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NOTICE: OUR BLOG HAS MOVED

Hello all you wonderful subscribers! We would like to take this time to let you know that our blog has officially moved and is now incorporated with our website here: http://www.stillservingveterans.org/news/

We hope that you will continue to follow us in our new location. We appreciate your support, interest, and feedback! Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by leaving us a note on our contact page here: http://www.stillservingveterans.org/contact-us/

Employment Services Team Gets Pat on the Back

Still Serving Veterans works diligently to help Veterans and their dependents find meaningful employment, receive all the benefits and services they have earned, and connect to other resources within their community. We are constantly surrounded by success stories and every now and then a client goes out of their way to express their gratitude.

Linda Gets FlowersThis time the lucky recipient of praise was Mrs. Linda Warriner, one of Still Serving Veterans’ Employment Services Specialists in the North Alabama office. One of her clients, Sheila, dropped off a lovely flower arrangement and a sweet “Thank You” note. In addition, Sheila agreed to tell one of our big supporters, the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), about the great experience she had with us during her job search.

At the age of 57, Sheila was having difficulties finding a job. She felt that she was sending out endless amounts of resumes and was not getting any call backs and was beginning to give up hope. After a five month dry spell, Sheila decided it was time to get some help and stumbled across Still Serving Veterans.

“Still Serving Veterans was a great asset to me,” Sheila said. “Mr. Armstrong sent me leads that I applied for. I really appreciated the leads. They were for great companies. Ms. Linda Warriner was the one that called me and kept my spirits up,” Sheila beamed. “She was always upbeat, supportive, kind, professional, and helpful. She went above and beyond what she had to do to help me find a job. If a job opening came across her desk that fit me, she called me or sent them my resume. I would have lost hope of finding a job if it hadn’t been for her. She is a real jewel.”

“Linda Warriner is a major asset to Still Serving Veterans and all the Veterans who go there for guidance and help,” Sheila continued. “I wish we had more people that cared as much as she does. Thanks to Linda Warriner and Still Serving Veterans, I will be employed and useful in the work environment. I can never thank her enough for caring ways and persistence in getting me a job.”

Resource Spotlight: Priority Veteran

Priority Veteran

Priority Veteran provides intensive one-on-one assistance to help veterans locate stable permanent housing and link them to resources to gain the skills and knowledge to help them remain financially stable. Case Managers help veterans create a Housing Stability Plan as well as access medical or mental health services, veteran’s benefits enrollment, job search assistance, financial coaching and more.

In partnership with United Way of Central Alabama, Priority Veteran provides veterans across Alabama with federal, state and local resources; linking veterans to hope. Priority Veteran began offering services to veterans in October 2013 with a $2 million Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

What is Priority Veteran?

It is a service coordination program for homeless veterans and their families to help them secure permanent, sustainable housing and provide access to resources such as medical or mental health services, benefits enrollment, job search assistance, financial coaching, etc.

Who qualifies for Priority Veteran?

  • Veterans and their family members who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Very low income veterans based on area income standards
  • Veterans discharged other than dishonorable
  • Veterans with 24 months of service or with a VA Medical Card

What does ‘homeless’ mean?

The veteran (and family) does not have fixed, regular and adequate nighttime shelter or will lose nighttime shelter within a short period of time.

What are some of the services Veterans can receive from Priority Veteran?

Priority Veteran offers can assist low-income, homeless or at-risk veteran families with:

  • obtaining permanent, stable housing
  • obtaining VA benefits
  • obtaining federal and/or state benefits
  • accessing community-based resources
  • obtaining/completing employment training
  • obtaining employment
  • Advocacy in landlord/tenant disputes
  • Advocacy in rent/utility arrearages
  • Temporary Financial Assistance
    • Deposits
    • Rent assistance
    • Moving costs
    • General housing supplies
    • Utility assistance

Can families get help for a veteran?

Yes, services are for veterans and their families.  Veterans have to voluntarily agree to a Housing Stability Plan.  Families can call Priority Veteran and encourage veterans to enroll.

Can veterans get financial assistance from Priority Veteran?

Priority Veteran can assist with the cost of some service(s) in the Housing Stability Plan if the veteran will be homeless if that service is not provided.  This decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

 

Find out more about Priority Veteran and how to contact them by visiting their website: http://priorityveteran.org/priorityveteran/

Raising Strong Military Kids: One Mom’s Story

I will never forget my first time shopping at a commissary. At 21 and newly married, my husband Jim and I had just packed up all of our belongings to drive across the country from Seattle to Fort Belvoir. We were new to the military way of life, moving for Jim’s new orders with the Army Corps of Engineers. I went to the commissary and had no clue how the system worked – I didn’t even know that I needed an ID card! When we began adding our kids to the mix, I found out there was so much more I needed to learn.
Although we’ve come a long way in helping service members and their families, navigating deployment is still challenging. I want to share with you some tips that helped my three sons and me get through the tough times when my husband was called to service.
1.    Network with other military wives and moms. Early on in our marriage, I met a woman who was raising four daughters. She gave me some tough love about coping with the day-to-day stress while Jim was away, but she was also a great example of how to face deployment. I learned that if she could do it, so could I! Make it a priority to meet fellow wives and moms to share your experiences and get the support you need from friends who truly understand.
2.    Listen to your kids. Though you might feel alone without your spouse, pay close attention to how your kids are feeling. I realized that I had to be strong for my boys, but they often felt like they needed to be the adults while dad was away. Reassure your kids that it’s okay to be sad or angry and that you will get through the deployment together.
3.    Reach out for support. As the director of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program [link to www.yellowribbon.mil], I’ve had the opportunity to meet military wives and moms from across the services and around the country. We host programs that help National Guard and Reserve members and families connect to other folks who understand what they’re going through. At these free events, you can meet other military families and get expert advice on everything from family communication to employment issues to financial planning.
Raising kids when your spouse is deployed can be challenging, but there are a number of support resources out there to help you. Register for an upcoming Yellow Ribbon event near you at www.yellowribbonevents.org.
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Huntsville forum will give veterans opportunity to discuss benefits, healthcare and more

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(Original article by Leada Gore.  Retrieved from al.com  http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/04/huntsville_forum_will_give_vet.html)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Madison County veterans will have a chance to speak out on issues that are important to them at an upcoming forum.

Rep. Mo Brooks will host the forum April 17 from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library’s auditorium.

Local veterans will have the opportunity to speak directly with representatives from the Montgomery VA Regional Office, Birmingham VA Medical Center, Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, Still Serving Veterans, and Madison County Veterans Service Office about issues including benefits, education, healthcare, and the claims backlog.

 

Still Serving Veterans Opens a Satellite Office in Eastern Alabama

Still Serving Veterans (SSV), a Huntsville-based nonprofit that empowers Veterans and their families to optimally transition into post-military lives and careers, has continued its expansion throughout the state of Alabama with the opening of a new office in Phenix City. The new Still Serving Veterans East Alabama Office is located at 3601 Summerville Road Suite C in Phenix City, centrally located to serve the greater Fort Benning, Columbus, and Opelika/Auburn communities.

Still Serving Veterans’ expansion is enabled by a generous grant of the Call of Duty Endowment (CODE), a nonprofit created by the makers of the popular Call of Duty videogames that funds Veteran job placement programs. Still Serving Veterans is one of the original four nonprofit organizations to be awarded CODE’s Seal of Distinction. CODE funding allowed SSV to initiate operations based in the Home of the Brave in Opelika in 2013, and has enabled Still Serving Veterans to help a record number of Veterans find high quality new careers. With the expansion of these services across Alabama, SSV’s service to Veterans will dramatically increase.

Retired Major General Paulette Risher, SSV’s Program Director of Veteran Job Placement, said, “The Call of Duty Endowment’s grant to Still Serving Veterans is an incredible gift to America’s servicemen and women who have served their country and now seek new careers and new lives in settings where their skills, talents, and values will make a difference.  The establishment of the East Alabama Office is the first step in a plan to provide Still Serving Veterans services across the State and region.”

It is projected that more than 200,000 service members will transition from active duty service each year over the next five years. These hero Veterans will return to a struggling economy with record sustained high unemployment. Hardest hit are our valiant young Veterans: unemployment for Veterans 18-24 years old is a staggering 15.6% as compared to 11.4% for non-Veterans in the same age group. As more service members return home from deployment, the services that SSV provides will rise in demand, so geographic expansion is a major way SSV will meet that demand to serve more Veterans.

“Still Serving Veterans is honored to be able to expand our service to the great Americans in East Alabama. We owe our hero warriors and their families the best we can give them. Together, Alabama communities are making a life-changing, and in some cases life-saving, impact on Veterans,” Retired Colonel Will Webb, SSV’s President and Co-founder said.

The Still Serving Veterans’ East Alabama Office will continue SSV’s holistic approach to serving Veterans and their families with a three-pronged mission of Veteran Employment Services, Veterans Benefit and Services case management, and community outreach and referrals. If you or someone you know is a Veteran or spouse/direct family member of a Veteran in need of assistance in these areas, please call the East Alabama Office at (334) 384-9111.

A Call to Honor

 

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The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Huntsville Chapter 1067’s 3rd Annual Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home ceremony will be held on March 29th at the Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial in downtown Huntsville.  A meet and greet will be held at the memorial from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with the ceremony itself scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

Over 58,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives and more than 300,000 were injured during this conflict.  Please join us in honoring those heroes who so valiantly fought under the banner of freedom and liberty.

For more information on this event, please visit: http://www.vietvethsv.org/