An Introduction to Veteran Resources

As Americans, we owe a great debt to our military service personnel and their families. Serving in the armed forces demands exceptional bravery, strength and courage, not only from the men and women who serve but from their families at home. We owe these dedicated individuals much more than thanks; we owe them our support and assistance in accessing the resources they need in order to make the transition from service to life at home. Fortunately, a wealth of support networks exists for military veterans’ special needs. Please share these links with service families you know and ensure that all veterans are aware of the options available to them.

 

PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

MAKE THE CONNECTION-PTSD: Take a self-assessment quiz, browse videos, get referrals for professional help or get the number for a crisis hotline here. This comprehensive resource for veterans with PTSD is honest and candid and offers help.

MAKE THE CONNECTION-TBI: Hear veterans with traumatic brain injury discuss their experiences and learn about common side effects and related disorders. Online symptom management tools and referral options for veterans are just a few of the resources available to vets with TBI.

U.S. DEPT. VETERANS AFFAIRS NATIONAL CENTER FOR PTSD: Dedicated to patients and professional caregivers alike, this website offers links to VA PTSD treatment programs, self-help options, online assessment tools and mobile apps. Specific attention is given to PTSD in women and in veterans newly returned from war.

 

Suicide Prevention

VETERANS CRISIS LINE: While this crisis line does serve as a suicide prevention hotline, the website offers much more. Friends and family of veterans can learn about signs of trouble, chat with other family members and access VA resources. Veterans who are struggling can call or chat confidentially, take an at-risk quiz online and learn where to go for professional help.

NRD SUICIDE PREVENTION DATABASE:  The National Resource Directory compiles information for veterans of all branches of service and their families to connect them to resources and caregivers who can help with their needs. This database of suicide prevention services lists links to resources from specific military branches as well as general information fact sheets, free services and numerous outreach programs.

REAL WARRIORS SUICIDE PREVENTION: This resource, operated by the Dept. of Defense Centers for Excellence, offers families and friends of returning war veterans a quick 3-step method for helping a veteran in crisis. Thoughtful assistance for families and veterans is provided, as are open chat, message boards and a crisis hotline.

 

Resources for Homeless Veterans

MAKE THE CONNECTION-HOMELESSNESS: Homelessness is a growing problem among U.S. veterans, and many are not aware that programs are in place to help them. Information on the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans can be found at this website, as well as links to numerous other VA resources for homeless veterans.

U.S. DEPT. VETERANS AFFAIRS HOMELESS INITIATIVE: This site details the VA’s initiative to end homelessness for U.S. veterans, explaining its six pillars of outreach and outlining the process for veterans who use the program. Useful links and phone numbers are listed, including one to a local community coordinator.

NRD HOMELESS ASSISTANCE DATABASE: This National Resource Directory resource lists information on short-term emergency housing, help for homeless women veterans and legal assistance and credit counseling, among other options.

 

Resources for Women Veterans

VA SERVICES FOR WOMEN: This page of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Center for Women offers links to specific services the military offers women. Links include health care, benefits administration, burial and memorial services, FAQs and helpful site links.

NRD WOMEN’S HEALTH DATABASE: Resources on pregnancy and childbirth in the armed forces, women’s health issues and sexual trauma awareness and help can be found in this NRD resource listing.

GRACE AFTER FIRE: Developed and run by women veterans with the specific needs of women veterans in mind, Grace After Fire seeks to help women veterans transition after service to lives as mothers, wives and daughters. Featuring a social networking site called Grace’s Garden and a vast list of resource options, this site offers a fresh way for women veterans to connect and address issues that women in the military face.

 

Financial Assistance

NRD FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE DATABASE: Links to assistance with financial counseling, money management, credit counseling, savings plans, preparation for deployment and education for spouses can all be found on this National Resource Directory information page.

OFFICE OF VETERANS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: The U.S. Small Business Association offers military veterans business training, assistance and counseling to encourage small business development. The SBA can help veterans access capital, acquire loans, compete for federal contracts and create jobs; links to their military outreach programs are here.

VA HOME LOAN PROGRAM: As a military veteran or a family member, you may qualify for a VA Home Loan at a reduced interest rate. This resource page features eligibility Q&As, lender information, homes for sale and VA office contact information.

 

Information You Can Use

VA GI BILL: Do you know what the GI Bill is and what it can do for you? This Dept. of Veterans Affairs site fully explains the GI Bill and how best to take advantage of these educational benefits. Research or choose a school and apply for benefits here.

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: Are you a recent veteran? This website offers an online gathering place for veterans who have fought in recent and ongoing wars. Featuring resources like leadership programs, suicide prevention and scholarships, IAVA is 200,000 members strong.

VFW POST-MILITARY ASSISTANCE: The Veterans of Foreign Wars understands the unique needs of a transitioning soldier, and works to ensure those needs are met. This site offers resources that center on benefits delivery at discharge, assistance with claims and procedures and financial assistance for some families.