I was fortunate to participate in a recent veterans forum, “From Nation-Building to Community-Building: Capitalizing on the Strength of Our Veterans Here at Home,” hosted by Georgetown University’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership in the McCourt School of Public Policy.
This forum brought together a panel of national and local leaders, veterans, and civilians, to discuss efforts underway across communities and sectors to reintegrate and engage veterans. Moreover, our transitioning service members are joined by their families and bring the same considerable talents to any employer or community.
Panelists from Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes, the Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Warriors, and the Augusta Warrior Project shared their distinct perspectives on the contributions our veterans make to our society and what we as a country can continue to do to support their reintegration.
This discussion could not be more timely, as combat operations transition in Afghanistan and our military adjusts its force structure to meet different threats. And as a consequence, increasing numbers of talented veterans and their families are returning to their hometowns across the nation to apply the considerable skills, creativity, and leadership that veterans and their families bring back to our communities.
At Joining Forces, we see the national impact and benefit of collaboration. This type of momentum is only made stronger by conversation and action on best paths forward to support these veterans into our communities.
We applaud the efforts of organizations like those convened by Georgetown that make a difference. Last Friday’s forum helps each of us gain a deeper understanding of the valuable skills and perspectives that our veterans and their families bring to every doorstep in America.
Colonel Rich Morales is the Executive Director for Joining Forces.