It is my privilege to have the opportunity to support Operation Supply Drop as a blog contributor. I will be writing on a wide range of military related topics and, with each post, I look forward to hearing the thoughts and feedback of the readers. With all of that said, I would love to take this opportunity to give some of my background, discuss why I support OSD’s mission, and share how others can get involved.
I am the spouse of a career soldier so transition has been a distant thought for us and it was the challenging transition of a close friend that really ignited my awareness of just how important supporting transition and integration really is. As my education and career paths merged toward a focus on military issues, I discovered a passion for supporting the transition and mental health needs of the military community and my work has been related to military transition ever since. By education and clinical training I am a counselor, but by passion and experience I consider myself a transitioning goal supporter. For me, supporting successful and fulfilling transitions directly translates to supporting the strong mental health of the members of our military community – I believe it is all connected and that it is very hard to have one without the other.
After doing research on OSD, including the work they are doing and their commitment to financial transparency, and after speaking to Ray, Erik and Glenn, I found that supporting OSD would be a great fit for my own passion and mission. Through discussions on the needs of OSD and my strengths and interests, the team and I decided that I could best contribute though my love for writing to inform – and here I am.
Transitioning is a multi-faceted thing and it looks different for every single person. OSD’s approach addresses the different facets of transition and military specific needs in the following ways:
- Building partnerships with diverse military focused organizations in order to support military and veteran mental health, homelessness and employment needs means providing more services to more active duty military, veterans and families.
- By involving the patriots in our communities who want to support the military, the gap between civilians and members of the military community is narrowed. Civilians are more disconnected from the military than ever and it has created a dividing gap – OSD is working to bridge this gap (for an interesting perspective, I recommend reading Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart).
- By collaborating with military friendly employers, not only are members of the military community being supported on their journey to secure gainful civilian employment, but the positive impact veterans are having on companies is demonstrating the power and value of hiring military talent, all of which support the military community and the American economy.
There are many ways to give support to the military community. Providing support can be done with monetary donations, through advocacy, by providing mentorship, by just showing kindness to the new neighbor who is current or former military, or by volunteering your time with a veteran service organization. No matter how you choose to show your support, the most important thing is that you find an authentic way to do it.
If you, or your organization, are looking for ways to support the military, I encourage you to explore the Operation Supply Drop website in order to learn more about OSD, the mission, the impact OSD is making in the community, and the stories of some of those who have received support from OSD. If you find that supporting the military community by supporting OSD is the right fit for you, there are a few ways that you can give:
- Give your time: https://operationsupplydrop.org/join-the-teams/
- Give a donation – either general or in-kind. Every contribution counts and 94% of your general donations go directly to active duty troops and veterans. Visit https://operationsupplydrop.org/donate/ for more information.
- Contact a member of the OSD team to discuss other ways you may be able to use your strengths to give back: https://operationsupplydrop.org/contact/