Our military has faced unprecedented challenges in the last decade. Though we have the most advanced and professional fighting force in history, two protracted wars fought solely by professional servicemembers over a decade have serious consequences– not just for those who do battle, but for the country as well. Our warfighters find themselves dealing with the effects of PTSD and TBI as a result of multiple deployments, only to come home, transition out of the military and face a grim job market. It’s a silent battle faced after war; waged by military members and their families and practically unknown and unrecognized by the other 99 percent of the population. A decade is too long for the American people to sit idly while their watchmen falter under extraordinary stress.

Today, the White House announced Joining Forces, a community-based effort to help lessen the burden on our military families. It will be a comprehensive effort led not just by individual volunteers, but also companies, schools and local communities. VA has identified several ways it can support the initiative through its Veteran and Military Families page which include:

  • Development of a joint DOD/VA Integrated Mental Health Strategy to better determine mental health conditions
  • With HHS and DOD, leverage partnerships with professional associations and academic institutions to ensure military culture is included in core curricula and published standards
  • Partner with HUD and other agencies to end Veteran homelessness by 2015
  • Increase outreach to military spouses in the federal hiring process
  • Development of two Veteran-owned small business projects, Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) and Operation Endure & Grow
  • Continued support of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which is transferable to military spouses and dependents

These initiatives are just a start and they underscore the need for support of today’s military families from everyone: from large government agencies to the local Boy Scout chapters. The military has carried on its silent mission for a decade and hasn’t asked the American people for any help. But it’s time for the nation to step in to help shoulder the burden.

Learn more at VA’s Veteran and Military Families page

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Published on Apr. 12, 2011

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

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  1. Aimee Tiernan April 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    If you live in Arizona, we started the Arizona Coalition for Military Families which is a public/private partnership to build support for all who serve. The Coalition was started Aug 19, 2009. To understand in current terms, this is Arizona’s Joining Forces effort. Those on the team are Veteran’s or family members of Veteran’s and we care about the needs of out Military and Veteran community. To see more about what we are doing for Service Members, Veterans, and their Families please see http://www.arizonacoalition.org.

  2. Marine wife April 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Any initiative proposed by this White House is purely campaign baloney. Michelle was going to help our service families, and all she’s done is take ritzy vacations. The president is the most clueless commander in chief when it comes to the military, even more so than Bill Clinton ever was.

    Anyone who is fooled by this campaign hogwash, including the media, deserves what they’re going to get, which is nothing. At least not from this White House. Talk is cheap.

    • AJChicago April 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      I completely agree with you Marine Wife….it’s convenient that The White House only stirs up all this “lip service” I call it when it’s time to run for office.
      I’m a military spouse of 17 years, a veteran with a Masters Degree in Management with concentration in Acquisitions and Contract Management and I can’t get a job as an administrative assistant on Redstone Aresenal, AL. What’s wrong with this picture….EVERYTHING!!!
      Not only have I personally served, but I have served, side-by-side with my husband and the gov’t hasn’t assisted us with anything.
      Talk is cheap Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden…I think using our military and their families should be criminal….I assure you, you will not get my vote under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
      I even went as far to write letters to the President, VP, and both their wives and all I got in return was a general printed out BS letter signed by some intern working in the Mrs. Biden’s office. No acknowledgment what-so-ever from the Pres. or Mrs. Obama.
      I don’t know any military families that have any positive affects on their lives since the Obama’s have taken office.
      Giving us pay-raises because the public throws a fit and then cutting BAH by 1 1/2 times what the pay raise was (that of course the public has no idea about)….I say keep your piddly $48 pay raise and leave my BAH alone!

  3. howard April 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    That all I here is talk and that all I been hearing.

  4. Gordon April 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    As a gulf war veteran who has been diagnosed with several illness since the 90’s,I think the VA could careless about helping veteran are our family i still waiting on treatment for the daily pain i am force to deal with.I personally think the VA is anti- veteran,They would rather bury a veteran than help one.

    • Terry April 14, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      I have never had a problem with the VA you may need to make sure that you see someone that helps Veterans out side the VA like American legion or VFW they may be able to help you find the right person to talk to.

  5. jim April 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Today is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday I think he would be pleased with the decision to task forward greater partnerships in community, business, social and transition protocols. Corporate businesses from start-ups to large holdings have had crosstalk on hiring returning veterans, have not held pace with respect to the value, education and training of America’s most respected citizens, “volunteer soldiers.”

    Two years ago, I was part of the ground-breaking study call “All Volunteer Force From Militay to Civilian Service”. The white paper with a forward by Admiral Mike Mullen set the tone in the civic-engagement movement. The start-up of the Joint SECVA/SECDoD advisory council made inroads towards bridging solutions for this generation of warriors.

    Joining Forces comes at a time to engage the centric to concentric proverbs that say, we are a nation, we have a duty and a degree of that duty rests in community affairs being involved. I for one welcome this on-going dialog. But dialogs are only the first step. From discovery to invention of the best ideas must happen, joint funding and shared practices, and in that we all will see transition as a friend, and not a stigma to be leary of. vr James (Jim) P. White, GPP-Air Hospital Board.

  6. Stacey Brackett-Adkins April 13, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Joining Forces is a program long overdue and I am so happy to this announcement and the initiatives it is tackling!

  7. Amanda Obert April 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you VA for all you do, without you I would have never overcame and made it out alive through my transition to civilian life with many medical conditions. Thank you for constantly improving your services that you provide us!

  8. Gary S. April 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you (VA) for all you do! GOD Bless the United States of America!

Comments are closed.

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