VETERAN OUTREACH AND SUPPORT: SHARING IDEAS, SHAPING POLICY TOGETHER
We know the debt our nation owes to our Veterans and their families, and at AMAC, we consider it a priority and privilege to support the Veteran community. From its very beginning, AMAC has sought to recognize and honor the commitment and sacrifices of those who have answered the call in defense of our country and preserved our way of life. Our affinity with the Veteran community is deep, with roughly 75 percent of the families in our membership having a direct Veteran connection and 31 percent having served in the military themselves.
In late 2020, AMAC’s Veteran support initiative expanded onto new fronts, including a focus on Veteran-related legislation and the cataloging of programs and resources available to fill this community’s specific needs and interests. We launched a nationwide collaboration platform intended to build alliances with various Veteran support organizations, which can help build a stronger, more focused voice. Our support includes initiatives designed to improve the quality of healthcare for Veterans, combat the rising homelessness affecting Veterans, and aid in the growth of Veteran-owned small businesses.
This collaboration, titled the Foundation Veteran Outreach Program (FVOP), is a coordinated effort involving input from the AMAC Foundation, AMAC Action, and AMAC Inc. To date, 14 separate organizations have joined us in a monthly discussion session featuring the free exchange of ideas and information about specific Veteran needs and projects designed to support them.
Each discussion session provides a rallying point for new ideas and an open forum for thoughts, support requests, event and project plan updates, and general information sharing, all focused on FVOP’s initial priority areas:
• Veteran suicide prevention
• Veteran transition to civilian life
• Veterans in small business (train
ing and opportunities)
• Encouraging patriotic service
Commander John Wells, USN (retired), the executive director of Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc., is one of our early collaboration partners. Commander Wells describes FVOP as “an opportunity for us to share our legislative agenda and litigation package, both designed to maximize benefits for Veterans and at the same time promote our public educational and suicide prevention programs.” Military-Veterans Advocacy, Inc., is a Louisiana-based nonprofit focused on
serving active-duty military members and Veterans and provides litigation support aimed at protecting constitutional rights within the military.
Since launching this phase of AMAC’s overall Veteran support endeavors, we’ve held multiple separate collaboration sessions and have seen the initiative develop into a robust forum for the free exchange of ideas and concerns. As suggested by the group, we’ve moved to a regularly scheduled monthly session with an agreed-upon date and time.
Everyone involved in the program is encouraged by the opportunity to engage with involved, working organizations in support of America’s Veterans and their families. Over the coming months, AMAC expects to add more partners as we expand our services within the Veteran community.
Some quotes from FVOP participants:
“The AMAC Foundation Veteran Outreach Program (FVOP) is establishing a vision and culture that works to support and improve the quality of life of the Veteran community. By bringing nonprofit Veterans groups together in an open forum, each with common goals and interests, the program creates a form of
strength through numbers and networking. As the National Commander of the National Association of Atomic Veterans (NAAV), we have found the individual past support of the AMAC organization and many of the organizations involved in this collaboration to be effective and of mutual benefit.”
– Keith Kiefer, National Commander, NAAV
“AMAC Foundation’s approach of building alliances with organizations sharing the same commitment to our Veterans is poised to become a disruptor.
This collaboration enhances our collective efforts in providing essential support to Veterans. Through this united front, we are reinforcing the values of American patriotism and ensuring Veterans receive the care they deserve.”
– Jason Beardsley, Senior Advisor, Concerned Veterans for America
(The above article was published in the Nove,ber/December edition of the AMAC Magazine)