clicking here. It’s a worthwhile read and presents some very valuable conclusions on the situation facing our returning service members. The findings of the study were in fact instrumental in driving the creation of the Warrior Gateway. Feel free to read it, share it with your colleagues, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment or by contacting us.