OurMilitary.mil – DOD Community Relations Webpage

Sgt. Vincent Hancock - Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Greenwich, United Kingdom; Vincent Hancock (USA) competes in day two of the skeet men qualification during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Royal Artillery Barracks. Vincent is a Sergeant in the US Army.

I wanted to bring your attention to the DOD Community Relations webpage.  It’s called OurMilitary.mil.  OurMilitary.mil has information concerning Veterans and our Troops, with a wide range of topics, employment, education, health care, and even the Summer Olympics  (see: http://www.ourmilitary.mil/recent-news/news-archive/usas-vincent-hancock-wins-gold-in-skeet-shooting/) OurMilitary.mil is quite a complete webpage with more information than I could ever imagine.  It has hundreds of stories and links and I would have to give the DOD an A+ for the work here.


Harvesting Happiness for Heroes



Transforming Post Traumatic Stress into Post Traumatic Growth

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization. Our mission objective is to offer support services to Warriors and Warrior families challenged by Combat Trauma and post-deployment reintegration issues. We offer Battle Buddy workshops, family awareness training, online community support, one-on-one coaching services, as well as retreats for Warriors to decompress from battle and understand the tools available for them to adapt their military skills to civilian society.

“Warriors truly want to feel normal, they want to be like they were and what you would like them to be again, but that is impossible; they have changed forever. Help them to help themselves by understanding what they have been through, what horrors they have experienced and how they long to be loved and accepted for who they’ve now become.”

from The Warrior’s Guide to Insanity, Sgt. Andy Brandi, U.S.M.C.

Returning home after combat is an extremely difficult transition.  The brutalities of war can leave physical wounds as well as mental and emotional ones.  If avoided, these invisible wounds of war can show up in our lives as chronic physical pain, insomnia, depression, domestic violence, or substance abuse.

HH4Heroes offers a stigma-free opportunity to begin the healing process, which is crucial for Warriors and their families to reintegrate themselves after battle. By calming our mind, healing our body, and expressing our feelings, we begin to feel in control of our lives once again.  A renewed sense of freedom and joy can result, instead of the trauma from war defining our lives and limiting our ability to be happy.

Harvesting Happiness & Harvesting Happiness for Heroes provides positive psychology coaching tools to facilitate greater well-being. This communication is provided for education and inspiration. This communication does not constitute mental health treatment nor is it indicative of a private therapeutic relationship. Individuals desiring help for trauma, addiction and abuse related issues or other psychological concerns should seek out a mental health professional.

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes services and/or products are not a substitute for medical or psychological diagnosis and/or treatment. Participation in all HH4H programs is voluntary and does not replace, supersede or conflict with guidance and/or treatment from a medical professional.  The Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-TALK, provides immediate life-saving help to veterans and their loved ones.



Helmets to Hardhats

Making a successful transition from the military into the civilian workforce can be difficult. Transitioning military veterans face the same challenges as any other job hunter – getting their résumé to the right people, learning how to sell themselves, tracking down promising leads, following-up with employers, headhunters, job placement agencies… etc. Not many people are comfortable with this process and veterans have the added stress of trying to translate the skills they learned in the military into language that civilian employers can understand. The process can feel overwhelming, especially if it seems like meaningful help is unavailable.

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) was formed for this reason and is dedicated to helping National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members connect to quality career and training opportunities in one of America’s most challenging and rewarding industries – the construction industry.

To participate in H2H, simply visit the program’s Web site at www.helmetstohardhats.org and click the “Get Started” button to create and activate your profile. Once your profile is activated, you can browse hundreds of career and training opportunities and forward your profile to career providers electronically from the H2H site. If you have questions about a career in the Trades; don’t see the career you’re interested in or have questions about the application process, call us at 866.741.6210.

Home Depot Foundation

Serving Those Who Served Us All

Our nation’s veterans bravely served our country and made great sacrifices to do so.  While serving, the skills and leadership qualities they learn make them valuable assets to communities and businesses. However, veterans and their families can also face major challenges, including housing, unemployment or disabilities.

Our pledge is to ensure that every veteran has a safe place to call home, and we are committing $30 million over three years to the effort. In addition, our associates are committing their own time and talents to make a difference for veterans in local communities.

The Challenges

Statistics show that many veterans face severe housing needs sometimes because of a disability from combat injuries or because they’ve been particularly hard hit by the economy and sometimes because they simply can’t find affordable housing.

  • An aging population: 9 million veterans are senior citizens, many of whom live on fixed incomes
  • Disabilities: From 2001-2008, the number of disabled veterans increased 25 percent to 2.9 million.
  • Low Incomes: More than 4.3 million veterans have a combined family income of under $20,000.
  • Homelessness: Statistics show that veterans are twice as likely to be homeless than those who haven’t served. Veterans represent 8% of the general population, yet they form 16% of the homeless population.

The Opportunities

 The skills learned in the Armed Forces are often directly applicable in the workplace, making veterans highly educated and trained employees for businesses. We know that firsthand — more than 35,000 of The Home Depot’s associates are veterans.

  • Leadership & Work Ethic: Proven leadership skills, honed in the most challenging operational environments.
  • Top Skills: 92% of active duty military in the United States use computers at their places of duty and 40% of military personnel have job assignments that involve information resource management; 60% of the enlisted personnel can program in at least one computer language.
  • Education Level: Almost 33% of young veterans have an associate or bachelor’s degree, compared to 27% of young non-veterans.

Download the 2012 Home Depot Information Sheet (Adobe .pdf)


Massachusetts Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

Massachusetts Stand Down for Homeless Veterans


Massachusetts Stand Down is a two-day event that provides veterans or veterans at risk of becoming homeless. Volunteers of America Massachusetts is the lead agency for Stand Down and co-hosts it with the Department of Veterans Affairs. For the second year, the IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester is providing location for the event.


August 24 – 25, 2012
IBEW Local 103
256 Freeport St., Dorchester, MA

Free Services at Stand Down 2012 Include:
• Food
• Clothing
• Veterans Affairs Benefits
• VA Boston Healthcare Registration
• Medical Services
• Eye Glasses
• Mental Health Counseling
• Housing Services
• Oral Health and Dental Screening
• Employment Services
• Legal Assistance
• Haircuts
• Social Security Administration (SSI/SSDI)
• RMV – Mass. ID Cards and License Renewals
• Mass Health
• Social Work Services
• Internal Revenue Service
• Foot Care
*This is a partial list of services provided

Volunteers of America Massachusetts continues to provide critical services to homeless veterans while expanding the reach to veterans who are also at-risk and in need of help.

For more information on participating in Stand Down as a veteran or provider please contact:
Guy Simmons, Volunteers of America Massachusetts
[email protected]

For more information on volunteering at Stand Down 2012 please contact:
Lindsey Ferris, Volunteers of America Massachusetts
[email protected]