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Veterans and Military Families

AmeriCorps and Senior Corps serve and engage the talents of veterans and military families across the country. Our programs and members are committed to this mission and thank those who have served. 


National Service Supports Military Families

AmeriCorps and Senior Corps assist community-based efforts to meet the unique needs of military families. Such services include mentorship and tutoring for military children, legal assistance, affordable housing, health care, counseling, and more.

Members also help veterans apply for and explore benefits options. Some AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs work in coordination with Wounded Warrior projects.

National Service Connects Veterans to Volunteer Opportunities

AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs recruit veterans, particularly those who are transitioning from military to civilian life, into service opportunities, including those that utilize military experience.

 

Hear what Champions of National Service have to say about the power of service to strengthen communities and transform lives.

Rep. Ron DeSantis
6th District of Florida

Rep. Scott Taylor
2nd District of Virginia

 

Rep. Don Bacon
2nd District of Nebraska

Rep. Jack Bergman
1st District of Michigan


CNCS joined the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal agencies to commemorate National Veterans and Military Families Month and Veterans Day.

Read the Full Blog


In Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps engaged more than 21,700 veterans in service and assisted 550,800 veterans and military families. 

FY 2017 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Fast Facts: 

  • 20,346 veterans served in Senior Corps
  • 361,897 were veterans served by Senior Corps 
  • 21,700 veterans served as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to help veterans and military families access benefits, job training, job search resources, safe and affordable housing, and mentorship for children.
  • 90 Senior Corps projects were dedicated to, and 1,200 Senior Corps volunteers served at Veterans Affairs facilities across the country.
  • AmeriCorps NCCC directly served over 3,500 veterans.

Veterans and Military Families Updates

 

AmeriCorps for Veterans

AmeriCorps is a great option for veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life. National service helps build a bridge to careers, education, and more. It is a chance to become part of a new community, gain experience and skills, and discover new opportunities. AmeriCorps is a great way to keep serving your country and make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Find the AmeriCorps program that is right for you.

 

Wounded warriors, veterans, or military spouses can learn more about benefits of national service at our Serve Your Community pages. Nonprofit or state entities can learn more about our competitive grants in our Build Your Capacity section. And, if you are looking for community service opportunities to help veterans and military families in your neighborhood, check out Find Volunteer Opportunities.

AmeriStories

Regina Best - profile picture
Regina Best
Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps

After serving in the Air Force for seven years, Best took a job as an assistant chef at a catering company. After losing that job, she found herself homeless and living in a Salvation Army shelter. She persevered despite her own living situation, joining Habitat for Humanity to build homes for others who were in need. Eventually, she applied to be an AmeriCorps contruction crew leader, while also juggling four courses to get her bachelor's degree in culinary management. Today, after multiple years in AmeriCorps, she is looking to start a nonprofit restaurant that would serve everyone and be run solely on donations and volunteer labor.

Read Regina's inspiring story.

photo: Mike Bremer
Mike Bremer
Southwest Conservation Corps
Mike, an Army veteran, was having a tough time finding work after returning from Iraq.  He joined AmeriCorps and served on the all-veteran fire team with the Southwest Conservation Corps’ Veterans Fire Corps.  Because of the training, experience, and connections he gained with AmeriCorps, the U.S. Forest Service offered him a job as a full-time firefighter.
 
"When I returned from Iraq with the Army Infantry, I felt like I lost all meaning and purpose in life and I had trouble finding meaningful work.  My AmeriCorps experience gave me new purpose and a valuable new skillset.  I received incredible training and experience alongside other veterans who had similar experiences – we were all looking for a new life after war."
 
Photo: Joseph Clay
Joseph Clay
Teach For America
Joseph, a Marine Corps veteran, serves in AmeriCorps through Teach For America, teaching math in a high-need school in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Joseph’s two-year commitment to Teach For America has provided him an accelerated pathway toward a career as an educator.  Joseph finds special meaning and value in serving impoverished youth because he grew up under similar conditions, and he views his AmeriCorps service as an opportunity to honor the dedication and sacrifice of 16 Marines from his unit that didn’t make it back home.  He says, “I carry their memory with me every day in the classroom as I fight today to end educational inequity…  I am a proud member of AmeriCorps; I served America, now I teach for America. Semper Fidelis!”
 
"My time in the Marine Corps… molded me into a warrior and into a man of conviction. I wear that pride on my sleeve as I continue to serve as a teacher in one of the highest needs areas in the country – Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue my service in the classroom, where my experience can impact the lives of children who deserve a quality education."
Photo: Loretta Coleman
Loretta Coleman
Jesse Brown VA Food Pantry
Loretta Coleman, a 10-year Army and Air Force veteran, now serves veterans as an AmeriCorps member managing day-to-day operations at one of the nation’s only veterans-focused food pantries located in a VA medical center in Chicago.  After AmeriCorps, she plans to become a certified peer support specialist to continue supporting veterans as they make the transition back to civilian life.
 
"It has been both an honor and a privilege to not only serve as a member of the military, but to continue serving my community through AmeriCorps. It is a great opportunity to be able to help meet the needs of my fellow Veterans and take on the challenge of the AmeriCorps pledge to ‘get things done for America."
Usthana Hargrove - profile picture
Usthana Hargrove
Veterans Serving our Military Community

Usthana Hargrove epitomizes the spirit of veterans serving veterans. He spent 17 and half years in the military – 10 years in the Army, five years in the Navy and two and a half in the Army National Guard. In the Army he specialized in air assault and repelled out of helicopters, and in the Navy he specialized in languages as a human intelligence collector.

He now serves as a program coordinator with AmeriCorps in the Veterans Serving our Military Community program in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His job is to assist veterans and their families in finding services that provide for them in areas like employment, food security, and healthcare.

"It’s incredible to be able to give back to the community," Hargrove says. "What I love about this job is that when we do it right, we see an immediate impact on someone’s life."

Read more about how Usthana is helping other veterans.

Rebecca "BB" Lange
Rebecca Lange
AmeriCorps NCCC AmeriCorps Alum Winner
Rebecca “BB” Lange, Deputy Legislative Assistant at the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

AmeriCorps Alums 20th Anniversary National Leadership Award Winner
 
Rebecca is a proud alumna of the second class of AmeriCorps NCCC Denver Campus (served in 1995). She is currently an active duty Air Force major and serves as a Deputy Legislative Assistant at the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, preceded by a tour as a defense fellow for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson.  During AmeriCorps, she built houses and trails with NCCC and served on the AmeriCorps Team for the Games during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.  After her AmeriCorps year, she used her education award at the University of Colorado and enrolled as an Air Force ROTC cadet.  As an intelligence officer, she has deployed to Qatar, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  She is also a proud military spouse.   Rebecca says, “It's all about service. I could not be more proud to be an Air Force officer and an AmeriCorps alum." She currently sits on the leadership council of the Washington, D.C. chapter of AmeriCorps Alums. 
Kevin Miller
Swords to Plowshares
Kevin Miller, a Marine Corps veteran, suffered from traumatic brain injury and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. These factors complicated Kevin’s transition from military to civilian life. He was unemployed and received multiple DUIs. Kevin found a new direction through an AmeriCorps position with Swords to Plowshares in California. His experience with AmeriCorps reminded Kevin to “redefine what it means to be ‘successful.’ You cannot dwell on what you cannot change, but you can use your ‘failures’ as motivation to drive towards your own definition of success.” After his service, Swords to Plowshares created a full-time job for Kevin to work on veterans policy, where he helped fellow veterans get the services and support they need to prevent homelessness, poverty, and untreated mental and physical health issues.
 
"AmeriCorps VISTA and a nonprofit called Swords to Plowshares gave me an opportunity and a home. Today, because I was given the opportunity to serve post military, I'm actively involved in the mission to end veteran homelessness."
Tyler Wright - profile picture
Tyler Wright
AmeriCorps VISTA 2013 to 2014

As a hospital corpsman who constructed facial prosthetics in the U.S. Navy, Tyler Wright helped wounded, ill, and injured service members reclaim a part of their identities that was lost during their journeys abroad. When he returned to civilian life last year, Tyler looked for something that would aid his own reentrance to his community. Less than 15 days after leaving the Navy, AmeriCorps VISTA offered him the type of opportunity he had imagined.

As an outreach and communications coordinator with Student Veterans of America, Wright connects nearly 1,000 veterans-focused student organizations across the country to grant and funding sources. This effort ultimately helps strengthen these organizations so they can serve more former service members.

Tyler is certain that his commitment to service will not end with AmeriCorps VISTA. With future plans to pursue biomedical research and teaching in higher education, Tyler is currently in a master’s degree program in therapeutic herbalism: the study of the properties of plant medicine.

“As I help out other vets, I learn more about myself,” said Tyler. “It just seems like it was somehow planned out that way for me to be here and I’m very thankful for it.”

AmeriCorps Programs Help Vets Find Jobs

There are more than 10,000 AmeriCorps programs across the country. Many serve veterans, and even more recruit veterans as service leaders. AmeriCorps proudly recruits veterans because of the leadership, determination, and sense of duty they bring to service; employers hire AmeriCorps members for exactly the same reasons.

AmeriCorps Programs Helps Vets Find Jobs

An AmeriCorps member with Community Health Centers examines a young patient.
Community Health Centers
AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps members serving with the National Association of Community Health Centers work to improve healthcare for medically underserved populations in 18 states and Washington, DC.  Through the Child Abuse Prevention Council in California, AmeriCorps members provide crisis intervention and parenting education to parents at-risk for child abuse and neglect.  Through the Legacy Corps program, AmeriCorps members provide caregiver support services to veteran and military families in 10 states.  These programs commonly provide entry points into careers in health care, counseling, and social work.

An AmeriCorps member with Equal Justice Works' Veterans Legal Corps helps a client.
Veterans Legal Corps
Equal Justice Works

AmeriCorps members with the Veterans Legal Corps provide legal assistance to low-income and homeless veterans with issues related to disability benefits claims, barriers to housing and employment, debt, family law, and other legal issues.

Veterans frequently face complicated legal problems stemming from physical and mental injuries sustained during military service.  When these legal problems go unresolved, they can quickly multiply, creating insurmountable barriers to successful civilian life.  Lawyers play key roles in resolving the complex and intertwined legal issues veterans face.

The ultimate goal of the Veteran Legal Corps is to improve the lives of veterans – once relied upon to serve their country as members of the armed forces – and enable them to return to civilian life as successful community members.

An AmeriCorps member with VetsWork uses a chainsaw to clear brush.
VetsWork
Mt. Adams Institute

VetsWork, run by the Mt. Adams Institute, is an 11-month career development AmeriCorps program for veterans interested in natural resources management and public lands employment.  In cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state and community partners in Washington, Missouri, Oregon, North Carolina, and Virginia, VetsWork places veterans at local, state, and federal land management agencies where they receive on-the-job training while carrying out projects such as wildland firefighting, biological studies, public education and outreach, trail maintenance, and volunteer management.  VetsWork enables these organizations to build relationships with veterans, help the veterans gain important job skills, and create a pipeline of potential employees to fill employment openings at their local sites.  Successful participants qualify for noncompetitive eligibility status, so are readily hired by federal agencies. In fact, VetsWork successfully placed 80% of a recent cohort of AmeriCorps veterans in jobs with the U.S. Forest Service.

VetsWork: GreenCorps from Shawn Sundby on Vimeo.

AmeriCorps NCCC

AmeriCorps NCCC is America’s national service strike team.  Originally conceived as a Department of Defense program, AmeriCorps NCCC combines aspects of civilian and military service, including leadership and team building, to engage youth 18-24 years old to meet national and community needs.  AmeriCorps NCCC members gain valuable experience and skills in the field of emergency response management.  Through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), substantial numbers of AmeriCorps members are hired into federal jobs with FEMA following their year of service.

An AmeriCorps member with YouthBuild standing on a ladder holds a paintbrush and a bucket.
YouthBuild USA
AmeriCorps

Economic Opportunity

At YouthBuild USA, AmeriCorps members gain valuable career skills and bolstered civic and community engagement while building homes and refurbishing computers in low-income communities in collaboration with at-risk youth who the AmeriCorps members mentor and tutor.

An AmeriCorps member teaches a young student.
Teach For America
AmeriCorps

Education

Through Teach For America (TFA), AmeriCorps members gain practical experience providing classroom instruction and mentorship in America’s toughest schools. TFA gives its teachers the entrepreneurial skills and confidence to become innovative community leaders.  Among many AmeriCorps programs, TFA actively recruits veterans.

An AmeriCorps member with the Sustainability Institute's Veterans Conservation Corps program retrofits a home to save energy.
Veterans Conservation Corps
The Sustainability Institute
"I served my country overseas. Now I serve my community with AmeriCorps."

U.S. Army veteran Derek Destin serves with the Sustainability Institute's Veterans Conservation Corps in Charleston, SC. He works with a team of veterans to energy retrofit income-qualified homes and impart energy efficient practices to local homes and businesses. Find out why he serves and how he encourages other veterans to join AmeriCorps.

An AmeriCorps member with the Vet Corps at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
Vet Corps
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

Vet Corps, an AmeriCorps program run by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, places veterans at colleges throughout Washington State to help other veterans and their family members transition from military life to college life.  Vet Corps members help veterans achieve their higher education goals by providing training and support to college faculty and staff to increase awareness of and support student veterans’ needs; serving as a peer connection for veterans new to higher education; and helping veterans navigate and use their federal, state, or local veteran’s benefits.  In 2015, 50 Vet Corps members served 9,500 veterans, primarily on college campuses.

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