United Way launches Mission United Military and Veteran Recognition Program
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (September 25, 2017) – The Mission United Military and Veteran Recognition Program, part of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County’s military information and referral program, is kicking off today to help military, veterans and their families identify under-recognized services and discounts available to veterans and military members.
Helping military members navigate the robust, but often complex, community support programs for the military, Mission United’s new recognition initiative links military members, past and present, with support programs while also recognizing military-friendly agencies, stores, businesses and companies that acknowledge those who serve. As part of the recognition program’s launch, Mission United is contacting 607 stores and 135 agencies offering either a military/veteran discount or military/veteran-specific program.
Participating local partners offering military services and discounts can be easily identified by a Mission United window decal displayed on the front door. Active duty, reservists, National Guard, veterans and their families will know that their service is appreciated and recognized by the facility displaying the Mission United logo.
“United Way became a MISSION UNITED partner because we saw a population in Military City USA that has a very specific set of challenges and needs,” said Andrew Sasseville, Senior Vice President of Community Services and Accountability for United Way and a retired Air Force officer. “Military members and veterans have been trained not to ask for help, so when they do, the situation is many times close to critical. MISSION UNITED makes the calls to address the need before the avalanche of other problems start.”
“Despite the amazing generosity of this great city, the true challenge is meeting the many requests for help with basic needs; whether it’s rent or utility assistance, or food, there is never enough,” said Sasseville. “By helping military and veterans save a few dollars, while at the same time giving those stores and agencies that go above and beyond to help military and veterans get the recognition they deserve, it is a win/win for all,” he added.
Utilizing social media, monthly newsletters, outreach events, relationships with the military instillations, and other partners, Mission United will bring attention to the agencies/stores/companies that “give that little bit extra” to military and veteran customers and clients. Mission United will also publish a booklet listing those agencies/stores/companies participating in the recognition program.
“It’s a pleasure to be part of the MISSION UNITED family,” said Travis Pearson, CEO of Family Endeavors. We are proud to display the logo on our facility so that veterans and military families know we are here to serve them.”
Mission United is staffed by three veterans, referred to as Military Navigators, who assist fellow veteran and military families in navigating the maze of health and human service programs available in the San Antonio area.
Established in 2015, Mission United handled over 10,000 calls in 2016 from active duty service members, reservists, veterans and their families. In addition, to help address the needs of vulnerable military families with children, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County was awarded a five-year Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Prevention and Early Intervention Division. The Military Families and Veterans Prevention Program (MFVPP) grant provides a more complete offering of wrap-around support services. With over 100 families served in the first five months, the MFVPP grant is providing much needed support to our military and veteran community.
Military members call 2-1-1, a 24/7/365 confidential phone service dedicated to connecting people with community, health, and disaster services. Callers talk to a highly-trained call specialist who can navigate the complex system and connect callers to the best military or veteran resources, discounts, and benefit information, such as behavioral health, education and employment, and financial assistance. For more information, please email Mission United at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.unitedwaysatx.org/mission-united.