Natalie is an active duty Marine Sergeant and a single mom with 3 kids living in base housing. She sought transition support from the Dixon Center as she felt completely unprepared for her transition to the civilian workforce and community. Our team supported her with finding civilian housing, pro bono legal support to handle some legal challenges she was experiencing, and emotional support. For employment, Natalie received networking, communication, resume and interview skill training and support. While Natalie continues to seek employment, as she completes her final military requirements, she has gained the confidence and skills to make a smoother transition.

Tanika is the spouse of a military veteran. She has been with her husband, a marine veteran since high school. Throughout the years, she has supported him through Marine Corps boot camp, one combat deployment in Iraq, and through a long healing process after he was wounded in action in 2004. Since his injury, Tanika has financially supported the family while her husband stayed at home with their two daughters. When Tanika’s husband started receiving employment support from Dixon Center, she expressed her gratitude for “putting him out there.” The Dixon Center Military and Veterans Services team and their partner Easterseals Southern California prepared him for interviews, provided resume tailoring, and assisted him in developing communication skills for the workforce. Since her husband started meaningful employment in March 2014, almost 10 years from his injury, Tanika has enjoyed spending more time with their daughters. For the support she received through the Dixon Center and their partnership with Easterseals Southern California’s Military and Veterans Services, Tanika said, “I really have no words to express how grateful I am…thank you.”

Ms. S came to Dixon Center and their partner Easterseals New York (ESNY) at the end of April 2015 as a homeless Army veteran living in a shelter with her 15 month old son. She didn't have any clothing except for what she was wearing and was in dire need of our support services. An ESNY case manager referred Ms. S for housing, legal counseling, mental health counseling, and clothing. After working with Dixon Center and ESNY, Ms. S was able to secure part-time employment with Universal Solutions as a customer service representative.

Sometimes all it takes is a kind, caring person who steps in to lend some expertise. A local U.S. Army veteran visiting a hospitalized friend was overheard by a staff nurse complaining that his mouth was hurting very badly. The nurse took a look and suggested that he call the Dixon Center and their partner Operation Vets THRIVE’s Community OneSource in Cincinnati right away because it turned out that he had two teeth broken down to the filling. Furthermore, the nerve on one tooth was exposed, exacerbating the pain, while the other tooth was infected.

Although the veteran had a pending case to claim service-related disability benefits due to ongoing back issues, he did not have the means of accessing or paying for dental care. Community OneSource staff contacted a local dentist who agreed to provide free dental care as a way of giving back to those who have served in the military. The dentist extracted one tooth, saved the other and prescribed medications to deal with the infection and the pain. The patient felt immediate relief and was thankful to return to his “regular” life.

The American Red Cross contacted the Dixon Center Community OneSource in Southern Ohio on behalf of a local woman, with a heartbreaking story, asking for assistance from Operation Veterans THRIVE. The caller cared for her orphaned nephew, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as if he was her own son. After an honorable discharge, the young man returned to Afghanistan as a civilian contractor educating Afghan security forces. A month before he was scheduled to return home to see his newborn son, he was killed by a suicide bomber. Even though his aunt served as his surrogate mother, neither the Army nor the civilian company for whom he worked for would provide her with travel assistance to attend the funeral.

While numerous organizations have been established to assist veterans and their families, these organizations usually restrict assistance to immediate family members. Although she had stepped into the role of mother, the veteran’s aunt was technically ineligible to obtain financial assistance.

Community OneSource personnel contacted more than 30 organizations in an attempt to obtain financial assistance, but it seemed as if no one could help. Finally, Community OneSource Specialists found a local organization that provided financial travel assistance. The week following the funeral, she called Community OneSource to express her gratitude and to let them know that the funeral service was beautiful and provided her with some small measure of solace.

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