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Through partnerships and cooperative joint military/veteran organizations/civilian community/faith-based programs and curriculums, the AboutFace Program offers continuous educational, emotional, financial, spiritual, and logistical support for transitioning veterans and their families, which enhances their quality of community life and worth. The education and involvement of local citizens, businesses, schools and church personnel, will establish understanding, trust and cooperation between veterans and community members.
AboutFace offers a Community Education Program (Military 101), which provides awareness opportunities to business and government leaders and educates the public on veterans’ qualities, culture, and needs. Patriotism and a healthy understanding of a veterans’ life are precursors to helping a veteran succeed in the community. Not all veterans have access to transportation or means to visit a VA facility to seek help. The AboutFace community/faith-based program would address transportation and time concerns and be very beneficial.
AboutFace will provide a stable and safe family friendly environment, a refuge within the community where veterans and like-minded people can meet, learn, and share experiences. The Program provides continuous opportunity for the mingling of returning veterans with other veterans, their family members, and non-veterans through patriotic events and other activities (some honoring veterans, some supporting family and spiritual values and some thanking the communities). In other words, veterans can reintegrate into society and experience a sense of belonging.
AboutFace programs provide spiritual enrichment, employment and education outreach programs; offer VA benefits assistance; wellness and financial training; and offer veteran family transition support and reintegration programs, as well as a jail diversion mentoring program. Our goal is to reduce or eliminate the pain and suffering our returning veterans and their families endure upon reintegration into civilian life. (See Appendix A for list of programs).
The AboutFace program is destined to be a national community faith based program with centers located in every state. Working closely with the Department of Defense and partnering with numerous existing community/faith-based veteran assistance programs and organizations providing complimentary services, we will provide the critical link needed by service men and women at the point of discharge from the armed service. Beginning with family programs prior to release from active duty that prepare families for the reality of PTS, AboutFace will begin transition training even before the veteran returns home. Before being discharged, parallel training for the service member will prepare them for the transition back into society.
- Joe LaBranche
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