Serving Those Who Served: Resources for Central Florida veterans

Running list of resources and assistance available for local veterans

Serving Those Who Served

News 6 is committed to serving our local communities, and veterans of our armed forces make up a huge community in Central Florida.

We know that sometimes it can be difficult determining where one can go for help, assistance or resources, so here’s a list of organizations, both local and national, that may be able to assist in a variety of circumstances.

If you know of other helpful organizations for veterans or are affiliated with one you’d like to share with other vets, please e-mail Tara Evans at tevans@wkmg.com.

GENERAL

US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

Veterans Inc. Organization assists veterans with several aspects of life including case management, housing, employment, health & wellness, etc.

Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Wealth of information and resources for all veterans

Honor Flight Central Florida Organization transports America’s Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends

Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW aims to show the world how veterans are #StillServing

Florida Veterans Foundation Organization has five initiatives to serve veterans

Florida Veterans’ Benefits Guide Full guide from the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs

National Association of Veterans and Families Advocate assisting veterans in obtaining their benefits

Heart of United Way Mission United Provides education, employment, legal assistance among others to help veterans transition to civilian life

Project: Vet Relief Offers a hand up to help veterans transition into civilian life with emergency financial and benefit issue support

Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services Several resources and financial help for veterans

American Legion Offers all kinds of programs for veterans with all aspects of life

Military Officers Association of America Advocates for servicemembers and assists with getting benefits

USA Cares Mission is to provide post-9/11 military veterans, service members, and their families with financial assistance and post service skills training to create a foundation for long-term stability

Hope for the Warriors Goal is to walk alongside the military and their families and to enhance the quality of life for the entire post-9/11 warrior community

HonorBound Foundation Through case-managed social services, medical assistance, and financial support, it provides support to veterans and their families nationwide through referrals made by social workers.

Operation First Response Goal is to serve all branches of our nation’s Wounded Heroes/Disabled Veterans, Gold Star Families and First Responders with personal and financial needs

PenFed Foundation The mission is to empower military service members, veterans and their communities with the skills and resources to realize financial stability and opportunity

K9s for Warriors The nation’s largest provider of service dogs for veterans

Red Cross Services for Veterans They offer a variety of services as well as volunteer opportunities

Honored Bound Their purpose is to search the military’s database, locate accident reports of non-war lost military planes, create a database of the missing planes and all aboard, work with a team to find missing planes, and retrieving content and returning missing servicemen and/or women to their families.

My Warrior’s Place This property provides a safe haven retreat where healing can begin for our Veterans, Military Service Members, Fire Fighters, Law Enforcement Officers, Blue, Silver, and Gold Star Families.

National Resource Directory The NRD is a database of validated resources that supports recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration for service members, veterans, family members, and caregivers

HOUSING

Building Homes for Heroes Organization has provided nearly 300 veterans with homes

Purple Heart Homes They provide housing solutions for service-connected disabled and aging veterans

Homes for Our Troops They build and donate specially-adapted custom homes around the nation for severely injured post-9/11 veterans

We Soldier On A private nonprofit organization committed to ending veteran homelessness.

Operation Homefront Mission is to be the provider of choice for short-term Critical Financial Assistance, long-term stability and recurring support programs to military families.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans Organization aims to end homelessness among veterans by shaping public policy, promoting collaboration and building the capacity of service providers

FOOD

Soldier’s Angels Organization provides food and supplies to veterans and deployed servicemembers

HEALTH/MEDICAL

VA Health Keep track of appointments, refill prescriptions, get your health records, etc.

Apply for VA Health Benefits Find out how to apply for and manage your health care benefits

VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry By joining the registry, you can provide information that will help VA provide better care to all Veterans

VA Womens’ Health Care Overview and information on care and services the VA provides for female veterans

TRICARE Find out about plans and eligibility

CHAMPVA The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is a comprehensive health care program in which the VA shares the cost of covered health care services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries

AARP Information on signing up for Medicare if you already have health care coverage through the VA

VetAssist You can determine if you’re eligible for and find out about veterans’ home care with no out-of-pocket costs

MENTAL HEALTH

Vets Prevail Brief online program shows what PTSD is and how treatment can help

Heroes’ Mile Organization has an inpatient addiction treatment center in DeLand only for veterans, as well as multiple programs for PTSD, MST, mental and physical health

Soldiers Freedom Outdoors Provides free eco therapy retreats to hundreds of soldiers, both active-duty and veterans

Operation Warrior Resolution Goal is to help veterans heal, empower and connect after service

Help for Our Heroes A nationally-recognized military and first responders treatment program created by a military veteran and former first responder

Vets4Warriors A one-of-a-kind 24/7 peer support network that operates independently from the VA and military to provide support to veterans and let them know they are not alone

Cohen Veterans Network Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics provide confidential therapy services to post-9/11 veterans, family members and loved ones.

Disabled Veterans National Foundation Provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration A resource to locate the treatment services you need

EMPLOYMENT/JOB ASSISTANCE/ENTREPRENEUR HELP

Veterans Florida Offers career services including placements and more

Career Source of Central Florida Offers services for veterans with career consultants

U.S. Department of Labor Off-Base Transition Training Part of their transition assistance programs, they offer workshops to meet employment goals, either in-person or virtually

Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families More than 100 professionals offer several programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship for veterans

American Corporate Partners Mentoring Program Connects post-9/11 veterans, active duty spouses and eligible military spouses with corporate professionals (Mentors) for customized mentorships

Farmer Veteran Coalition Organization has programs that offer financial grants to beginner farmer veterans, and certifies farms & products as veteran-owned

Career One Stop Veteran and Military Transition Center One-stop website for employment, training and financial help after military service

Bunker Labs Provides community and resources to support veterans and military spouses with their own businesses

EDUCATION

UCF Office of Military & Veteran Student Success Office has resources for student veterans and provides guidance on using GI Bill benefits, career & educational advisement, finding scholarships, etc.

Military.com Scholarship Finder Help finding scholarships for active duty soldiers or veterans

College of Central Florida Admissions for Veterans Information on applying for education benefits and attending school there

Folds of Honor Organization that provides scholarships to spouses and children of fallen or disabled service members

Hope for the Warriors Military spouse scholarships and caregiver scholarships

CRISIS HELP

Florida Veterans Foundation Helplines for those in crisis

National Veterans Foundation Lifeline for veterans where you can talk to other veterans

Veterans Crisis Line 24/7, confidential crisis support for veterans and their loved ones by dialing 988 then pressing 1

Stop Soldier Suicide Provide consistent, safe, confidential care that saves lives

WOUNDED VETERAN ASSISTANCE

Paralyzed Veterans of America An organization dedicated to veteran’s service, medical research, adaptive sports and civil rights for people with disabilities.

Semper Fi & America’s Fund (The Fund) Dedicated to providing immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to our nation’s critically wounded, ill, and injured service members, veterans, and military families. This includes programs for children as well as support for caregivers

Disabled Veterans National Foundation Provides critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

The Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes The mission is to help severely-wounded veterans and families of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn recover from their injuries and illnesses

Salute, Inc. Dedicated to meeting the financial, physical and emotional needs of injured military service members, veterans and their families.

ASSISTANCE FOR LOVED ONES OF VETERANS

Warrior Care Several caregiver support items including a resource directory and PEER forums

VA Survivors and Burial Benefits Kit Guide to end-of-life planning and applicable benefits

Fallen Patriot Fund The Fallen Patriot Fund of The Mark Cuban Foundation was established to help families of service men and women, first responders who were killed or seriously injured in the line of duty

Soldiers’ Angels Programs to support military families

Fisher House Provides scholarships and free lodging to family members accompanying veterans having medical procedures at VA facilities, including here at Lake Nona

Wounded Veteran Family Care Advocating for caregivers of wounded veterans

VA Health Care for Family If you’re the spouse, surviving spouse, dependent child, or family caregiver of a Veteran or service member, you may qualify for health care benefits, check here to find out if you’re eligible

RESOURCES FOR FEMALE VETERANS

ACP’s Women’s Program Focused on the unique challenges female veterans face transitioning to the civilian workplace

Heroes’ Mile Organization has multiple programs for mental and physical health including trauma treatment, appropriate for those struggling after MSTs

VA Center for Women Veterans The mission is to monitor and coordinate VA‘s administration of health care, benefits, services, and programs for women Veterans

VA Benefits and Programs for Women Veterans Website lists assorted coordinators and benefits one can apply for

VA Women Veterans Health Care This site shows available health services and resources

VA Homeless Programs Resources for homeless female veterans in particular

Syracuse University Institute for Veterans & Military Families Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

US Dept. of Labor Women veterans research on employed women after their service

Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services Financial assistance for female veterans

American Legion, Department of Florida Resources and support for female veterans

RESOURCES FOR VIETNAM VETERANS

Semper Fi & America’s Fund (The Fund) Care is tailored to veterans of all U.S. service branches who are catastrophically wounded, injured, or suffering life-threatening illness from participation in Vietnam combat operations

ORANGE COUNTY

Veterans Service Office (407) 836-8990

BREVARD COUNTY

Veterans Services (321) 633-2007

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Veterans Services (407) 742-8455

MARION COUNTY

Veterans Services (352) 671-8422

LAKE COUNTY

Veterans Services (352) 742-6585

SEMINOLE COUNTY

Veterans Services (407) 665-2347

FLAGLER COUNTY

Veterans Services (386) 313-4014

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Veterans Services DeLand (386) 740-5102 Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach (386) 254-4646

SUMTER COUNTY

Veterans Services (352) 689-4400

POLK COUNTY

Veterans Services (863) 534-5200

HOTLINE NUMBERS

1.877.995.5247 Dod Safe Helpline

1.800.273.TALK (8255) Military Crisis Line

1.800.273.TALK (8255), Press 1 Veteran Crisis Line

1.877.424.3838 (4AID.VET) National Call Center for Homeless Veterans

1.800.342.9647 Wounded Warrior Resource Center (MOS)


About the Author:

Tara Evans is an executive producer and has been with News 6 since January 2013. She currently spearheads News 6 at Nine and specializes in stories with messages of inspiration, hope and that make a difference for people -- with a few hard-hitting investigations thrown in from time to time.