National Veteran-Focused Initiatives and Programs

"I strongly encourage other veterans to consider serving their country through national service so they can share their military and civilian careers, as well as the importance of community connectedness with the future leaders of tomorrow. AmeriCorps is the next step for prior service members to go from serving your country to serving your community."—Kent Park, Army veteran
 

Through its programs, the Corporation has impacted the lives of many veterans and military families and effectively leveraged their passion for serving this nation and transforming local communities. Some examples of this work include:

  • Nearly 13,000 veterans have served as AmeriCorps members—a number that’s expected to greatly increase under current CNCS priorities.
  • Under the United We Serve initiative, CNCS collaborates with nearly 50 organizations to help promote volunteer opportunities by and for veterans, including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans.
  • AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps members help lead “Stand Down” events throughout the country and provide services such as employment counseling and emergency medical care to homeless and needy veterans.
  • Students in the Learn and Serve America program interview veterans as part of oral history projects to preserve their wartime memories for future generations.
  • More than 8,000 Senior Corps members annually participate in projects based at 703 Veterans Administration facilities. These members assist frail and elderly veterans, help military returnees adjust to civilian life, and provide transportation to veterans needing medical treatment.
  • Through partnerships with veteran-serving organizations, national service members prepare care packages for servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan and distribute books to children of military families.

Specific national veteran-focused initiatives and partnerships coordinated by the Corporation include:

  • United We Serve—First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are calling on all Americans to support and engage service members and their families. As part of this initiative, CNCS outlines ways for veterans, active duty servicemen and servicewomen, and military family members to get involved.
  • Engaging Veterans with Disabilities—This project aims to enhance the capacity of national service programs to successfully recruit, engage, and support veterans with disabilities in structured volunteer experiences. Working with Iraq and Afghanistan veterans through the National Service Inclusion Project, the initiative will identify promising practices, products, and delivery strategies. For more information, contact Paula Sotnik atpaula.sotnik@umb.edu.
  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award—The Serve America Act allows AmeriCorps members to use their Education Award at institutions that accept the G.I. Bill. This greatly expands the number of schools where veterans can use the Education Award to further their educations.
  • Governors and Members of Congress Information Campaign—The Corporation is taking a leadership role in enlisting state governors and members of Congress in advancing the Veterans Corps authorized by the Serve America Act. As currently envisioned, this initiative may include working with governors, congressional offices, and veteran-serving organizations on pilot projects, needs surveys, resources, program development, and member recruitment.
  • Partnerships with National Organizations such as the American Legion Auxiliary—The Corporation is actively working to partner with national veteran-serving organizations. One example is a recent Memo of Understanding between CNCS and the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA). Under the agreement, the Corporation will work with ALA to enhance the volunteer and service components of the organization’s strategic plan, assist the organization in using volunteers in the development and delivery of family support services to the National Guard, and strengthen ALA’s use of national service resources in veteran programs and volunteer services. In addition, both parties will work together to increase the number of veterans and their families engaged in service. Currently, 19 AmeriCorps VISTA members are serving in nine states (Arkansas, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Michigan) with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“I encourage other veterans to consider AmeriCorps National Service. It will give you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others and give you a sense of purpose after your military career is over.”—Dixon McReynolds, AmeriCorps Member

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