Returning Service members require support as they integrate back into the communities they left to serve our nation. All across the United States, organizations have sprung up as people do their part to welcome these brave men and women back home. Grassroots efforts often make all the difference in people’s lives and families by providing essential care, resources, and guidance at a critical time.
These organizations operate in what I like to call a sea of goodwill – a widespread atmosphere of support for and pride in our vets – within which groups seek to match donors with needs. However, such efforts can be uncoordinated, missing opportunities to leverage resources and experience across government, non-profits, communities, and institutions of higher learning, for greater impact.
I recently took part in a unique workshop that convened a variety of actors in the military education space seeking to find ways to address this challenge. It was an important moment in which organizations came together, broke down silo walls and began to imagine what powerful collective impact we can have for our active duty military, our veterans and their families.
This white paper follows directly from that workshop and is the beginning of an important conversation across the public, private, and civic sectors to find ways to work together.
Our nation owes the best it can give to our returning service members, and I am confident that through this effort we can find ways to fulfill our promise to them.
Admiral Michael Mullen
U.S. Navy (Retired)
17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff