National Resource Directory Overhaul

By BG Gary Cheek, WTC Commander

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is an online database of thousands of resources for wounded warriors.

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is an online database of thousands of resources for wounded warriors.

It seems like every day I am learning about a new organization that supports our wounded, injured, and ill Soldiers and Veterans, as well as their Families. For almost any goal a Soldier sets, there is a group to help the servicemember achieve that goal. It’s impressive to see the growing commitment by the American public at both the national and local level.

There are so many resources, in fact, that navigating them can be challenging to Soldiers. The Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs collaborated to produce the National Resource Directory (NRD), an online database of thousands of resources for wounded warriors. I spent some time looking through the site and was impressed by the wide range of resources available from Federal, state, and local government programs, as well as Veteran service organizations, nonprofit and community-based organizations, academic institutions, and professional associations.

The NRD re-launched this week, and it is now much easier to use. Some of the Web site’s improvements include:

  • RSS feeds and an e-mail subscription service allowing users to sign up for content updates
  • “In the News” and Spotlight features to highlight news and updates in the wounded warrior, Veteran and caregiver community
  • New “homelessness” section of the site featuring VA resources for homeless Veterans
  • Improved search function to allow users to search by national or state resource, as well as government or non-government
  • Alphabetical and popularity-based views for NRD resources

I encourage all wounded warriors and their Families to use the National Resource Directory as a starting point to find available local resources that meet their individual situations.

BG Cheek attends CODE Launch Event

BG Cheek, the Commander of the Warrior Transition Command, attended the launch event for Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) last week. CODE is a new endowment fund created by Activision Blizzard, which aims to combat unemployment among Veterans. Activision Blizzard created the endowment organization with a commitment to raise millions of dollars to help raise awareness of Veterans unemployment and directly fund organizations that support Veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce.

In a press release, Activision Blizzard stated that it created the endowment after recognizing that its Call of Duty Modern Warfare video game series is extremely popular among troops, and that it wanted to give back to servicemembers by using proceeds from the sale of an upcoming game to help Veterans find employment. The organization has an advisory board composed of Veterans representing various branches of the military and the board will help identify organizations that will receive grants to raise awareness of the issue.

BG Cheek attended the launch event for the organization and stressed the need to help Veterans transitioning from the service with employment opportunities according to the press release:

“I could make the case that based upon the service and sacrifice of our Veterans that American employers have their own call of duty to ensure they have the opportunity for gainful employment and a viable career,” Cheek said. “Our soldiers have a lot to offer: integrity, discipline, teamwork, and personal sacrifice for a greater good. I can think of no stronger candidates for any positions employers might be looking to fill. These brave men and women willingly put their lives on the line to protect the blessings of liberty enjoyed by every business in this great country of ours.”

CODE’s first grant of $125,000 was awarded to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), which will be used by the organization to help underwrite the cost of a new PVA Vocational Rehabilitation Services Center in Boston, MA.

Click here to visit the new CODE Web site to learn more about this organization.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

BG Cheek attends CODE Launch Event

BG Cheek, the Commander of the Warrior Transition Command, attended the launch event for Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) last week. CODE is a new endowment fund created by Activision Blizzard, which aims to combat unemployment among Veterans. Activision Blizzard created the endowment organization with a commitment to raise millions of dollars to help raise awareness of Veterans unemployment and directly fund organizations that support Veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce.

In a press release, Activision Blizzard stated that it created the endowment after recognizing that its Call of Duty Modern Warfare video game series is extremely popular among troops, and that it wanted to give back to servicemembers by using proceeds from the sale of an upcoming game to help Veterans find employment. The organization has an advisory board composed of Veterans representing various branches of the military and the board will help identify organizations that will receive grants to raise awareness of the issue.

BG Cheek attended the launch event for the organization and stressed the need to help Veterans transitioning from the service with employment opportunities according to the press release:

(more…)

Careers for Veterans are Going Green

The Department of Labor announced 17 grants, totaling more than $7.5 million dollars, to provide approximately 3,000 Veterans with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers related to “green jobs.” Fields of employment include energy efficiency and renewable energy, modern electric-power development and clean vehicles.

For example, the Long Beach, CA, office of the United States Veterans Initiative will get $500,000 to train about 100 Veterans in Los Angeles County and find work for them. Swords to Plowshares received an additional $300,000 to aid 75 Veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. Way Station Inc. in Frederick, MD, will receive $500,000 to provide 190 Veterans with job training focusing on green jobs, and $299,999 to assist 120 homeless Veterans in finding work.

To view more information about this initiative, visit the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration at http://www.doleta.gov/ and look for the “green jobs” heading. More information on the Labor Department’s unemployment and re-employment programs for Veterans is available on the Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov/vets/.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.

VA Web Site Helps Veterans on Campus

–American Forces Press Service–

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2009 – The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new Web site to strengthen the connection between college and university mental health professionals and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts studying on their campuses.

“Many of our newest veterans are beginning their post-service lives by furthering their educations,”said Dr. Gerald M. Cross, VA’s acting undersecretary for health. “This initiative is designed to ensure that colleges and universities are able to assist with any special mental health needs they may have.”

The Web site, http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/College, features recommended training for college and university counselors, with online modules including “Operation SAVE” for suicide prevention, “PTSD 101” and “Helping Students Who Drink Too Much.” It also will feature a resource list that will be updated regularly.

Although the Web site is designed primarily for counselors, it also serves as a resource for veteran-students who wish to learn more about the challenges they may face in adjusting to their lives after leaving the military.

“We hope counselors and our returning veterans find this site helpful and easy to use,”Cross said. “As the site grows, we expect it will become an increasingly valuable resource.”

The new site is one of several Web-based tools VA has developed to assist veterans in dealing with mental health issues. Others include a guide for families of military members returning from deployment and information about a suicide prevention hotline for veterans.

(From a Department of Veterans Affairs news release.)

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