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CalVet uses the Internet to reach out to returning veterans

Posted: November 11, 2010 5:27 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2010 8:00 p.m.
 

Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Department of Veterans Affairs, through it Operation Welcome Home initiative, has partnered with six-time Heavyweight UFC Champion Randy Couture to reach out to recently returning veterans and connect them with the benefits and services they have earned.

"If we are going to reach out to the new generation of veterans who grew up with computers and the Internet, we have to capitalize on those technologies to make sure they know about the services and benefits they have earned," said Roger Brautigan, secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

In a new public service announcement released today on YouTube and Facebook, Randy Couture encourages veterans to connect with their benefits by signing up for information through Operation Welcome home at the Facebook page.

The video can be viewed on YouTube and Facebook at one of the following links: youtube.com/operationwelcomehome and facebook.com/operationwelcomehome.

Additionally, the department implemented a new mobile application for the Droid platform smart phones that allow veterans to sign up for Operation Welcome Home and to get information about the closest resource for services and benefit assistance. The mobile application can be found at the Droid App store.

Since the governor launched Operation Welcome Home, the CalVet Department, through its nine regional teams statewide, has connected with more than 34,000 veterans and made more than 54,000 referrals to services and benefits, including 17,302 for employment benefits, 13,801 for education benefits, and more than 5,000 referrals for mental health related to PTSD and TBI.

There are more than 2 million veterans living in California today. Every year, approximately 30,000 new veterans return home to this state. The purpose of Operation Welcome Home is to connect those returning veterans to the services and benefits that they have earned through their honorable service in the Armed Forces of the United States.

The California Department of Veterans Affairs provides services to veterans through state-run veterans homes, through its farm and home loan program and through its advocacy division that represents and advises veterans as they work through the benefits process of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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