In 2011, the President stood up a United States-United Kingdom Task Force in support of our Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families, and in 2012, the joint U.S.-UK Wounded Warrior Task Force reported out on their work.
The goal of the Task Force was to build on existing cooperation and share best practices in the support of service personnel, their families and veterans. To accomplish this goal, the Task Force established working groups to look at four areas:
- Wounded Warrior rehabilitation
- Supporting service leavers transitioning to civilian life
- Mental health
- Military family support
The work of the UK and U.S. in sharing our lessons learned on the care and treatment of the war wounded has been ongoing for decades, and of the most unique aspects of the care and treatment of veterans in the U.S. is the support provided by Congressionally Chartered Veterans Service Organizations. One of our American VSOs is Joining Forces with their U.K. counterpart at the Blinded Veterans U.K. Brighton Centre this coming week!
Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is highlighting the importance of this strong alliance through a six-day exchange program in the U.K., known as Project Gemini from May 18-25, 2014.
The joint blinded veterans project is a forum that brings together veterans of recent conflicts with those of the Vietnam, Korea, and World War II eras. Participants of the program are provided opportunities to connect with mentors and discuss issues relevant to veterans with vision loss.
This exchange program recognizes the importance of linking personnel and communities together and highlights the mutual commitment to share best practices of veterans support and rehabilitation.
We thank our VSO partners for their unique contributions to the Veterans here at home, and applaud their efforts to share their knowledge and expertise with our friends across the pond!
Koby Langley is Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement.