Friday, November 21, 2008


Let me start this out by saying that I do appreciate what IAVA is doing for veterans. They're trying really hard to help get them taken care of, and have done a lot of outstanding work on the GI Bill and other pieces of legislation. They're also doing a lot of good work in getting veterans aware that they are a political force to be reckoned with, and that is always a good thing in my book.

Sometimes it's funny, though, how much they march along, whether consciously or unconsciously, with IVAW. For example, their latest campaign/ad "Alone" is a fantastic ad. I really dig it. But in a sense, it also makes me laugh-I had no idea IAVA admired IVAW's "You Are Not Alone" campaign so much! At any rate, here's the ad for your viewing pleasure, and only LT Nixon will be able to say whether or not it in fact measures up to McGruff.

I don't usually promote IAVA here, because I can really only focus on one organization at a time-same way I'm also a member of the VFW and the American Legion, but you don't see me talking about a lot of their programs here. However, after being specifically contacted by one of IAVA's ad folks with a suggestion to put something up about it, I could hardly be so graceless not to be willing to spend five minutes of my time writing a post about it.

As everyone knows, readjustment challenges of "combat stress" (I hate the buzzphrase, because of course combat is stressful, but it is a real issue) can compound the many other challenges servicemen and women face when they return to civilian life. Also, I've talked to a lot of vets, and for them one of the hardest things is losing the welcoming and supportive military community. The lack of it alone can severely tweak a veteran. This is, of course, where IAVA's brand spanking new Community of Veterans comes in.

They're wrong, of course, it's not the only online community for veterans, but it is the first to offer open yet regulated membership. There are still a few bugs in the system-for example, their registration refused to accept AE as a valid state-but I have faith that it will all get ironed out in time.

Also at some point this month, the campaign will extend to families and friends, called Support Your Vet. I think this is a really good idea so that they can talk out their problems and help each other to provide good advice and support. They too really need to feel that it's not alone. I've suggested to IAVA that they should have some communication between the sites, where veterans can maybe anonymously answer family member's questions, we'll see if that gets implemented too.

So keep it in mind! I'm not sure yet how politically neutral it's supposed to be, I may just give it a broad pass for its own sake rather than my own. But those of you, especially those who want support but not politics, should go there and check it out.


LT Nixon said...

It's funny because McGruff was an Ad Council concoction much like these PSAs. It is good though, and I look forward to checking out the site once I get my DD-214 in a month or so before I get out.

Army Girl said...

I'm holding you to it LT.

Thanks for posting something about IAVA!