America Supports You: New England Group Helps Veterans Move Forward
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2008 A group in Massachusetts is offering wounded servicemembers tools to help them transition into civilian life.
“(We are) giving our wounded heroes a second chance at the opportunity to become marketable for the 21st century work force through education and training,” said Michelle Saunders, director of Veterans Moving Forward.
As a part of the Veteran Hospice Homestead, Veterans Moving Forward is engaging community colleges and educational facilities around the country to create solutions to help alleviate the financial burdens of wounded veterans and their families, Saunders said.
The Veteran Hospice Homestead provides medical, psychological and spiritual care to veterans diagnosed with a terminal illness, as well as the elderly and disabled, according to the organization’s Web site.
“Veterans Moving Forward will create an environment that allows (wounded veterans) and their families the opportunity to utilize and maximize their educational benefits without financial burden,” she added.
The plan includes providing what Saunders referred to as “dignified” transitional housing, support and skills training these veterans need to successfully transition into the civilian work force.
Families have not been overlooked in this plan. Licensed social workers will help families of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, Saunders said, adding that case managers also are available to help veterans and families with needed resources.
Veterans Moving Forward recently became a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. Saunders said she hopes the affiliation will help her organization network with others to provide comprehensive support to the nation’s servicemembers.
“There are so many organizations out there,” she said. “We need to work together, and what better way to do that than through (America Supports You)? We are better together than we are separate.”