Today, government agencies are joining in the efforts to provide resources to the more than two million members of the Armed Forces who have deployed across the globe, the millions of Veterans from other eras, their families, and their caregivers.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is working to expand to meet the growing healthcare needs of OIF/OEF Veterans, especially women. Additionally, the current administration is working to lower the number of Veterans who face unemployment as well as striving to create educational resources that will help troops overcome the stigma of mental health injuries.
Clearly, there are many challenges facing returning Veterans. It is easy to point out failures in the government response, but that would only be half of the story. There have been some notable successes; it’s just that when something works it hasn’t received as much attention.
One such initiative that is working is the National Resource Directory.
A partnership of the U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, the National Resource Directory (NRD) creates a link between military and Veteran communities and the areas they live in by providing online access to nearly 14,000 programs, services and resources at the national, state and community levels. With nine different subject areas, including education & training, employment, homeless assistance, and health care, the NRD helps Veterans, Service Members and their families navigate numerous organizations, government and non-government, offering help.
Service Members and Veterans using the NRD can be sure the resources they find are reliable. Each resource is checked by a member of the NRD team, many of them Veterans, to make sure that a charitable organization has current paperwork with the IRS, provides a needed service and isn’t out to make a buck off of the military community.
Through community and government partnerships, the NRD is honored to be the first destination in the search for programs and information concerning the military community, their families, caregivers and the vast network of civilian support.
Staff Sergeant Jennifer Hunt has served 10 years as a Civil Affairs Specialist in the Army Reserve during which time she has deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. Since returning from her latest deployment, Jennifer has worked to raise awareness about the issues facing female Veterans returning from war and reintegrating into the civilian world. She currently works on the National Resource Directory as a content manager.