Building a community of support: Great resources for veterans online

Muna Hassan
Production Assistant
Public Insight Network

June 18, 2013: This post has been updated to include resources for veterans with moral injury.

Throughout our ongoing coverage of veterans’ issues, we’ve heard over and over again that navigating the stresses of schooling, disability benefits, reintegration and rebuilding relationships is far more easily done when surrounded by others going through the same thing.

Former Army Sgt. Danielle Adams says that being an active participant in a variety of organizations since returning from her deployment to Afghanistan has helped her surround herself with an invaluable community of support.

“In the military I coordinated Hails & Farewells,” she says. Adams served in the Army for seven years before entering the Army Reserves — and enrolling in school at Western Kentucky University.

“Now, as a student, I continue to be involved by participating in my campus Student Veterans of America as a [former] chapter leader. Through that organization I was introduced to other veterans organizations such as The Mission Continues, Outward Bound, Team Rubicon, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officer Association of America, Community Blueprint Program with Points of Light and more.”

Adams’ list alone reads as a great primer for veterans in search of community, resources, answers or support. And the internet is rich with all sorts of tools for veterans seeking help and information. Here are some of our favorites: general resources, as well as those for student veterans and veterans with traumatic brain injury.

 

Resources for student veterans

Student Veterans of America
(202) 223-4710
Provides resources, support and advocacy to military veterans in higher education, before and after graduation. Many colleges and universities also have SVA chapters on campus.

Operation Promise for Service members
(609) 989-1100
Provides an online resource for veterans and their families pursuing higher education in New Jersey.

National Association of Veterans Program Administrators
Promotes development, improvement and extension of opportunities to veterans and others involved in veterans education assistance programs.

NewGIBill.org
(212) 982-9699
Site, hosted by IAVA — the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America group — helps service members research Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

 

Resources for veterans with TBI

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
1-800-870-9244
Serves active-duty military, their beneficiaries and veterans with traumatic brain injury through research initiatives and educational programs, clinical care and support for health services.

Department of Justice: Americans with Disabilities Act
(202) 514-2000
Offers a guide for service members returning with disabilities, including traumatic brain injury.

American Veterans with Brain Injuries
Email: admin@avbi.org
Supports service members and veterans suffering from brain injuries.

 

Resources for veterans with moral injury

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255
Connects veterans in crisis with VA responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat and text-messaging service.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
1-800-950-6264
Advocates for access to services, treatment, support and research for mental health conditions.

Make the Connection
Provides resources to help veterans find sources of support for physical an mental health symptoms and conditions as well as challenging life events.

 

Resources for all veterans

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Basic, essential government resource. Offers financial counseling, career help, educational and vocational counseling, housing programs and disability services. List of phone numbers can be found here.

U.S. Vets: United States Veteran Initiative
(213) 542-2600
Offers a variety of veteran services, including housing and employment assistance; mental health services and counseling; substance abuse treatment; and family support programs.

IAVA: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
(212) 982-9699
Advocates for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with health, employment, education and community.

SWAN: Service Women’s Action Network
1-888-729-2089
Advocates for women in the military, attempts to transform military culture by pursuing equal opportunities regardless of gender, provides services, support and media advocacy on behalf of service women.

Wounded Warrior Project
(904) 296-7350
Supports injured service members with physical wellness, economic empowerment and social engagement.

 

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Muna Hassan Production Assistant
Public Insight Network
Muna Hassan is the Production Assistant for the Public Insight Network. Previously, she has been a writer at a community newspaper, editor at a technical magazine and web producer at a political analysis website. She enjoys learning about different people and loves hearing stories from all walks of life. In her free time, Muna keeps herself busy by delving into a variety of different projects, including teaching bootcamp and yoga classes; studying different languages and cultures; and working with adults with disabilities.