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How Veterans Experience Action Center is transforming Veteran support in Alaska

Imagine the scene: it’s Alaska in the dead of winter and the snow’s piling up outside. Inside a virtual event, there’s a buzz of activity and warmth that has nothing to do with the thermostat. That scene was the Veterans Experience Action Center (VEAC) on from Jan. 23-25, 2024, when it threw open its virtual doors to 258 Veterans, offering a lifeline of support and services that many desperately needed.

Bringing Veterans together

This wasn’t just any event, though. It was a carefully orchestrated effort to bring together Veterans from all walks of life, each with their own stories, struggles and needs. The VEAC team, in collaboration with organizations like the Alaska Warrior Partnership, worked tirelessly to ensure that no one was left behind.

Empowering Veterans

At the event, 58 Veterans found a new path toward health care with VHA eligibility and enrollment. That’s 58 individuals who now have access to the care they need, care that can transform their lives. And then there were the 87 who started the process with VBA to secure their benefits, taking that crucial first step toward recognition and support for their service by submitting intents to file, a claim or an appeal.

Inclusivity and support

Housing support for 15 Veterans represented more than just a roof over their heads; it was about security, stability and a foundation from which to rebuild lives. And in a world that too often feels divided, the inclusivity of the event stood out. Four LGBTQ+ Veterans and 29 women Veterans connected with resources specifically designed for them, ensuring that everyone felt seen, heard and valued.

Feedback and results

Now, let’s talk feedback because, honestly, that’s where the heart of this story lies. An impressive 81.5% said finding information and services was easy. And 78.5% had their support needs met, a testament to the event’s effectiveness and the dedication of those behind it. But here’s the kicker: 94.6% felt respected and valued.

Building trust and recommendations

With 76.2% of participants expressing trust in VA and its partners, it’s clear that VEAC is building bridges, restoring faith in systems that, for too long, have felt inaccessible or indifferent to many Veterans’ needs. But perhaps the most telling statistic of all is the 86.9% said they’d recommend VEAC to other Veterans.

A promise of support for Veterans

As the Alaska VEAC event wrapped up and plans for future events begin to take shape, one thing is clear: This is a movement powered by compassion, commitment and a community that stands ready to support its Veterans in every way possible. To all the Veterans out there, know this: you’re not alone. There’s a whole network of support waiting for you, ready to help you navigate whatever comes next. VEAC is more than an event; it’s a promise—a promise to serve those who’ve served us all.

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