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VETERANS AFFAIRS

Our committee is dedicated to providing support and assistance to current and former military service members residing in the communities that we serve as they transition from their service to the nation and seek opportunities and careers in our Rotary district service area. Many of these veterans have incurred service-connected disabilities which necessitate added individualized or specialized assistance efforts. This has resulted in a growing need for information and communication in specialized support and assistance programs for veterans in our local area following separation or retirement from active duty.

Central and Southeast Ohio has numerous Veterans Service Organizations (called VSO’s), groups, smaller local organizations, and dedicated individuals all attempting to assist area veterans in an extensive array of support programs. On the surface, that is a positive and desirable situation. It has, however, also often resulted in uncoordinated efforts competing for time, energy, and resources needed by the veterans for whom the efforts are directed. The issue has become, “can we find and utilize an established, coordinated, and well-communicated process to better inform and assist veterans in an organized, timely, efficient, and effective manner?” Answer – Yes, – by utilizing an existing community service-focused organization – Rotary International – and its well-established and highly regarded clubs and members as an expanded outreach for veteran’s assistance and support programs. Hence, the formation of the Rotary District 6690 VAC.

The Rotary District 6690 VAC will be a conduit for information from federal, state, and local individuals, groups, and organizations that can be further disseminated to veterans and VSO’s within the local club community areas on a current and continuing basis. The VAC will also provide recommendations to clubs on veteran speakers, new or expanded veteran support programs, potential activities in support of national and local Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day observances, and the like. The VAC will also be supplying Rotary clubs with a calendar of veteran’s support and assistance programs that may be valuable in their community outreach initiatives and service activities.

The District 6690 VAC calendar will also contain a new initiative that was generated by the Rotary Club of Dublin AM and will serve as VAC Special Project Number 1 – development, expansion, and implementation of VetWork Ohio Veteran Collaboration and Communication Center. This project was developed to provide for the collaboration, coordination, and communication of veteran’s programs, projects, and activities within Central Ohio. The center would be a centralized, uniform, and structured process that enjoins VSO’s and Rotary clubs throughout our service areas. This project’s vision is to build a network of VSO’s, veterans, and volunteers that extend throughout the area and would provide a potential long-term economic and societal benefit to veterans and their community areas. In this manner, Rotary would be a partner in providing for a coordinated and improved ability to serve veterans and assist them in their transition to a private sector careers and/or adaptive lifestyles that accommodate service-connected injuries or disabilities.


Contacts

Background:

Central and Southeast Ohio have numerous veterans, Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s), and small independent groups seeking and providing some type of assistance and support to area veterans

Issue:

Support and assistance is often insufficient, overlapping or duplicative, dysfunctional, or competing for limited available dollars or resources.

Purpose:

As a community service outreach, utilize the presence and availability of Rotary clubs within District 6690 central and southeastern Ohio area to provide a means of communication, coordination, and collaboration on veteran assistance programs available through federal, state, and local resources within this operating area.

VAC Roles and Responsibilities

Rotary is a recognized, established, and successful community service organization.

Rotary clubs exist in multiple communities where veterans live, work, and look to be active in those communities following service to the country.

Some veterans will transition without issues.

However, many veterans have identified needs beyond normal transition services and need additional assistance that is often complicated and involved.

The District VAC will enable Rotary and Rotarians to serve as a catalyst for establishing and communicating a sustainable set of support programs that can be available within district and club areas of service.

District VAC programs and projects will be based on federal, state, and local information, operations, and administration.

VAC may be comprised of veteran and non-veteran club members