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Top 10 Quotes from the Military Service Initiative Summit
Yesterday, the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative hosted a Summit exploring how we can better serve our post-9/11 veterans and military families. During the Summit, President Bush announced the release of Serving Our Post-9/11 Veterans, a comprehensive report on veteran-serving non-profit organizations to identify how they, and the funding community, can be more effective in supporting veterans.
The Summit started with a conversation moderated by President Bush with General Peter Chiarelli and post-9/11 veterans, Sergeant Dave Smith and Captain Brian Stann. Sergeant Smith and Captain Stann both talked about their own transition struggles and opportunities.
The day also included panel discussions focused on what a successful veteran transition looks like and how funders and communities play an important role. Here’s a look at some of the top quotes from the Summit’s discussions.
The Veteran Transition
“I have vowed for the remainder of my life that I will do what I can to help our vets.” - President George W. Bush
"If you don't take charge of your transition, it is a dark and lonely road" - Captain Brian Stann
“Getting an education proved to me that I was more than just a grunt. That I could solve problems.” - Sergeant Dave Smith
"We need more people to stand up & say there's nothing wrong with it. A big part of the problem is the stigma that surrounds PTS." - Sergeant Dave Smith
“Where we see success, we see veterans who take charge of their transition” - General Peter Chiarelli
Elements of Effective Veteran-Serving Non-profit Organizations
“An important part of what all the veteran-serving organizations and military-serving organizations need to do is to connect to the community to help tell the veterans’ story.” - General Peter Chiarelli
“We need to speak more clearly to the civilian-military divide because I think there are a lot of people out there who, when they see our narrative, they say, ‘I’m really glad you’re doing that.’ What we need them to say is, ‘I want to be a part of that.’” - JD Crouch, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Service Organizations
“Almost anything can be measured if you’re willing to put resources into it.” - Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director, Call of Duty Endowment
“Find a way, whatever it takes, to know you’re doing what you think you’re doing. Learn, adapt, and measure.” - Ken Berger, President and Chief Executive Officer, Charity Navigator
“This Bush Institute and IVMF study gives us that toolkit we’re looking for – the toolkit to identify what we should be measuring and how we measure it.” - Todd Baxter, Executive Director, Veterans Outreach Center
Mental Health Awareness Month
May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and reduce stigma, particularly for veterans and the invisible wounds of war. Members from the Bush Institute’s Warrior Wellness Alliance offered their perspectives throughout the month to discuss what they wish more civilians understood about veteran mental health, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. They also discussed how everyone can help get more warriors the care they need. Check out their videos below.
How a Community in New Orleans is Helping Veterans Transition
Dylan Tête, Executive Director and Founder, Bastion Community of Resilience will receive the George W. Bush Institute Military Service Citation at the Bush Center's Forum on Leadership.
Creating a Global Veteran Community
Deputy Director of Military Service Initiative Kacie Kelly recently spoke at an international veterans’ mental health conference: “Evidence, Innovation, and Practice” hosted by Kings College London and the Forces in Mind Trust Foundation.