Veteran Organizations Join Forces to Respond to Hurricane Sandy
NEW YORK CITY, November 8, 2012 – This Sunday, Veterans Day, hundreds of military veterans from across the country will descend on New York City to help rebuild communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Working street by street, home by home, these veterans will lead relief efforts in the hardest hit areas of Rockaway Beach, NY. Throughout the day, they will conduct debris clearing, home repair, and post-disaster damage assessments for victims of the storm.
Military veterans chose to serve in part because of the desire to dedicate themselves to a cause larger than their own and that desire for service does not stop when they take off the uniform. The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy presents veterans with an opportunity to continue to serve while employing the skills they learned in the military.
“These men and women are uniquely qualified and motivated to step up and make a positive impact in our country–especially in times when fellow Americans are in deep need,” said Mike Erwin, Army Major, Founder and Executive Director of Team Red, White, & Blue. Skills such as decisive leadership, teamwork, risk mitigation, and emergency medicine make military veterans uniquely qualified for disaster response.
“When our country needs us, veterans respond. And whether we are fighting overseas or serving alongside our neighbors here at home, the country knows that they can count on veterans, because our mission continues,” said Eric Grietens, Navy SEAL, Founder and CEO of The Mission Continues.
The country’s leading veteran service organizations are joining forces for this important service project. While Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, is planning and organizing the event, each veteran service organization will mobilize and deploy its own volunteers.
“Though the organizations involved in this event have varying areas of focus; Sandy has made us realize what we all have in common: the desire to serve,” said Peter Meijer, Member of the Board of Directors, Student Veterans of America.
Participating in this day of service is Team Rubicon, Give an Hour, The 6th Branch, The Mission Continues, the Pat Tillman Foundation, the Headstrong Project, Got Your 6, Student Veterans of America, and Team Red, White, & Blue.
About Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon (TR) unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations. TR offers veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. For more about Team Rubicon, visit www.teamrubiconusa.org.
About Give an Hour: Give an Hour is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. The organization is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of military personnel, their families, and the communities affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of August 2012, Give an Hour has approximately 6,500 providers across the nation—in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam—with more volunteer mental health professionals joining its network every day. In addition to counseling, providers also consult to schools, first responders, employers, and community organizations. Give an Hour has already provided over 70,000 hours of free service, valued at more than $7 million. To learn more, visit http://www.giveanhour.org or connected.giveanhour.org.
About The 6th Branch: The 6th Branch is a nonprofit organization utilizing the leadership and organizational skills of military veterans to execute aggressive community service initiatives at the local level. The 6th Branch is creating a national model of a Veteran Sponsored Community (VSC) through Operation Oliver, an indefinite commitment to revitalize the Oliver neighborhood of Baltimore City, an area known for vacant homes, poverty, and crime.
About The Mission Continues: The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that challenges post-9/11 veterans to find renewed meaning and purpose in civilian life through six-month community service fellowships with nonprofit organizations of their choice. We believe veterans are among our country’s greatest assets and that though service, both in the military and at home, they have the power to inspire our nation. The Mission Continues does not offer charity; rather, we challenge returning service members to utilize their tremendous skills and leadership in our communities. As a result, veterans are empowered to transform their own lives and their communities through service. To learn more about The Mission Continues, visit: www.missioncontinues.org
About the Pat Tillman Foundation: Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy and pay tribute to his commitment to leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation is a national leader in providing educational support and resources to veterans, active servicemembers and their spouses. Inspired by Pat’s attributes of leadership, passion for education and spirit of service, the Foundation annually awards educational scholarships through the Tillman Military Scholars program. Since the Foundation’s inception, over $5 million in educational support has been invested in individuals committed to a life of service both in an out of uniform, including over $3.2 million awarded to 230 Tillman Military Scholars nationwide. For more information, visit www.pattillmanfoundation.org. For more information on the Tillman Military Scholars program, please visit www.pattillmanfoundation.org/tillman-military-scholars/.
About the Headstrong Project: At the Headstrong Project, our mission is to provide comprehensive mental healthcare to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. We develop, fund, and create highly collaborative platforms to provide and reduce barriers to care. Our programs are fully scalable, evidence based, validated, confidential, and bureaucracy and cost free to military veterans and their families.
About Got Your 6: Got Your 6 is a campaign designed to change the conversation in America such that veterans and military families are seen as civic assets and leaders who will reinvigorate our community. The campaign combines the reach and resources of the top American entertainment studios, networks, guilds and agencies with the expertise and commitment of more than two dozen non-profit organizations. Got Your 6 also enjoys the partnership of organizations such as Goodwill Industries and The Mission Continues. Through an extensive media footprint and a set of substantial service commitments, Got Your 6 will ensure successful reintegration of veterans into civilian life. For more information, visit http://www.gotyour6.org. Be the Change, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is the organizing body and fiscal agent for Got Your 6.
About Student Veterans of America: SVA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit coalition of student veteran organizations on college campuses globally. SVA’s mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation. For more information, visit us at http://www.studentveterans.org and check out our YouTube Channel.
About Team Red White and Blue: Team RWB is a non-profit organization that seeks to help and empower wounded veterans and their families as they reintegrate back into their communities upon exiting Active, Reserve, or National Guard service. For more information about Team RWB, visit http://www.teamrwb.org.