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Resources for Veterans
WWII Veterans Administration Poster
Comment
May 30, 2008

Questions about the services received by veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan burst onto the national stage in 2007 with public hearings over the treatment of patients at the Army's Walter Reed facility. The investigations by press and Congress resulted in the resignation of several officials — and renewed attention to the plight of veterans around the country. As the war entered its fifth year in late March 2008, CNN ran a special story about military sexual trauma among women veterans. NPR investigated veterans disability paperwork. And, the ARMY TIMES' anniversary coverage included "Vets still struggle with medical systems."

Government Resources

Veterans Benefits Administration
The Veterans Benefits Administration, in partnership with the Veterans Health Administration and the National Cemetery Administration, provides benefits and services to veterans and their families in recognition of their service. The Web site provides information about compensation and benefits and provides online applications for those who are eligible.

U.S. Department of Defense
The Defense Department is a comprehensive source for current news on the U.S. Armed Services and provides resources for the families of service members.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs reviews veterans' programs, examines current laws, and reports bills and amendments to strengthen existing laws concerning veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), such as for health care, disability compensation, GI bill education and job training, home loan guarantees, life insurance policies, and a nationwide system of veterans' cemeteries. Check this site for the latest information on new federal initiatives on veterans' matters.

National Center for PTSD
The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was created within the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, in response to a Congressional mandate to address the needs of veterans with military-related PTSD. Its mission was, and remains: To advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's veterans through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders. The Web site provides educational resources concerning PTSD and other enduring consequences of traumatic stress.

Veterans History Project
A Project of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. The Project relies on volunteers to collect and preserve stories of wartime service. Search the enormous veterans collection by name, service location, rank, medals, or learn how to add your story or your family member's story to the permanent collection. Audio and video material submissions are encouraged. More on how to contribute to this oral history project.

Non-Government Resources

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Founded in 1990 by a group of community-based homeless veteran service providers, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) seeks to eliminate homelessness in the veteran community, serving as a liaison between branches of the federal government and community-based homeless veteran service providers.

New Directions
An estimated 27,000 homeless veterans live in Los Angeles, possibly due to the country's largest VA hospital and the mild climate. Many suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. Some suffer from both substance abuse and mental illness. New Directions, Inc., a long-term drug and alcohol treatment program, provides food, shelter and rehabilitation to homeless veterans at four locations.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
The VFW is the oldest nonprofit veterans service organization, serving as a voice for veterans and a catalyst for change in improving veterans' benefits through community service programs and special projects.

Returning Veterans Resource Project
"Returning Veterans Resource Project NW is a nonprofit organization comprised of politically unaffiliated and independent mental health professionals who offer free and confidential counseling to veterans and their families of past and current Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns." Provides direct assistance in finding therapists specifically trained to talk with veterans.

Society of Military Widows
"THE SOCIETY OF MILITARY WIDOWS (SMW) was founded in 1968 by Theresa (Tess) Alexander to serve the interests of women whose husbands died while on active military duty, of a service-connected illness, or during disability or regular retirement from the armed forces. SMW is a nonprofit organization chartered in the State of California under section 504 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Service Code." On their Web site, find information about rights and benefits for military survivors.

FRONTLINE: The Soldier's Heart
Web site for the FRONTLINE documentary about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and returning Iraq War veterans. The site includes extensive interviews with military and medical experts, a literary history of combat stress and other readings, a reporter's diary and other resources. You can watch the entire episode online.

Remembering Vietnam: An Online Newshour Special Report
This special report commemorates the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War with links to Online Newshour articles and interviews about Vietnam.

Veterans Resource Map
Find Veteran resources for all fifty states, compiled by NOW with Bill Moyers in 2002.

Published on May 30, 2008.

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VETERANS RESOURCES
Useful Web sites for veterans and their families.

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