Veterans and Military Families
Our veterans have given much in service of this nation and AmeriCorps believes that our nation has a sacred obligation to care for veterans and their families after they separate from service. AmeriCorps shares this belief and has made serving and engaging veterans and military families one of its priority focus areas.
AmeriCorps programs recruit veterans, particularly those who are transitioning from military to civilian life, into service opportunities, including those that utilize military experience. Veterans who serve in AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors gain valuable professional, educational, and life benefits, and the experience can have a lasting impact.
AmeriCorps’ Dual Mission
National service programs are proud to have the dual honor of serving our veterans and serving beside them. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors serve and engage the talents of veterans and military families across the country.
veterans serve in AmeriCorps each year
veterans and military families assisted through AmeriCorps programs
Connect Veterans to Services and Benefits
AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers and AmeriCorps members raise awareness of benefits among veterans and help navigate the application process and connect veterans to critical wellness and support services such as legal assistance, health care, job training, and affordable housing.
Support Wellness and Suicide Prevention Efforts
AmeriCorps Seniors programs provide suicide prevention training for volunteers to recognize warning signs for the people they serve, which includes many veterans.
Provide Independent Living Services
AmeriCorps has a partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to engage AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in support of the Choose Home Initiative, enabling older veterans to receive daily living support in their homes, rather than having to move into institutional care.
Support Military Families
AmeriCorps programs provide academic tutoring to more than 3,700 K-12 students, lead clubs and after school activities, support supplemental feeding programs, recruit volunteers to support school activities, and foster partnerships that promote economic development.
Reduce Veterans Homelessness
AmeriCorps has been a longtime partner with HUD, Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and other organizations to support states and cities working to end veteran homelessness.
Support Recreational and Therapeutic Activities for Veterans
AmeriCorps programs support events for veteran and military causes, create community-building programs to build greenhouses and animal pens, serve alongside veterans to prepare and care for soil to cultivate food for local schools, and completed the Veterans Memorial.
Engaging Veterans in Service
National service is an effective way to tap the talent and leadership skills of veterans to solve problems at home. More than 15,000 veterans serve in AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs each year, applying the skills they acquired in the military to serve their communities by responding to disasters, building homes, mentoring at-risk youth, and supporting other veterans, and more.
Research finds service provides specific benefits to military service members transitioning to civilian life—comradery, teamwork, and help address community needs, which help veterans re-connect to their communities. Further, studies show that veterans and their families are more likely to accept assistance offered by an individual affiliated with the military than a civilian volunteer, making the “vets helping vets” model particularly effective.
Highlighted AmeriCorps Programs
- Veterans Fire Corps: Through our AmeriCorps State and National program, veterans who are unemployed or struggling with transitioning to civilian life help address climate issues while fighting wildfires and gaining workforce skills to work with Forest Service. Since 2012, the Veterans Fire Corps has trained teams of military veterans in wildland ﬁre mitigation. Projects include fuels reduction, ﬁre effects monitoring, educational outreach, pre-ﬁre preparation of burn units, and participation in prescribed ﬁres.
- Washington State Vets Corps: The Washington Vet Corps, launched in 2009 by the Washington Commission for National and Community Service and the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, engages veterans and military family members in AmeriCorps to help other veterans navigate Washington’s higher education and training programs and achieve their higher education goals.
- Veterans-focused Teams within Larger AmeriCorps Programs: Recognizing the unique skills and leadership abilities of America's veterans, a number of AmeriCorps grantees, including Teach For America, Habitat for Humanity, SBP, and the Washington Conservation Corps have launched veteran recruiting efforts for their AmeriCorps positions and reserved positions specifically for veterans.
- Older Veterans Serving in AmeriCorps Seniors: AmeriCorps Seniors programs engage veterans from the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and even WWII in giving back to their communities as RSVP, Foster Grandparent, and Senior Companion volunteers.
- Mobilizing Veterans on Days of Service: AmeriCorps’ MLK Day of Service grant to The Mission Continues helped the organization leverage veterans across the country to host food drives, run mobile food pantries, and make improvements to local schools and community centers. AmeriCorps programs also mobilize veterans to serve on the September 11 National Day of Service and Veterans Day.
Continue Your Service
Do you want to continue your service in a local community? AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers commit to longer-term national service opportunities with organizations to strengthen communities across our nation.
Interested in short-term volunteer opportunities? AmeriCorps Volunteer Search, powered by VolunteerMatch, provides opportunities to help local organizations with immediate, short-term needs.
It is a great opportunity to be able to help meet the needs of my fellow Veterans and take on the challenge of the AmeriCorps pledge to ‘get things done for America.