Our Favorite Photos from Events in 2017

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Seeing the Impact Photos help to tell a story. They don't always tell the whole story, but they can give you a window to the heart of a story. DVNF participated, hosted, or supported in dozens of events in 2017 through our programs, and through other activities to reach out and touch the lives of the veterans we served. Here are some of our favorite photos from 2017. Detroit Hiring Fair This Detroit veteran's smile says a whole lot. Through our Boots to Suits program, DVNF provided veterans on the job hunt with a brand new suit and new business attire - for free. It's amazing how dressing well boosts confidence. Albany, NY - Veterans Miracle Center DVNF sent a Health & Comfort shipment to Albany to help the Veterans Miracle Center restock their free "store" for veterans. Not only did

Guest Blog: Supporting a Clean and Sober Lifestyle for Returning Vets

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How Family Members Can Support a Clean and Sober Lifestyle for Their Returning Vet By Anna Ciulla A loved one who returns home from active military service is often not the same person they once were, having witnessed and experienced traumatic events the likes of which can be hard to fathom. This new reality can be difficult to adjust to—not just for the returning service person but for their immediate family, who naturally wonder how they can help their loved one make a smooth and healthy transition back to civilian life. In this period of re-acclimating to civilian life, it’s important to keep in mind that returning vets are more vulnerable to substance abuse and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, due to various factors: Chronic or acute pain from one or more war-related injuries Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),

Delivering Resources to Veterans in Need

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DVNF's first resource fair a huge success On November 9th, DVNF hosted its first ever resource fair for veterans in the DC Metro area. Government representatives, nonprofit organizations, and additional providers such as staffing firms took part in the event. More than 50 veterans attended the event, and 33 veterans were given new business attire through our Tailored for Troops program! So many of the veterans we spoke with were overjoyed at the outpouring of support from their community. Some were in search of employment, some needed new clothing, and many others were simply looking for community. This event impacted one veteran in particular in a big way. This young Marine veteran was there with his wife and their two-year-old son. He told us that he had been having a difficult time since he left the Marine Corps, and had

Guest Blog: How a Veteran Can Heal from Traumatic Memories

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How a Veteran Can Heal from Traumatic Memories By Anna Ciulla An experience of active combat can be incredibly traumatic, which is why there is such a high prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the veteran population. These less visible battle scars—the traumatic memories, flashbacks and other symptoms that can cause daily torment long after active duty has ended—are a reminder of the great sacrifice that fighting to defend our country entails. But that sacrifice doesn’t have to take a lifetime toll. There are ways to cope with and ultimately go on to overcome traumatic memories that any vet can benefit from knowing about: Trauma-Focused Psychotherapies—in particular, Eye Movement Densensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), and Cognitive Processing Therapy—have helped a significant proportion of people with PTSD find healing. In fact, a handy “Treatment Comparison Sheet” from the U.S.

GUEST BLOG: What is a ‘Sheep Dog’?

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Giving wounded heroes ("Sheep Dogs") a new outlook on life Military veterans and first responders, who we refer to as “Sheep Dogs,” have an innate need to serve and help those around them. At Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (, we recognize this and strive to provide continued service opportunities that offer the physical challenges and camaraderie that is often missing after a shift or tour of duty ends. We do this through three major programs: Disaster Response Missions, Outdoor Adventures and Holiday Assistance. Through our Outdoor Adventure Program, Sheep dogs that have been injured in the line of duty are provided with meaningful and impactful experiences which help them reengage in a healthy lifestyle and improve their well being. Through this program Army Specialist Scott West was sponsored to participate in one of our skydiving adventures. A Life of Recovery

GUEST BLOG: Caring for Elderly Veterans

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The Susan J. Rheem Adult Day Center works diligently to support elderly veterans By: Yvonne Napolitano, Executive Director The Susan J. Rheem Adult Day Center (SJRC) is located in rural, Prescott Valley, AZ. SJRC is the only adult day health program in northern AZ and is just one program of more than 5000 adult day health centers across the nation. SJRC provides therapeutic, personalized care services for those having varying chronic illnesses and disabilities including but not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia, diabetes, physical/cognitive impairments like traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, developmental disabilities, and mental illnesses. SJRC is proud to be serving veterans which are approximately 50% of its daily attendees. Thanks to the late founding SJRC Executive Director Susan J. Rheem (1947-2010) and her advocacy efforts at the national level in the 1980’s,

DVNF Veteran Employee Spotlight – Gary Hwang

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An Army Veteran who can handle whatever comes his way As part of DVNF’s commitment to serving the men and women who stood in our defense, we understand the importance of having team members who have been in their shoes. The following story gives some background on one of the veterans working at DVNF. Gary Hwang came to DVNF in September of 2017 as our Accounting Assistant. We're pleased to have this combat veteran join our team! Below is our interview with Gary about his background and his service. Tell us a little about your service – branch, rank, interesting positions you had, what your job was, where you served, when you served, how long, etc. Did you serve in combat? I served a total of 6 years from 2008 to 2014. I was in the MD National Guard for 3

What Grant Recipients Are Saying

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Partnerships Helping Our Heroes DVNF's Capacity Building grants are intended for like-minded organizations who support the mental and physical wellbeing of veterans in their communities through their own unique programs. Through our partnerships with these organizations, we are helping to make veterans' lives better together. Here's what some of our recent grantees are saying: .@DVNF grant to fund on-going programmatic activities for injured & disabled active duty and veterans nationwide. — ProjectHealingWaters (@PHWFF) August 21, 2017 For #BeAnAngel Day we'd like to recognize @DVNF for their support of our Semper Sound program! — Resounding Joy Inc (@RJoyInc) August 22, 2017 Big thank you to @DVNF for another year of support of our Operation Healthy Reunions program. Its always great to work with your team! — VCNCT (@2011vcnct) August 23, 2017 A big thank you to the @DVNF for their generous

Guest Blog: Career Training is Vital to Many Veterans

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Institute for Career Development Discusses Veterans' Need for Job Training  One hundred years ago, ICD launched a first-of-its-kind center to rehabilitate returning WWI veterans with service-related disabilities.  Three years ago, we saw that a new approach was needed to meet the needs of today’s veterans, particularly those serving in the military post-9/11.  Since then, ICD’s Veterans for Employment (VFE) program has helped hundreds of veterans with diverse skills, experiences, and interests start satisfying careers. Our staff coaches veterans on writing resumes, searching for jobs, interviewing and other integral career skills. Most importantly, the staff goes the extra mile to meet each veteran where they are and to tailor services accordingly, connecting each veteran to the resources that work for them. In today’s complex employment environment, professional networking can be the key to finding the right job and getting promotions.  Yet,

Dr. Cooper Awarded the Service to America Medal

Dr. Rory Cooper Recognized for His Research and Development Contributions Congratulations to Dr. Rory Cooper, the Director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL), who has been awarded the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. He's truly deserving of this recognition! The awards ceremony — known as the Sammies — is an annual event where the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service recognizes the accomplishments of federal civil servants. Dr. Cooper's award was the Science and Environment Medal. DVNF is extremely proud to have contributed to the work that he and his team have conducted to improve the lives of so many disabled veterans! HERL has been the recipient of a grant from DVNF more than once, and we're honored to be a part of the groundbreaking work of HERL. Once again, congratulations to Dr. Cooper on this incredible achievement. We