May / June 2016

Female Veterans Project

Female Veterans

Through a generous grant from an anonymous donor, Easterseals Dixon Center along with our affiliate network is excited to be able to assist our Female Veteran population with a renewed emergency financial assistance capability. The emergency financial assistance is for female veterans, their spouse, caregiver, or child and is designed to assist in times of extreme financial need. An added capability this year is the focus of funds to sustain existing programs, funds to development of new programs in high need areas, and provide funds for introductory grants to enable affiliates to outreach to the Female Veteran population in their areas.

If you know a female veteran that could use emergency assistance, please direct them to our website here or to their local Easterseals affiliate to receive guidance. There are limited funds, and each application will be considered on a case by case basis, but female veterans will be given assistance as long as funds remain.

 

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac

In recognition of May being Military Appreciation Month, our partners at Freddie Mac hosted the leadership of Easterseals Dixon Center at their offices in McLean, VA. Freddie Mac’s Danny Gardner, and the Freddie Mac Military Employee Resource Group hosted a leadership lunch followed by an afternoon program which included a screening of the movie Hornet’s Nest and a presentation by COL David Sutherland. In his remarks, COL Sutherland highlighted the amazing accomplishments of our service members on the battlefield, and discussed some of the challenges that our veterans face as they transition back into the community. COL Sutherland also presented some ideas to assist Freddie Mac with reaching out to veterans both already on the Freddie Mac Team and those seeking employment. COL Sutherland also emphasized that with the approaching holiday of Memorial Day, to use that day as a day of reflection and remembrance for all those who sacrificed everything they had for the freedoms we enjoy today.

This presentation is a part of an ongoing relationship with Freddie Mac that will continue to provide financial literacy and credit training to at risk populations. These populations include those who may not have access to affordable housing or may be wary of reentering the housing market after the recession and subsequent impact on the housing markets. It is a firm belief at the Easterseals Dixon Center that safe housing enabled by educated access to responsible financial lending is a key component to the quality of life for our Veterans and their families.

 

Easterseals Foundation Gala

Easterseals Foundation Gala

On May 13th in New York the First Global Gala of the Easterseals Foundation took place presented by Easterseals New York and the Easterseals Foundation. The gala officially launched the celebration of Easterseals 100th Anniversary which will culminate in a Global Celebration in 2019.

Founded in 1919 in Elyria, Ohio by businessman Edgar Allen, Easterseals has provided help and hope to millions of people with disabilities and special needs and is now playing an expanded role in assisting our veterans and their families. While Easterseals began serving veterans in 1946, services have expanded greatly in the past several years.

Honorees at the gala were Brad Reifler, founder and CEO of Forefront Capital Advisors; Gerardo Portney Backal, a youth leader, philanthropist, social innovator, and restless Human Rights activist; and Kimberly Mitchell, President and Co-Founder, Easterseals Dixon Center.

In January Forefront Capital pledged $3 million to advance Easterseals Dixon Center’s critical work to create better ways for veteran and military families to succeed in meaningful employment, education and overall wellness in communities across the country.

Gerardo Portney Backal is 21 years old, and stands as the youngest mentor for the United Nations Youth Fund and is an outspoken Millennial. He has founded 5 NGO’s based in Mexico City, starting his philanthropic career at 16 years old. He is definitely one to watch.

Our very own Kim Mitchell was not only an honoree, but was also the Keynote Speaker at the event. If you look at Kim’s life, it has been one of service; service to community, service to country, and most of all service to our nation’s veterans. Her father was a Vietnam Veteran, she served in the United States Navy and now furthers her career by being one of the leaders of Easterseals Dixon Center to continue to grow the services that Easterseals provides to veterans, their families, and the families of the fallen. Attending the gala with Kim, was Bao Tran and his family. If you are familiar with Kim’s amazing story, you know that Kim was saved by Bao during the Vietnam War and taken to the orphanage where her father would find her, make her his own, and bring her back to the United States.

Overall the gala was an amazing way to start the celebration of an organization that has served so many over its 100 year history. At Easterseals Dixon Center we are grateful to be part of the fabric of Easterseals and further the mission to assist our veterans, and hope to continue to be for another 100 years.

 

Tips for a PCS Move

PCS Move

From May to August, many military families find themselves gearing up for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) – which means relocating to a new station upwards of 50 miles away.

PCS moves are fairly common for military families. In fact, a study done in 2014, shows there are approximately 646,000 PCS moves annually. But just because they’re common, that doesn’t make them easy.

In an effort to help people take on PCS move, Easterseals reached out to a member of our Easterseals Dixon Center team and military wife and mom Sara Heidenheimer for tips that make relocating easier to take on. Sara is no stranger to PCS moves, having pulled up roots many times during her husband’s service with the military. Check out her must-dos to prepare for a move, along with tips about what to do once you get to your new home.

Preparing for a Move:

  1. You will hear all sorts of rumors about where you are going to go; do not believe any of them until your hard copy orders are in hand, and even then it could still change.
  2. Once you know where you are going, research the area. Check out base housing vs. housing out in the community. Compare schools. If your children are small, get them on a wait list for child care. (These can be very long.)
  3. If you plan on working, start looking to see what jobs are available in your new location www.easterseals.jobs is a good place to start and has over 2,000,000 jobs listed right now.
  4. Create a “Moving Binder.” In ours we always have copies of orders, dental records, shot records, birth certificates, marriage certificate, Social Security cards, and passports, possibly copies of medical records, school records and addresses. If you have pets this should also include any vet records they may have. A list of phone numbers and addresses. (You never know when your phone will die, do not rely on electronics.) Include copies of your household goods paperwork, any housing paperwork. Keep all of your receipts for moving expenses in this binder. Keep it with you at all times.
  5. Clean out your house of anything you do not need. It will help keep the moving weight reasonable so you don’t go over your weight limit. Donating or selling unwanted items in advance of your move makes it easier to unpack on the other end.
  6. Take apart tables/beds ahead of time. Place all hardware in a Ziploc bag and tape it to the biggest piece of the furniture so that it stays together.
  7. Take any junk drawers, magnets, etc. and place them in large Ziploc bags.
  8. If you are moving within the US and are driving, you can pack things you will need until you get your household goods. Cleaning supplies, basic dishes, air mattresses, pillows, toys, etc. If you are moving overseas, you can usually do a mini shipment that will get there before the rest of your household goods. This can include all of the above except the liquids.
  9. Clean out one room to be your “DO NOT PACK” room. Put anything you do not want the movers to pack in that room. Label the door, lock it, etc.
  10. Movers will pack ANYTHING sometimes. I have heard horror stories of garbage, car keys, dirty dishes, etc. being packed. Make sure trash is out and everything is clean before movers arrive.
  11. As soon as you get your orders, make sure you go over deadlines for everything. If you are going overseas this could include timelines for getting passports, medical exams, etc. This is also a process if you have pets depending on where you are going. Make sure to let the military know you are traveling with a pet. They will not pay to ship your pet, but you can try to make sure they are on the same airline, etc.
  12. SAVE MONEY. There will be out-of-pocket costs when you move. Always have a good savings account built up before any move. Once you know where you are going, reach out to other military families and ask if they’re willing to share how much they spent on the same move.
  13. There are Facebook groups for almost every duty station out there. Join those groups and you will learn all kinds of information before you go, and you can ask questions.
  14. See what there is to see during your move, especially if driving across the US. We have stopped at National and State Parks along routes to give our kids breaks and just to see some of the country.
  15. Photo inventory all of your belongings, especially big ticket items. Include estimated or actual values. Make sure the movers list out everything on your manifest.

After the move:

  1. I personally like to unpack my own boxes, but some people have the movers do it. They will have you check box numbers with the numbers on your manifest to make sure you have them all.
  2. Unpack and check everything as soon as possible so you can check for any damaged items. If you have damaged items, take pictures and compare them with before photos so you can file a claim.
  3. I always try to make the new home feel like home as quickly as possible. Hang things on the walls; get furniture set up, etc.
  4. Don’t be afraid to go out and meet new people! Get out and explore your new home as soon as you can. Familiarize yourself with the base, the neighborhood, and schools. Introduce yourself to your neighbors.
  5. Get set up anywhere you are going to need services. Doctor’s office, dentist, vet, or any other special needs you may have. Your local Easterseals will be a great resource, especially if you are an EFMP family.

Looking for summer plans for the kids? Learn more about Easterseals' camp for children in military families.

 

Colonel Sutherland’s Huffington Post Column

Colonel Sutherland

In his regular Huffington Post column, Colonel Sutherland offers his thinking on ways to ensure that veterans succeed where they live. Sign up here to receive notifications when Colonel Sutherland adds new content.

 

March / April 2016

PwC Invests In Veterans

PwC Invests

PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. is providing a $1.2 million, four-year grant to Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. This grant will support Easter Seals Dixon Center’s efforts in assisting service members who are nearing the end of their military service make successful career transitions prior to their separation from the military.

The Foundation’s investment in Easter Seals Dixon Center will help expand programming to seven military installations across the nation, impacting thousands of veterans and their families participating in employment training and credentialing, as well as information regarding community resources. The grant and investment in Easter Seals Dixon Center’s unique collaboration with the Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) and ABF Freight will assist in eliminating major barriers in transition and aims to ultimately increase quality of life for veterans and their families.

“The PwC Charitable Foundation is focused on grant making that can have a profound effect on underserved populations and I’m proud that this includes our active duty military service members, veterans and their families who have sacrificed for our country,” said Frank Gaudio, trustee and veterans’ liaison for the PwC Charitable Foundation. “Investing in Easter Seals Dixon Center’s unique approach of supporting veterans before they exit the military is one way the PwC Charitable Foundation is enabling a path for job training and placement for veterans transitioning into civilian life.”

Easter Seals Dixon Center, along with their partners, will utilize the grant by changing the conversation about veterans and military families, highlighting their potential and creating life changing opportunities. Since 2014, Easter Seals Dixon Center has directly supported thousands of veterans and military families through workforce development programs. Their work directly ties back to PwC Foundation’s goal of supporting veterans transition into the civilian workforce and professional development.

“Our collaboration with PwC Charitable Foundation is different because it supports service members before they exit the military and provides a clear path for quality of life. We assist transitioning veterans and military families, as they go through the TMAP for one of the biggest changes they face-- coming home,” said Col. David W. Sutherland, U.S. Army (Ret.), and Chairman Easter Seals Dixon Center. “PwC Charitable Foundation’s investment will empower Easter Seals Dixon Center and its partners at ABF Freight and the TMAP to expand new programs to seven military installations, with a goal of providing thousands of new veterans with this vital training and ultimate employment.”

 

Easter Seals Central Texas

Rick and Jessica

Easter Seals’ affiliates make differences in lives every single day. An individual may come in with one particular need and discover his or her family may benefit from additional wrap-around services. Rick Schumacher, an Army veteran, experienced this first-hand over the course of decades as several of his family members received services for various needs from Easter Seals.

Rick’s mother had Polio as a child and as a result, she had significant disabilities throughout her life. While his mother received support at an Easter Seals affiliate in Amarillo, Texas, the staff helped Rick through wrap-around services and was a bright spot for him as a child.

Upon returning home from combat in Iraq, Rick met Colonel Sutherland and learned about Easter Seals Dixon Center and how Easter Seals affiliates provide support to thousands of veterans, their families, and surviving spouses.

Shortly after marrying Jessica, the love of his life, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Once again, Easter Seals came through, this time helping Jessica with her challenges from MS.

And after Rick and Jessica’s oldest child, Merrill, spent weeks in the NICU after being born prematurely, she was able to go home with her parents. Therapists from the Easter Seals Early Childhood Intervention Program helped the family work through their early transitions making sure Merrill was given every opportunity to succeed.

As you can see, this is just one example of how amazing our Easter Seals affiliates are. They assist whole families from individuals with disabilities, to veterans, to children needing therapy. In Central Texas alone, nearly one in six people have a disability be it Autism, Early Childhood delays, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Veterans’ Health Issues, or any other number of challenges. Easter Seals Central Texas is there for them, just as our other affiliates are there for those who need them all across the country. Please be sure to check out your local Easter Seals, you may be surprised at what you find.

 

Prepping Vets for Jobs — Before They Leave the Military

Michael Yauger

There’s a perception that once a service member completes their military service, they will find employment right away. That simply isn’t true. The Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) has played an integral role in the transition of military soldiers into civilian sector careers since 2008.

After being involved with the Teamsters since 2011, Colonel Sutherland was asked to represent Easter Seals Dixon Center in informing and influencing TMAP’s development. Our two organizations are working together to help close the gap on veteran employment. And now, with financial support from the PwC Charitable Foundation, we are able to extend the reach of our assistance into communities where service members transition.

What differentiates this program from others is its close cooperation with the Armed Forces, particularly the Army’s Soldier for Life Program, is to develop a bridging of skills learned during military service and applying those capabilities to a career in the private sector in advance of a service member leaving the military. This allows a newly-minted veteran and successful TMAP program graduate to have a private sector job guaranteed before he/she leaves the military.

The Teamsters, who represent hundreds of professions and thousands of contracted employers requiring state credentials, are also working with state lawmakers to accept the skills bridge from those transitioning into the civilian sector.

Michael “Mick” Yauger, National Director of TMAP, is a passionate advocate for veterans and military families. He recently sat down to talk about TMAP and how other organizations might expand this model.

What do you see as the biggest impediments to employment when a service member gets out?
Employers recognize a college degree as verifiable proof of knowledge but they don’t recognize a DD214 [military discharge papers specifying experience] as proof that you know what you’re doing. This is especially important with credentialing. Think about all the professions that require a credential - truck drivers, fire fighters, pilots, and auto mechanics. So many people in those industries get their experience from serving in the military.

I’m not saying that because you drove a truck for the military it should automatically qualify you for certification, but it should count for something. If more states like Illinois recognized military experience and our skills bridge, vets would be tested, they’d pass and they’d go right to work. In my mind, if a vet has the TMAP certificate, it should be recognized by every state.

What differentiates TMAP from similar programs?
First off, this is a program that starts before the service member exits the military. We go direct to candidates on four installations - Ft. Sill, Ft. Riley, Ft. Drum and Ft. Carson - recruiting and training right where they’re stationed. Next, if candidates pass our program, there is a guaranteed job waiting for them at the location of their choosing.

That sounds too good to be true. How is it possible to guarantee job placement?
To be able to guarantee 100 percent job placement, we screen our candidates very carefully to ensure there are no impediments to employment. Then we give them the finest training so that any one of the more than 15,000 Teamster companies can hire them.

For example, our commercial driver’s license (CDL) program requires 200 hours of driving experience in order to become certified. Ironically, the state of Illinois only requires 160 hours of training, so our graduates could already be considered “over qualified.” Most training schools also require about 16 hours of classroom time. Our program averages five times as much.

Critics might say the Teamsters support TMAP because it benefits them, adds to membership.
We have 1.4 million members and 700,000 of them turn a key on a vehicle in order to do their jobs. The reality is that everyone has skin in the game - companies, the military and the unions. We’ve actually lost members two months after placing them because these vets are so good at what they do, they’re promoted to management. I love it. It makes me proud.

You talk about a “two-pronged approach.” Service members are the first prong. What is the second?
If we are going to be successful at helping every veteran, we need to address the needs of the entire family. Ironically, this wasn›t part of the plan when we started TMAP but we had folks asking for support with family challenges such as day care or spousal employment. That’s when we connected with Easter Seals Dixon Center, so that we could fill the void.

As a TMAP candidate graduates and is placed in a career, Easter Seals Dixon Center follows them to ensure the entire family unit is set up for success. As one example of this, we work with Easter Seals Dixon Center, TMAP’s transit division and local bus companies to assist in employment opportunities for military spouses and dependents.

Inclusion of the family unit is a necessary component to the program to ensure that the vet not only has a career, but a successful, long-term path forward with as few distractions as possible. We have a two prong approach: the first is the mentorship for the vet, and the second is the life coaching that extends to the family. With a presence in all 50 states, we co-exist to support the many transitional needs - some planned, many unplanned. Failure is not an option for any of us.

Are there any companies or organizations doing it well?
There are certain companies that truly understand what service members bring to the table. For instance, Tim Thorne, CEO of ABF Freight, who served as an infantry officer started his career out on the docks with ABF. His understanding of vets goes beyond what they did in combat. In fact, that’s just a small part of their career skills. For Tim, it’s about what military members are taught: Work as a team. Never leave a buddy behind. Stay drug- and crime-free. That›s the kind of employee that every employer wants but is increasingly impossible to find, and Tim puts them on the front-line, working face-to-face with his clients.

How do you know this really works...that it’s not just another dead-end job?
Underemployment is a huge concern to me. I don’t want to see vets with a job that comes nowhere near what they can do and doesn’t pay a living wage. So this program specifically works with companies that not only provide good wages and great benefits, they go beyond by offering a career ladder - promoting from within. That way a young soldier begins his career with the potential to achieve the American dream.

I’ve never slept better than the time I had a young kid come up, tell me I recruited him for TMAP and now he just got his first home. That’s what I’’m most proud of. Less than one percent of the population has the smarts, desire, sense of honor, strength and responsibility to wear the uniform. And I intend to do my best until my last breath to make sure that these folks succeed.

This story originally appeared on the Huffington Post on February 24, 2016.
Click to read original story

 

Month of the Military Child

Military Kids

In 1986, the 15th U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger established April as the Month of the Military Child. This year marks the 30th anniversary and the theme is “Their Journeys and Adventures.”

Military children are strong, resilient, and equipped to adapt to present and future changes such as relocations, deployments, reintegration, caring for a Wounded Warrior parent or honoring a fallen military parent. However, just like everyone else, it is still nice for them to know that there are others out there who will support them and be their cheerleaders while they are dealing with these different scenarios.

Below are some ideas to help you show support for a military child:

  • Wear purple! Purple is the official color for Month of the Military Child.
  • Make a point learn more about the military children in your life.
  • Talk to your school about working with our partners at the Military Child Education Coalition to bring services into your local schools for our military kids.
  • As a service project you could adopt a family who has a military member deployed. A class or youth group could help with yard work, childcare, tutoring, or many other things.
  • Have a party for the military kids you might know.
  • Create bulletin boards in public areas celebrating military children.
  • Tweet and share on Facebook and other social media about Month of the Military Child and help raise awareness.
  • Have a military member be a guest speaker at your child’s school or other community event.
  • Talk to the children in your life who are not affiliated with the military about how important it is to reach out to new kids in their neighborhoods and schools. Military kids move on average every three years, so they are constantly trying to make new friends.

Military kids are pretty awesome at blooming where they are planted and going with the flow, but it is always nice for them to know they have back up when things get hard. We at Easter Seals Dixon Center are thankful for our military kids every single day and know how important they are in the lives of our service members and their families. We hope they are important to you as well.

 

 

Read the Latest on Transitioning Vets on Huffington Post

In his regular Huffington Post column, Colonel Sutherland offers his thinking on ways to ensure that veterans succeed where they live. Sign up here to receive notifications when Colonel Sutherland adds new content.

 

 

January 2016

From Zero to Vroom: Operation AutoCare Launches Employment Program for Vets

Operation AutoCare

 

Easter Seals Dixon Center had a strong presence at AAPEX, the November trade show of the Auto Care Association.  This week-long event provided a great opportunity to introduce Operation Auto Care, a new and nationwide partnership between the Auto Care Association, the Wyakin Warrior Foundation and Easter Seals Dixon Center, to a receptive audience. Operation Auto care connects transitioning military service members, veterans, and their families with jobs in the auto care industry.  

Colonel David Sutherland gave a keynote address during the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) luncheon and shared why these types of partnerships are so critical in helping transitioning service members and veterans find meaningful employment once their military service is completed.   Throughout the week, Easter Seals Dixon Center leaders participated in a series of small-group engagements.   

In 2016, Operation Auto Care will continue to expand across the nation to support the employment requirements of both Auto Care Association members and veterans.

The first Easter Seals affiliate to participate in Operation Auto Care is Easter Seals TriState in Cincinnati. This affiliate employs staff that works directly with veterans to tailor their resumes for non-military careers.  Leaders at Easter Seals TriState are instrumental in translating a veteran’s military experience into a civilian resume for various careers, including those in the auto industry for positions ranging from marketing, sales, warehousing, distribution, manufacturing , engineering, management, and human resources. 

Participating Easter Seals affiliates will work within their respective communities to identify veterans who show an interest in auto care-related careers while the Auto Care Association will work with the local industry to find a good employer match.

In addition to helping pair the right veteran to the right job, Easter Seals is uniquely positioned to provide any required care coordination that can assist in knocking down the barriers to successful employment and enhancing retention for Auto Care Association members. It's a win win for everyone!

 

End of Year Action on Key Veterans Benefits and Programs

Capitol Hill

Congress acted on a number of key provisions related to veteran benefits and programs before it adjourned for the holidays. The comprehensive funding and tax bill that was approved by Congress and signed into law by the President included provisions that Easter Seals Dixon Center advocated for throughout the legislative process, including:

  • Increased funding for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including more money to address the disability backlog and additional funds for the VA caregiver program.
  • A small increase for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Services, including level funding for the Homeless Veterans’ Employment Program and the state program that funds Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists; and
  • Extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit through end of 2019 for employers who hire unemployed veterans, veterans with disabilities and other targeted jobseekers with barriers to employment.

Also in December, the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs approved omnibus legislation that included several key provisions, including a phased-in expansion of the VA’s comprehensive family caregiver program.

 

Assisting Our “Hidden Heroes”

Dave with RC and JC

 

In World War II, four percent of those who fought came home wounded. A recent Pew Research Center survey reports that 16 percent of post-9/11 veterans were seriously wounded in combat.  With more service members returning home with significant injuries that often times require long-term care, young spouses and parents find themselves in unfamiliar roles as caregivers. Often called the ‘hidden heroes,’ families of veterans are often unprepared to take care of their wounded sons and daughters, husbands and wives. 

In October former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and the Rosalynn Carter Institute’s National Summit & Training Institute hosted its 28th annual  National Summit & Training Institute conference.  Nearly 150 individuals, including more than a dozen Elizabeth Dole Fellows and representatives from caregiving support agencies, attended the two-day event that included training workshops and special guest speakers who provided information about military caregiver issues.  

Easter Seals Dixon Center’s own Colonel David Sutherland (photo above) was a keynote speaker who discussed the importance of building public awareness, encouraging community involvement, and promoting community-based services.

More than just a conference, this event was a melding of purpose, direction and motivation, designed to inform and inspire influencers in the world of caregiving who can carry that message far and wide.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation estimates that there are 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers in the United States with an ever-growing need for assistance and support. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, RCI and four other organizations have partnered with Easter Seals Dixon Center to launch our Military Caregiver webinars series.  These webinars are an excellent way for caregivers to make contact with each other and discuss needs that are commonly found in their community.  You can learn more about these webinars here.

More than half of caregivers report to RCI that they do not have a support network, which is where RCI’s Operation Family Caregiver comes in. OFC provides free one-on-one training to military caregivers, teaching problem-solving techniques that will help caregivers long after RCI coaches are gone. The training is tailored specifically to the struggles of each family, teaching participants the skills needed to best navigate their personal challenges.

By the beginning of 2016, OFC will be serving military families in 12 locations – as well as assisting caregivers anywhere in the world via Skype. We are pleased that Easter Seals UCP North Carolina is a new location where caregivers can go for training.  The evidence-based OFC program has shown that after participants complete the training, they are less depressed and report fewer health problems.

 

Transitioning Troops to Employment Before Military Separation

TMAP

 

Those who have been out of work for any length of time recognize that finding meaningful employment can be a months-long, even years-long, process.  

The Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) aims to make that process easier so that troops have employment once they turn in their separation papers.  What differentiates this program from others is its close cooperation with the Armed Forces, particularly the Army’s Soldier for Life Program, to develop a skills bridge in advance of a service member leaving the military. This allows a newly-minted veteran and successful TMAP program graduate to have a private sector job guarantee before he/she leaves the military.

The Teamsters, who represent 66 professions requiring state credentialing, are also working with state lawmakers to accept the skills bridge towards the credentialing requirement. In just under 12 months, 16 states have agreed to do so.

Launched last year, TMAP evolved from the AFL-CIO sponsored Helmets to Hardhats program.  Easter Seals Dixon Center informed and influenced TMAP’s development, and is continuing its mission by providing support services to veterans’ families.    

“If we are going to be successful at helping every veteran, we need to address the needs of the entire family,” said Michael “Mick” Yager, National Director of TMAP. “That’s why we connected with Easter Seals Dixon Center, so that we can fill the void so the entire family unit could succeed.” 

Yager points to the connection that Easter Seals Dixon Center made with a regionally-based school bus division that agreed to give preference to veterans’ spouses so they would have part-time employment.

It’s one of the cornerstone projects for Easter Seals Dixon Center in 2016. Stay tuned to this newsletter for more information.

 

 

Read the Latest on Transitioning Vets on Huffington Post

In his regular Huffington Post column, Colonel Sutherland offers his thinking on ways to ensure that veterans succeed where they live. Sign up here to receive notifications when Colonel Sutherland adds new content.