The incredible men and women of the United States military serve as a reminder each day of what we, as a nation, are capable of. Their sacrifice to preserve our freedom deserves more than just a salute. When our veterans return home, they face many challenges. But they shouldn’t have to face them alone.
As a veteran, reconnecting and readjusting to their new lifestyle is difficult enough. Fortunately, today’s veterans can benefit from a wealth of online resources. Military personnel can be located in online databases. Resources and guides regarding benefits, employment and training are at their fingertips, and there are many online communities where veterans share their lives with one another.
Let’s talk about a few great places for veterans to reconnect and find resources on the web.
Online databases help vets connect
Veterans can find those they served with through online database resources with some basic information such as name, rank, and unit. Military.com’s Buddy Finder offers a search of over 20 million records. Marines.mil features a Marines unit directory. Those who served in the Air Force can find other veterans on the USAF Locator, and Navy vets can use the USMM Shipmate search.
The American War Library calls itself the “World’s Oldest and Largest Online Military, Veteran, and Military Family Registry,” with more than 92 million listings. The registry covers everything from before the Revolutionary War to modern day. With the multitude of directories now available, you’d be hard-pressed to find a vet who wasn’t listed somewhere.
Veterans who served in Vietnam can also search the Vietnam War POW/MIA list. The site features “Accounted for” lists in addition to “Unaccounted for” lists and updates are added weekly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.
Another great way to find the comradery many veterans long for when they return home is through sharing experiences online. VetConnect is a great online resource that helps to connect vets through Google+.
Note: Google is dropping support for Google+, so it’s uncertain whether this site will be migrated to a new location. Keep an eye out on VetConnect.
Tour Builder provides vets the opportunity to post information about where they served on the Google Earth platform. Veterans can select locations on a map and include photos, videos and more. The entry can then be shared with others to preserve memories.
General resources for veterans
In addition to the resources out there for social reconnecting, there are many different resources online for veterans. Nrd.gov offer veterans resources about benefits, education, employment, housing, health and so much more. The site also features relevant news articles for veterans and useful hotline numbers.
Military Onesource offers a wide range of links to resources for veterans, including information about the GI Bill, employment, life insurance and other Veterans Affairs services. Articles relevant to vets are also featured.
Vets back home don’t have to be alone or confused looking for services. These sites will help vets reintegrate back into the civilian world, so share this story with the veteran in your life.