Vet Life Communities
By Steve Schiffman
According to a recent survey conducted by Prudential Financial and IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America) nearly two-thirds of new veterans say they faced a difficult transition to civilian life for a variety of different reasons. The survey also showed that re-entry to civilian life was more difficult among veterans who served in the ten years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
While there are a variety of federal, state and local programs to assist veterans, most of them lack the single thing that veterans find most attractive when serving their country ? esprit de corps. Many veterans ? particularly those who may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ? or who are having financial difficulties, are reluctant to discuss their mental issues. The stigma associated with receiving mental health treatment deters some service men and women from communicating their true level of stress. The potentially negative impact to the individual?s career, coupled with a fear of shame and judgment, often results in veterans not receiving the help they need. This is where Vet Life Communities can help.
How it Works
To start the process, people log onto www.OperationNotForgotten.com and download the assessment tool with an email entry. Immediately after they take the 20-minute assessment, veterans receive an individualized, computer-generated report. Automatic follow-up resource newsletters provide informative articles and links for guidance and support, and include access to national trauma experts. The Quality of Life Assessment.? and materials are offered to veterans and their families at absolutely no cost and are completely confidential.
To further reinforce the assessment tool, veterans can attend local Vet Life Communities, which are being established around the country. These consist of local weekly support meetings offering veterans various tools to determine how well they are meeting the challenges of everyday living. Veterans are given a Vet Life Step ByStep Handbook, and they can meet with a qualified life coach to determine the appropriate course of action for each veteran.
In the months ahead we will be providing more information on the growth of our Vet Life Communities, and how they can be an important resource for our brave men and women who have served our country.
Steve Schiffman, the Executive Director of Operation Not Forgotten, has served as a marketing consultant, and has directed creative teams to produce award-winning commercials which have aired on ABC, NBC and CBS network television. As a publisher, he was asked by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation to conceptualize and produce the original Power for Living book, which has reached millions of readers.