I received quite a bit of responses from my original message regarding “another Veterans Corps”…
Thank you all for caring.
From many of the responses, there are valid arguments made for and against this new “Veterans Corps”.
On the one hand, this new initiative, if properly supported by existing VSOs, can help launch an awareness program to returning veterans and introduce them to the traditions of “veterans serving veterans”. This will help increase awareness for VSOs like The American Legion amongst younger veterans and get them involved. And with some mentoring from older veterans, we can expect these young veterans who get involved in the “Veterans Corps” eventually volunteer their time with the VSOs and continue to make an impact. As one legionnaire wrote “If the new Veterans Corps is to strengthen and enable organizations to build capacity for their own missions to assist fellow veterans, then there is a chance this new initiative will actually accomplish something.”
On the other hand, if improperly executed, this program risks wasting taxpayer money and further disenfranchise veterans who are already doing everything they can.
Your collective wisdom has enlightened me in the fact that given this initiative, we can either be counter-productive and argue who can provide the best assistance to our veterans, or we can see this opportunity and work together to help mentor a generation of returning veterans the importance of peer-support and volunteer services to strengthen their communities.
And keeping true to the grassroots, I urge you to find out more about this Veterans Corps and ask your American Legion representatives, and your congressional representatives, to ensure VSOs critical role in developing the “Veterans Corps”.