Education, Employment & Community Reintegration
Hire Heroes USA/USO Workshops
The USO, in partnership with Hire Heroes USA, host transitions workshops for wounded, ill, injured service members, their spouses and caregivers. The Workshops are led by OEF/OIF veterans and wounded warriors. Hire Heroes USA focuses on resume writing, mock interviews, professional work practices and translating prior military experience into a civilian career. The USO and Hire Heroes USA have hosted workshops at Ft. Belvoir, Va., Quantico Marine Corps Base and Ft. Carson in 2011. Additional workshops are scheduled for Ft. Bragg, N.C., and Camp Lejuene, N.C., in addition to our previous workshop locations. These workshops complement the existing transition assistance offered by the military, Department of Defense and the Department of Labor to provide yet another tool in the toolbox of the transitioning service members. Employers attend these workshops and conduct mock interviews to provide real civilian perspective on what employers are looking for in new employees.
Career Opportunity Days
The USO, in collaboration with Hire Heroes USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, offers Career Opportunity Days (CODs) for wounded, ill, injured, spouses and caregivers. The COD is a non-traditional career fair where employers connect with seven to 10 troops based on interest and background. Employers conduct mock interviews and provide feedback, providing an additional level of support for transitioning service members to meet with employers that are offering jobs. These CODs are limited to no more than 25 employers and 100 service member attendees to ensure the size and magnitude of these events does not overwhelm the troops. Career Fairs are overwhelming to most people in general, and many of these men and women have anxiety as a result of post traumatic stress, so it is our goal to ensure the experience is positive and high impact.
“I have never been matched with employers and the opportunity to talk with other employers for mock interviews at the COD provides an advantage” – Soldier at Ft Belvoir WTU
"I love the format. We go to a lot of job fairs, but this event has specific interviews scheduled for specific times which helps us fill actual openings….We are reaching a group that needs the most assistance in making the transition." – Employer at COD
Purpose Driven Rehab
In collaboration with Pros vs. GI Joes the USO supports Purpose Driven Rehab (PDR). This program offers wounded warriors an opportunity to “intern” for a career in event planning and logistics.
This program helps wounded warriors gain a sense of purpose, drive, and resiliency by combining the already successful Pro vs. GI Joe program into a new initiative focusing on wounded warrior recovery. Warriors are given the opportunity to manage the Pro vs. GI Joe toy-hauler at some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and set up gaming systems for large scale tail-gates and NFL, NBA, MMA events. At each event, the Event Lead Warrior leads a small team of volunteers to assist them in the game day set up. For participants, Purpose Driven Rehab creates an opportunity to feel like warriors are a part of a brotherhood again, similar to being in the military.
Rivers of Recovery
Rivers of Recovery is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that recently partnered with the USO to offer small fishing retreats to wounded, ill or injured service members and their spouses. Since its founding in early 2008, Rivers of Recovery has been recognized as one of the premier recreational rehabilitation programs in the United States. Through the unique use of fly-fishing, Rivers of Recovery provides active duty recovering warriors and veterans with a temporary sanctuary, free of stresses and uncertainties, a place where they can relax, enjoy themselves and their surroundings. The fishing trips allow veterans to demonstrate abilities and build skills while reinforcing their self-confidence and resolve.
The USO focuses these trips on those wounded warriors and their loved ones with post traumatic stress, with a special emphasis on female wounded warriors.
"In the four years that I have been at the Warrior Transition Battalion, I have not heard of a single trip offered to female soldiers. You sometimes hear about opportunities for spouses, but nothing is ever for us. I am going to tell my Command about this trip and let everyone know that they should try to attend the next time it is offered." – Anonymous
Wyakin Warrior Foundation
The USO partners with the Wyakin Warrior Foundation to provide education support to our nation’s wounded, ill and injured. The Wyakin Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing one of the most comprehensive education, mentoring, professional development, networking and job placement programs in the country for severely wounded and injured veterans. Students are veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries while serving their country. The goal is to prepare them for success in their chosen professions through academic support, professional training and a mentoring program so robust that it was mentioned as a successful model by the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. With the assistance of the Wyakin Warrior Foundation, veterans will complete college or professional certifications and secure gainful employment after graduation.
Physical Health & Recreation
Education, Employment & Community Reintegration