When I was deployed to the Middle East I served along side a British tank unit. These joint military operations have been the norm for many years and seem to be growing more frequent as our military’s mission evolves internationally.
Now, that kind of military cooperation is moving beyond the battlefield. Allies are taking learnings from joint partnerships in combat and apply it to improving veterans’ services.
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) has signed partnership agreements with the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research (CIMVHR) representing the U.S. as a Global Affiliate, and with the Veterans and Families Institute (VFI) at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K.
The focus will initially be on sharing of relevant research and best practices for veteran programs. The U.S. and its allies all struggle with the shared realities of post war veterans to include homelessness, disability, trauma, unemployment and more – no matter what flag they served under.
For example, 5% of U.K. Veterans reports some unmet need for support and among unemployed veterans that number is 25%. The relatively new U.S. program called AmericaServes is creating better ways to connect services with veterans. This could be an obvious and impactful way to address the needs of the U.K. veteran population.
“We are thrilled about the potential these new research collaborations hold to draw new insights and learning in collective support of those who serve our respective nations,” says Nick Armstrong, Ph.D., IVMF Senior Director of Research and Evaluation. “Going back for decades our countries have benefitted from working closely with our allies on intelligence, strategy and operations. This same cooperation when applied to the post-military care of all of our veterans, will strengthen their reintegration to civilian life.”
This is an interesting trend with the U.S and its allies and one worth watching as they advance services for veterans across all allied countries.