This collection brings together valuable insights from nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies that work directly with veterans in communities across the country. The works collected here provide a deeper understanding of the problems many veterans and their families face and also potential solutions to address these very real challenges. The collection is broken into five key areas where veterans are facing obstacles and where nonprofits and foundations have been focusing their efforts.

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"Soldiers" by Adam Baker licensed under CC NC 2.0

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2017 Corporate Playbook for Supporting Military Families

July 27, 2017

This report, by Blue Star Families and the Caster Center and sponsored by USAA, examines the unique strengths and challenges of military families, best practices for supporting military families, why your company should support these families, and the steps to begin or strengthen your company's plan to support military families.

Arts Deployed: An Action Guide for Community Arts & Military Programming

February 1, 2017

A collaboration between AFTA's National Initiative on Arts & Health and the Military and the Local Arts Advancement departments, Arts Deployed is a guide for arts organizations and artists interested in bringing creative arts programming to military and Veteran communities, their caregivers, and families.  The guide helps local arts organizations and artists understand their unique roles in serving the military and Veteran communities; details the expansive benefits the arts have on the health and well-being of these communities; and lays the groundwork—step-by-step, from establishing fruitful partnerships with the military and Veteran sector, through funding and promotion—for arts organizations and artists to build their own creative arts initiative for their local military and/or Veteran communities.   Arts Deployed also breaks down three current program models—The Veterans History Project, The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, and the Living History Veterans Project—so that these programs can be replicated in any community.   Rich with examples of current local arts programming throughout the U.S. —including The Oklahoma Arts and Military Initiative, California Arts Council's Veterans Initiative in the Arts, and Colorado's Fine Arts Center's Military & the Arts Program, among others—Arts Deployed also offers a directory of arts and military national touring performances, exhibitions, and writing workshops that can be brought to any community.   Arts Deployed honors the highly effective and robust arts and military programs that exist all across the country and seeks to help close a critical gap, as the demand for these services far exceeds their number. With the proper motivation, training, connection to information and resources, and access to partners in the military and Veteran communities, local arts organizations and artists can make a powerful difference.

Health & Well-being

Learning about America's Best: Resources on Educating, Training, and Hiring Returning Veterans and Service Members

January 26, 2013

This document provides a quick list of some of the many books, articles, and web sites that offer information for educators, trainers, employers, service members, veterans, and family members. It is part of a series of materials written to address the growing need for information and ideas that can help our nation's schools, training organizations, and workplaces make a welcoming, productive, and satisfying place for returning veterans and transitioning service members.

Education & Employment

Coming Home to Caring Communities: A Blueprint for Serving Veterans and Their Families

February 1, 2012

Communities across the U.S. are grappling with veterans' reintegration issues, but the answers about how best to serve veterans and their families may be elusive, because every region has different resources, service gaps, and needs. Despite these variations, a common core of key community-based supportive services and practices has been identified in order to help communities serve their veterans and families in a more consistent and professional manner. So what can a community do to help? How would service providers, local leaders, and citizens begin to organize their community's resources to support veterans and families effectively? What would that look like? How would it be paid for? Has it been done well in other communities?This blueprint answers these questions as a combination "how-to manual" and toolkit with an inside look at how an existing Center operates. This document provides a blueprint of "what works" to help communities identify and implement the programs their local communities need. The details in this blueprint leverage the knowledge of Veterans Outreach Center (VOC) in Rochester, NY, the oldest community-based nonprofit organization in the nation devoted exclusively to serving veterans and their families. The information in this blueprint will help communities get a jump-start on developing local programs and initiatives of their own. Ultimately, these tools will help increase access to consistently high-quality community-based supportive services for veterans and their families.

Family & Community Reintegration; Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Tools for America's Best: Resources for Educators, Trainers, and Employers on Returning Veterans and Service Members

January 25, 2012

This set of tools was developed for civilian educators, trainers, and employers who have the privilege of recruiting, enrolling, hiring, teaching, or working with returning veterans and service members. These tools are companion documents to "Teaching America's Best" and "Hiring America's Best", two booklets in a series published by Give an HourTM and the National Organization on Disability. Included in this booklet are a number of fact sheets and worksheets:

Education & Employment

Teaching America's Best: Preparing Your Classrooms to Welcome Returning Veterans and Service Members

January 23, 2012

This toolkit offers educators and trainers information and ideas for attracting, retaining, involving, and giving the best education and training to service members and veterans.This document is part of a series of materials written to address the growing need for information and ideas that can help our nation's schools, training organizations, and workplaces make a welcoming, productive, and satisfying place for returning veterans and transitioning service members.

Education & Employment

Hiring America's Best: Preparing Your Workplace to Welcome Returning Veterans and Service Members

January 22, 2012

This report offers employers insight into this pool of potential employees, suggestions for lowering stress and enhancing productivity for all employees, and information on effective responses to war-zone stress injuries."Hiring America's Best" is part of a series of materials written to address the growing need for information and ideas that can help our nation's schools, training organizations, and workplaces make a welcoming, productive, and satisfying place for returning veterans and transitioning service members.

Education & Employment

Trauma Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

July 5, 2011

The number of women in the military -- both active duty and veteran populations -- is growing rapidly. They face unusual challenges because of their military experiences and for many, multiple roles as breadwinner, parent, and spouse. Often their return to civilian life is difficult. An estimated 75,609 veterans are homeless, sheltered or unsheltered, on any given night. Women were 10,214 (7.5%) of the 136,334 homeless veterans who were sheltered sometime between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009 (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). Female veterans have a greater risk of homelessness compared to their civilian counterparts. Risk of homelessness for recent veterans, particularly women who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, is increasing.The experience of trauma prior to enlistment coupled with trauma experienced while in uniform is a common denominator among homeless female veterans. Research suggests that 81-93% of female veterans have been exposed to some type of trauma, significantly higher rates than the civilian population (Zinzow et al., 2007). Traumatic experiences include childhood abuse and neglect, domestic violence, military sexual trauma, and combat-related stress. These experiences have a significant impact on mental and physical health, family relationships, and housing and job stability. Trauma Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness is designed to be used by community-based service agencies that work with homeless female veterans in a variety of settings (e.g., emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, transitional and supportive housing programs, outpatient settings). Leaders within these organizations who are looking to improve their effectiveness in engaging the female veterans they serve can use this guide to begin the process of becoming trauma-informed.

Poverty & Homelessness; Women Veterans

Accommodating Student Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Tips for Campus Faculty and Staff

June 1, 2011

Service members and veterans transitioning from deployment to higher education bring with them a degree of maturity, experience with leadership, familiarity with diversity, and a mission focused orientation that exceed those of nearly all of their peers. They may be expected to emerge as campus leaders; to enrich any class focused on history, politics, or publicpolicy; and to serve as an engine for innovation on their campuses. However, many veterans acquired these assets at great personal expense, including battlefield injuries.Cognitive injuries are among the most prevalent of these battlefield injuriesfor today's returning service members. By some estimates, individuals who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan have as much as a 40 percent chance of acquiring such an injury by the time they have completed their service. Predominant among these cognitive injuries are traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Consequently, to allow and encourage this transitioning population to realize the greatest gain from postsecondary education, campus faculty and staff must recognize the potential learning challenges associated with these invisible injuries and make adjustments or implement accommodations to help ensure their students' academic success.To support faculty and staff who seek a better understanding of TBI and PTSD, this guide focuses on functional limitations commonly associated with these conditions and provides forms of classroom accommodations and modifications, also known as academic adjustments, responsive to these limitations. However, this information should not be divorced from the bigger picture, that individuals with combat-related TBI and PTSD will see themselves not as individuals with disabilities, but as veterans and service members. Campuses that are already well-prepared to serve veterans and service members in general will have far less need to specifically adapt to persons with cognitive impairments than campuses that have developed few veteran-specific programs or resources.

Education & Employment; Health & Well-being