I decided it's time to start getting involved at the local level. After seeing where the breakdown is from a top-down perspective, it's time bring that knowledge to our local community. I have reached out to a local non-profit, Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council. One of the directors for the organization is an acquaintance I met through my father. They have a meeting tomorrow and I am going to try to be there to learn more about their initiatives. I know that the goal of the organization is to collect all of the local resources into one group, one strategic partnership - the pooling of resources. It is the kind of thinking that could get the attention of groups like Volunteers of America, the VFW, American Legion, Blue Star Families and others. This could be an interesting experiment. I have done a lot of looking online and I don't see any other local organizations that have the same approach - local efforts elsewhere are disparate and disorganized.
I have a vision of where this could lead but I need to see if the organization is just another bureaucracy or an organization focused on results. I know that some other states organize veterans services a lot more effectively than we do in PA. It is time that best practices get adopted - create a template for success that can be recreated anywhere. I intend to leverage my online influence to make things happen locally. It will not be easy, but I am optimistic. I will fill you all in on the details after the meeting tomorrow if I am able to attend (allergy testing in the morning). If not, I will be meeting with a member of the board one on one.
As things develop, I will keep you all posted!
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.