Hello Incepture Blog Fans! It’s that time again, another blog from “your favorite Incepture Blogger” (I can dream, can’t I?) Actually, today I want to give a serious report on a great opportunity that I had yesterday afternoon. For those of you who will miss my special brand of humor and pithy repartee….. Don’t worry, there is always next month!
I was invited to participate in a roundtable luncheon discussion about Veterans Affairs here in northeast Florida. There were only 15 of us invited to discuss with three members of the House of Representatives what the issues are and what we are trying to do to positively affect the outcomes. Present were Representative Jeff Miller, the Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Representatives Ander Crenshaw and Corrine Brown who represent northeast Florida in Congress.
As you might imagine, much of the discussion centered on the Veterans Administration and how they are serving Veterans in our area. Congresswoman Brown and Congressmen Miller and Crenshaw had toured the new VA Clinic downtown and were going to visit the Veterans Cemetery as well. So they were pretty well versed on the Federal programs here. But at lunch we got to tell them about our local programs. Admittedly, I am pretty tied into the Veterans landscape here in Jacksonville, but I will tell you that I learned a lot about some of the other programs that are trying to improve the lives of Veterans in every area from Homelessness to Unemployment, Medical treatment to Service dogs, and seemingly everything in the middle. YOU SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF THE EFFORTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
We heard from among others: The Clara White Mission, K9s for Warriors, Patriot Guard, Jacksonville Veterans Court, Duval County Veterans Services, 5 Star Veterans Center, UNF’s Veterans and Military Center, and the American Legion. I spoke about the Jacksonville Military Veterans Coalition and the Chamber of Commerce Military Issues Committee, of which Incepture is a big part. Although not present at the meeting, there are many other groups and organizations working the issues in parallel with those that were there. If you are looking for groups to volunteer with or to give money to, these Veterans groups are a great place to start.
All in all, I really got the impression that Congressman Miller was very impressed with our efforts to date, and also to our community’s commitment to continuing in the future. There has been a lot of press coverage lately that the Veterans unemployment rates are down to closely matching the national rates. While this is great news, I took the liberty, probably unnecessarily, to remind the members of Congress that while spectacular that we only have a 7% rate today, if you are that unemployed Veteran, then the rate is 100%!
Until next time, never forget that we are the “Land of the Free, because of the Brave”
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