Dear experts -- you know who you are -- on my PTSD Combat subscriber list and beyond, please consider sharing some of your knowledge with me as I prepare to participate in the upcoming Survivor Corps Community Reintegration Summit on Service Members and Veterans Returning to Civilian Life being held in Washington, D.C. at the Carnegie Institution.
The two-day program gets underway January 26-27, 2009, and is going to be quite exciting. It has the promise of drilling down on the issues that face our military families' transition back into the ebb and flow of civilian life. It will also illuminate some of the hurdles and challenges that those of us who want to help face in our desire to extend ourselves to them.
In order for me to make the best contribution possible, I'm humbly seeking your expertise and help.
The goal is to convene a broader community of leaders from the public, private, and civil sectors to collaboratively address the issues of reintegration that affect how service members return to family, work, school, and community following their war time service.
There are four key objectives for the Summit:
- Review themes, issues, and challenges faced by service members and veterans returning to civilian life
- Develop a definition of successful community reintegration
- Develop action plans to address specific issues of community reintegration that reach across sectors
- Launch megacommunity workgroups to address specific issues of community reintegration
At the Summit, attendees will confront the toughest issues of community reintegration by participating in a dynamic simulation. Participants will be divided into various teams, whose assumptions, actions, and agreements will drive the simulation. Teams will work together, share information, and develop coordinated decisions and actions. As the simulation advances in time, participants will see the consequences and long-term impacts of their decisions on service members and veterans.
The issues of community reintegration are complex and will likely take years to solve. Participants will leave the Summit with a greater understanding of these issues as informed by the perspectives of leaders from all sectors. They will also have the opportunity to engage in action-oriented workgroups to facilitate leader-to-leader collaboration between organizations moving beyond the Summit. We believe that by gaining commitments to action, developing measurable goals, and routinely checking our progress against them, together we can sustain progress toward helping service members make a healthy return to their families and communities.
It's a great honor to be invited to participate and to represent the concerned civilian element of this issue. Please consider sharing your own thoughts and experiences on the challenges you have found to successful military veteran-community reintegration while going about your own work in this field, either through a comment here or by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your concerns and insights will greatly increase the value of my participation at the Survivor Corps Summit in two weeks.
P.S. As those of you who have tried in earnest to receive an email reply from me to any number of emails you may have sent my way (especially over the past six months or so), I apologize if yours have been the neglected ones. I literally receive more email than I can personally process, alongside my class schedule, etc. As all of this work is pro bono, I can't afford to hire anyone to help in that area. Please forgive that sorry lack of feedback; but know that while I can't always reply to all of your communications, I do appreciate and try to read everything that comes in.