Helmets To Hardhats-Jobs For Veterans

Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

Most career opportunities offered Helmets To Hardhats the program are connected to federally-approved apprenticeship training programs. Such training is provided by the trade organizations themselves at no cost to the veteran. No prior experience is needed; in fact, most successful placements start with virtually no experience in their chosen field. All participating trade organizations conduct three to five year earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship training programs that teach service members everything they need to know to become a construction industry professional with a specialization in a particular craft. And, because these apprenticeship programs are regulated and approved at both federal and state levels, veterans can utilize their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to supplement their income while they are learning valuable skills and on the job training.

In 2007, Helmets to Hardhats supplemented its existing program with a disabled American veteran program known as the “Wounded Warrior” program, which serves to connect disabled veterans with employment opportunities in the construction industry and the careers that support construction.

CLICK HERE and let Helmets To Hardhats help you find a job
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Operation Pay It Forward

Operation Pay It Forward

Mission Statement

Our mission is to show our appreciation for our fighting veterans by connecting them with others that share the same passions and are willing to get them into the outdoors and enjoying life again. We challenge all of the veterans that participate to “Pay It Forward” by spreading the word to their brothers and sisters that need help or could use some time in the outdoors to re-focus their minds on the important things in life!

About OPIF

There are plenty of worthwhile charities in this world. There are a lot of those that need help and many social benefits are available to those that are going through a bad time or experiencing medical issues.
Our nation’s veterans raised their hands and purposely put themselves in harm’s way to sacrifice for their fellow Americans. Unfortunately, our society has not put the same measures in place to take care of the unique struggles and injuries our combat veterans return home with. Most struggle to simply understand what our returning veterans are trying to cope with in civilian life.
Operation Pay It Forward was founded and organized by veterans that understand the healing process and help by providing a new focus and mission for these veterans. One of the biggest voids is from the lack of comradery and brotherhood that kept them alive in combat situations. In the civilian life, this is most easily duplicated by spending time in the field hunting, fishing or simply enjoying the outdoors.
Our goal is to provide a new focus for our returning veterans and provide them with a new mission to help save their brothers and sisters they served with. The enemy in civilian life is often within the veteran and much more difficult to identify and fight. We are here to help in that battle.


Follow This Link to learn more about how Operation Pay It Forward can help you

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One Act

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Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Support for deaf and hard of hearing individuals is available.

In some instances, callers may experience difficulty connecting with the Veterans Crisis Line. If you have trouble reaching the call line, please CLICK HERE to connect to chat, or text 838255 for immediate support.

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28th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic

Life in the military can be stressful for anyone from a pipeline Airman to a general officer. Fortunately, the 28th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic provides services for Airmen in need.

“Our primary mission is to return Airmen to their jobs and back into the fight,” said Airman 1st Class Bradley Borytsky, a 28th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician. “We want to make sure that [Airmen] are functioning at full capacity and handle whatever life throws at them with healthy coping mechanisms.”

The 28th Bomb Wing has begun teams to help build a support network between Airmen and the chaplain team and mental health clinic.

“One of the things we have recently started is implementing human performance teams in collaboration with the chaplains and other helping agencies,” said Capt. Timothy Naill, 28th Medical Group Family Advocacy Officer. “We want to build relationships with Airmen in their units…it’s really getting people to see that we are on their team.”

May has been National Mental Health Month since 1949, bringing awareness and educating the public about mental illness. In the military, there are misconceptions of what the mental health clinic does.

“First off, people think [getting help for mental illness] will ruin their career,” said Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Garrison, 28th MDOS noncommissioned officer in charge of the mental health clinic. “They think they have no privacy because their commanders and first sergeants are privy to their information. That isn’t true.”

Garrison explained that although commanders and first sergeants are given limited information when it relates to harm to self, harm to others or mission impact, generally, what Airmen disclose to their provider and the specific details they have are not given to their commanders.

Naill elaborated on how the misconception of going to mental health will ruin a career is wrong. He explained that the earlier someone gets help, the more manageable their situation will be. Airmen need to know there is support out there to help cope with whatever is happening in their lives.

“We come from a variety of different backgrounds,” Naill said. “We all have different upbringings. The mental health clinic teaches skills that someone may not have learned at other times in their lives.”

These skills improve the overall well-being of an Airman’s mental state, one portion of being ready to win the fight. A general outline of an Airman’s health falls into the categories of Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

This model includes pillars that represent the physical, spiritual, social and mental portions of one’s readiness. The health of each of these pillars have a tremendous impact on how an Airman performs.

“How someone explained mental health to me was by comparing it to spraining an ankle,” Borytsky said. “When you’re running and sprain your ankle, people don’t expect you to be ready to run a mile-and-a-half. Your mental health is the same. You shouldn’t be expected to be at your best after something traumatic happens.”

Getting mental health care is important as demonstrated by Kevin Hines, one of 36 people to survive a suicide attempt by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California. Mr. Hines was invited by the base community action team to help bring awareness of avenues for Airmen to find support at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

“If you are out there in the military, and you are hiding and silencing your pain, I need you to do yourself a favor and tell your truth to someone who can help,” Hines explained.

He described how getting help is a daily occurrence and how important it is to have people who support you and empathize with any situation happening.

Getting help may have a stigma associated within the Air Force. The 2018 theme being promoted for National Mental Health Month is “#CureStigma.” Stigmas tend to create an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“The stigma is starting to fade,” Garrison said. “In the more recent years, we have seen a tremendous amount of people starting to visit. That’s always a good sign.”

Garrison added that in April, the mental health clinic saw more than 700 patients. This care gives way for more Airmen being able to return to the 28th Bomb Wing fully ready to provide Airpower – Anytime, Anywhere!

For more information on mental health awareness, contact the chapel at (605) 385-1598 or the base mental health clinic at (605) 385-3656.

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, SD, UNITED STATES
05.18.2018
Story by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Erwin
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


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