ICMA has been highlighting best practices of cities and counties that have developed exemplary programs to assist veterans and their families and offers a nationwide network of city and county managers to spread the word about and replicate these programs. ICMA also hosts a military veterans group online for local government officials or veterans seeking information or connections. ICMA is partnering with national, state, and local government organizations to ensure that local governments have the tools needed to reintegrate and care for veterans and their families.
Recorded Webinar Series
ICMA along with NACo, NCSL, NGA, and NLC hosted a webinar series to help state and local governments learn about available opportunities, leading practices, and lessons learned from veteran reintegration programs thus far. Click on these links to hear the free recorded webinars:
Main issues Veterans face that local government managers need to understand
The "warrior culture" often prevents veterans and their families from seeking assistance. As local government managers, we need to let them know: "You've served our country, now let us serve you."
Veterans biggest hurdles:
- Employment - everything pivots on this
- Accessing medical and psychological care
- Housing and homelessness.
Who are today's veterans?
- Military service men and women are more likely to be married and have children than their civilian counterparts.
- More than 70% come from middle- and upper-middle income families.
- They are more highly educated than the general public with more than 95% having at least a high school degree.
- 84.3% are male.
For more details on the needs of post 9/11 veterans, read the ICMA PM article The Role of Local Government in Veterans and Military Family Issues.
What can local governments do?
While the quantity of returning veterans will vary by community, many of their needs will be the same. Local governments will be faced with helping veterans find new employment and career paths, find and obtain the correct medical care and mental health treatments within their communities, find affordable family housing, and move forward with post-secondary education.
Local governments must take advantage of available leading practices and lessons learned and select an approach that works best for their community, because the worst thing local leaders can do to support veterans and military families is nothing.
For more information
- See ICMA's one-page Fact Sheet for Local Governments caring for returning veterans and their families.