I’ve just come across the website of CommunityofVeterans.org. Here’s a brief statement about this organization:
Join our veterans-only online community to connect with people who know where you're coming from. Share your experiences and help others make the transition to civilian life. Stronger Together.As a writer, I particularly found compelling the section of the site In Their Words in which veterans tell their own stories, including the featured story of Bryan Adams.
The site includes information on the new G.I.Bill:
The new G.I. Bill offers the most comprehensive educational assistance package in more than a generation.For more information, go to G.I. Bill.
Beginning August 1, 2009, veterans who have served three years of active duty since September 10, 2001 will be eligible to receive full tuition and fees, a monthly living stipend, and a $1,000/year stipend for books and other supplies. Active duty veterans who have served fewer than three years will be eligible to receive a portion of benefits under the new G.I. Bill.
I hope you share information about this site with veterans you know who are returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. Having the support of an understanding community can make a huge difference in the success of a veteran’s return to the civilian world.
I’d like to close this blog post with the first paragraph of the story submitted by Cara Hammer. (The boldface is mine.)
I was stationed in Germany when I was redeployed from Iraq; we got off a C-130 from Ballad and were greeted on the tarmac by three Vietnam vets. These three guys were so happy to see us, one would have thought they were waiting for us the entire year to return. They had food for us, hugs, and well wishes for our return. They mentioned later that they were determined to have each individual soldier know their service was appreciated and not in vain. It’s amazing how a stranger can genuinely care and make such a big impact on you at a time when you’re not even aware that you needed it..