Building a community for our veteransNing Network Spotlight
At Ning, we’re all about community. If you’re a current Ning Creator, you’ve probably picked up on this little point of pride; if you’re checking us out for the first time, we’re glad you’re here to learn more!
The Ning Platform is only as interesting and impactful as the 100,000 communities and millions of community members using the service daily. To this point, we see communities ranging a multitude of businesses interests, professions, geographies, expertise, hobbies, life-long connections, lifestyles… you name it – and this is exactly what we love to see happening with Ning.
In honor of Veterans Day and the millions of men and women serving our country, we wanted to bring to light a few veteran Ning communities. Two years ago, we first highlighted IAVA’s Community of Veterans, a private Ning community focused on serving Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Last year, we invited IAVA’s Community Manager, Jason Hasman, to Ning HQ. Jason, an Iraq veteran, is responsible for maintaining and growing Community of Veterans and we asked him how IAVA has turned into such a special and impactful community for veterans back from deployment:
While Veterans all have one thing in common through protecting and serving their country, we see Ning communities bubbling up to support and bring together segments of veteran populations. It’s been quite the year for the US military, with one issue being especially top of mind: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Though the policy has been repealed, burgeoning support and pride for LGBT civil servants and veterans is the focus for the Ning Network DOD Federal Globe.
Though Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell made national news, camaraderie and bonds formed by veterans leaning on the support of their peers extends beyond this deeply debated topic. For UW Vets for Vets, the Ning community forms the University of Wisconsin-Madison Chapter of the national organization, Student Veterans of America. Vets for Vets is a place for student veterans attending UW-Wisconsin to come together, learn about their benefits and support activities, and raise awareness amongst the greater UW-Wisconsin student population about student veterans’ experiences. The Ning community is open to all UW-Madison students, facilitating a place to open the lines of communication between active duty veterans, veterans and student-civilians.
Veterans and their families may face many challenges while reintegrating back into civilian life. The good news is that there are many services and communities to help soften this landing. Military to Medicine is a Ning community dedicated to bringing healthcare training and career opportunities to military families. The organization supports veterans, wounded veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, other service members and military spouses. The community includes new job openings and resources for veterans looking for guidance and support during their adjustment.
In the same vein, Lone Star Veterans Association is a community dedicated to supporting post 9/11 veterans and their families through “direction communications, advocacy, employment assistance, mentoring, service and social programming.” As the mentoring and networking arm of Houston’s Returning Veteran Initiative, the Ning community “provides the open support system and social outlets for service members transitioning back into civilian life through programs, events and peer mentoring.”
On the lighter side of things, military Ning communities also form around civilian interests. Military Sea Hawkers serves as the military chapter of the official booster club of the Seattle Seahawks, giving active service members and veterans a place to celebrate their favorite football team and root on the Sea Hawks with their comrades.
We’re truly glad to see these wonderful bonds and communities coming to fruition through Ning; thank you to all active service men and women and veterans for showing us how your camaraderie creates community.