I heard the news Friday afternoon – a man opened fire in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, leaving several wounded and several killed. When situations like this happen the first collective reaction is usually suspected terrorism. But once the media began to report more information about the suspect, my heart began to sink. It was then reported he was a veteran who served a ten-month deployment to Iraq in 2011 with the Puerto Rico National Guard. According to the LA Times, he began to suffer from mental issues when he got back from Iraq. He willingly sought treatment but struggled to gain access to Puerto Rico’s apparently under-resourced VA hospital, so he moved to Alaska to seek better services. Today, I don’t want to start pointing fingers at anyone as to how this happened. I want to express my deepest condolences
One of DVNF’s 2016 grant recipients, Veterans Healing Veterans From the Inside Out, sent us this video. This is their founder, Ron Self, an incarcerated veteran, who is determined to make a difference for veterans in crisis. He gives us this TED Talk from inside San Quentin (more…)
DVNF grant funding to the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) has helped veterans in many ways. Whether it’s through job training for veterans in a high-demand manufacturing field, or developing new technologies to support disabled veterans, a difference is truly being made through this partnership. (more…)
September is Suicide Prevention Month. Data has revealed that on average, approximately 22 veterans a day commit suicide. It’s a national crisis, and one that we need to do more to fight. Some research has shown that the military and veteran suicide rate is 50 percent higher than that of civilians, which is as sad as it is alarming. But there is something I can do, and there is something you can do to help save the lives of these veterans. (more…)
The following is a conversation that took place with a homeless veteran we met at a stand down event last year. His true account goes to show just how long the road back to normal can be for too many veterans. “The government needs to do more to help homeless vets. I should know. I was one of them.” (more…)
It’s no secret that veterans often find themselves at a disadvantage when exiting the military. Financial difficulty, family stress, and uncertainty about job prospects can often be a formula for disaster for these veterans, and many wind up homeless. But then there are other veterans who become victims of their own irresponsibility, and are branded as such for years to come. According to the LA Times, a study among Post-9/11 VA patients from 2001 to 2011 showed that around 5.6 percent were discharged from the military for misconduct. However, that small percentage accounted for over 28 percent of veterans who became homeless in their first year after leaving the military. Note that this does not include service members with a “dishonorable” discharge, as they are not eligible for VA services. The group surveyed here was discharged for misconduct – usually
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="584"] Clarence[/caption] Meet Clarence. Clarence is the young veteran working at the mill machine in the photo you see above. He has been out of the military for 3 years now, having served in combat right out of high school. Clarence is currently finishing out the Advanced Inclusive Manufacturing (AIM) program at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) at the University of Pittsburgh. This program is one that teaches veterans like Clarence the basics of machinery, which will give them a leg up in a high-demand field. Clarence suffered a major traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a deployment. Now he has a form of visual agnosia, in which he lacks the ability to visually recall images in his mind. He told us during our visit to the HERL lab that remembering how an object should look when
This March, DVNF is celebrating Women’s History Month. Their service was overlooked for decades, but they have been an integral force in our military’s operations. We cannot thank them enough for all they have done, and want them to know how truly important they are, and have always been, to the operation of the U.S. Military. So, here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about women veterans!
We arrived at the grassy basin once again on Friday, the weather identical to Thursday. The difference today though, the population of veterans and volunteers had more than doubled! We could tell immediately that we were going to have a very active day. More tents and RV’s had been set up, most for healthcare services. The Red Cross also sent in a truck and representatives were handing out various good to the vets and their families. The strange part about it was that this event on the second day almost seemed like base camp in a war zone. In a way, it sort of was—just a very different type of war. This was a war on homelessness, a crusade to remember the forgotten, a battle to provide. The much needed reinforcements had arrived. The wounds of the warriors were not
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