Letters to the Editor

Mission United empowers veterans

In celebration of Independence Day, United Way of Miami-Dade is launching a new program to support the men and women who risked their lives to protect the freedoms we so value as Americans. Called Mission United, this program is designed to help veterans as they transition back to civilian life.

While serving in the Armed Forces, active duty members are surrounded by a cocoon of services and guidance, helping them receive the assistance they need to handle many challenges. Faced with the loss of this structured system, their challenges can be daunting, and while most soon-to-be veterans think they’re ready, in fact, many are not.

In most cases, much of this assistance already exists, but knowing where and how to gain access to the specific help they need can be difficult. In addition, many organizations that are helping veterans and their families often don’t offer a comprehensive approach for meeting all their needs.

Four years ago, acknowledging the need for integrated services and communication among veteran support agencies, United Way of Broward County started Mission United. The program has gained national recognition and was identified by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as one of the top reintegration programs in the nation.

As with all United Way initiatives, Mission United is led by volunteers and is engaging with multiple partners to create a comprehensive approach to align with existing veteran programs and identify gaps in services. Beginning July 1, Mission United will serve as a key resource for the 62,000 veterans who call Miami-Dade home.

Together we can ensure service men and women successfully return to civilian life and remain empowered, engaged citizens. Find out how you can get involved at unitedwaymiami.org/missionunited or call 305-4- UNITED.

Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, former commander, U.S. Southern Command,