Written by Crystal Tyson on September 29, 2021.
The military has a specialized department to assist service member’s transition into civilian life after serving in the military. Although this program is offered and classes are available to receive valuable information, many service members are unaware or unwilling to take advantage of the program. Because of this, many service members transition with a lack of knowledge regarding benefits obligated to them as a veteran or retiree.
ForcesUnited plays a major role in bridging the gap by informing the veteran and retiree population of a variety of services and programs available to them. This local organization connects service members, veterans and their families, from all eras, wounded or not, with programs and resources to mitigate crisis, improve their lives and empower them to prosper in the community. Originally known as CSRA Wounded Warrior Care Project, then as Augusta Warrior Project, ForcesUnited came about from a recognized need in the community. In 2007, Laurie Ott interviewed a severely injured wounded warrior undergoing therapy in Augusta, prompting her to leave her job to pursue a position with Wounded Warrior Care Project. Financially backed by members of the community, civic leaders came together to make an impactful change, serving over 19,000 since 2007 and 2,100 in 2021 alone. A simple task of wanting to “do better by our veterans” sparked a light in the CSRA.
ForcesUnited touches on several categories in the lives of veterans, transitioning service members, and their families:
Understand the benefits entitled to you as a veteran or family member.
Link with an Education Coordinator for assistance with navigation of programs of study and establishing educational goals for the service member, veteran, or family member.
Connect with employers looking for valuable skills veterans bring to the table.
HEALTH & WELLNESS:
Vets Fight On (created by ForcesUnited), in conjunction with a variety of partners like the VA, simplifies the process of ensuring health and wellness needs are met.
With the help of community partners, no veteran is left behind without a house to call home. Needs of veterans who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless
The success of the program has spread like wildfire as it became the blueprint to programs in other areas across the nation in 2013. The program brought attention to the Georgia and South Carolina area. Although the number of participants was reduced due to the COVID Pandemic of 2020, ForcesUnited continues on with its mission to meet the necessary needs of its service members. Director Victoria Hann stated, “Although we’ve suffered, we’ve weathered through
Victoria has celebrated the organization since the beginning. When interviewing her, you realize instantly why this non-profit organization is so effective. The passion and commitment – not only from the director – is exhibited by the staff as well. This may be due to the fact that 80 percent of the employees at ForcesUnited are veterans themselves. Victoria noted, “Veterans find it easier to talk to veterans, which makes it easier for us to speak on their behalf. We want all of our members to strive and receive the dignity deserved despite their situation.”
The organization shows its uniqueness by catering specifically to local transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members. The 11 to 11 Campaign is a program held to reach those in need. This program runs through Veterans Day, November 11th. If you or a veteran you know can benefit from connecting with ForcesUnited, please reach out to receive more information about this program. Other events coming soon include kayaking and cycling trips, quarterly Victory in Partnership Community Breakfast, as well as the ForcesUnited Classic at Gordon Lakes Golf Club – a charity golf tournament.
If you would like to be a part of making a difference, either volunteering time or via a donation, visit the webpage at:
This site offers history, videos, and information on how to stay connected. Every dollar donated stays within the veterans served by ForcesUnited. So as not to recreate the wheel, many of the organization’s community partners collaborate to utilize, not only the best but, all resources for the veteran. If you are a veteran, transitioning service member, or a family in need of assistance, you can also fill out an intake process
701 Greene Street
Augusta, GA 30901