Advocate for Veterans in November

By Mitch Coppes, Government Relations Senior Specialist, Goodwill Industries International

Veterans Day is a time to recognize the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans and celebrate the contributions of military families. President Donald Trump recently signed a proclamation designating November as National Veterans and Military Families Month. The proclamation states, “Each warrior who fights for our Nation, along with their families, has earned our eternal gratitude, and I ask that all Americans thank and support them. Together, we remain committed to fostering a national community of support for these brave heroes and their families.”

Those who have served their country in uniform have much to offer in service to their communities; however, veterans and their families often face challenges as they transition from military life to the civilian workforce. These challenges include physical and psychological injuries, substance abuse, homelessness, lack of access to benefits and supportive services, and difficulties matching the skills and occupational experience gained through military service to a civilian career. Military spouses and families must contend with their own employment challenges as well as the financial and emotional burdens of frequent relocations, long deployments, and other stresses that come with military life.

Community-based organizations like Goodwill® work to support not only veterans, but active-duty service members and their families through employment, skills training, job placement, case management, housing assistance, financial wellness education and other holistic supportive services. In 2018, Goodwill served 50,506 veterans and 24,729 military family members. Moreover, policymakers are taking notice of the great work that local Goodwill organizations are doing in support of veterans.

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois in Peoria recently hosted its 11th annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event that served over 150 local veterans in need. Congressman Darin LaHood, who represents central Illinois in the U.S. House of

Representatives, participated in the event and drew attention to Goodwill Peoria’s leadership in addressing homelessness among veterans in the community.

This November, take some time to be an advocate for the veteran-serving programs at your local Goodwill.
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