A group of concerned and innovative companies and one private university have developed a four phase program called Support Our Soldiers (SOS) to assist Active Duty Military Personnel and Veterans in transitioning into a productive civilian life. The first two phases of the program include a 9 day family based camp that involves the entire family unit including military spouses and children, parents, grandparents and significant others. At the Camp the entire family is taught to recognize and manage behaviors that are associated with combat trauma.
Phase two at the Camp involves work, job and career counseling where the trained camp counselors, which include many military veterans, begin the process of successfully transitioning military personnel from military service into civilian life. This phase has one key goal in mind… to help these transitioning men and women find careers based on individual interests, skill sets, and regional employment opportunities in the civilian world after discharge from the service.
The third phase of this innovative program involves Follow-on Services. Services include PTSD Education, Career Training and Support and Emergency hotline services for Veterans, their relatives, friends, and employers who may have to deal with a PTSD related crises. This phase is designed to ensure that transitioning military personnel receive adequate on-going help by arranging internships and providing on-going communication, guidance, and assistance to the transitioning personnel, their families and their employers thereby increasing the chances of a successful assimilation into civilian life. The program places special emphasis on Veterans Helping Veterans, including service-disabled veterans, by providing networking resources to connect a wide range of existing training and employment opportunities from both the veteran and civilian population.
The fourth and final phase of the program includes the process of program evaluation. The evaluation includes assessment, accountability, and enhancement of the program’s past and future operations.
The team assembled for this effort is comprised of a highly experienced and qualified group of private organizations that fulfill the scope required to develop and run an effective program that begins and continues the healing process for our Heroes. The team includes the following members:
The Minnow Lake Foundation, Inc
The Camp Minnow Lake vision is to provide a place where families, from all walks of life, come together to learn from each other important values, mutual respect, team work, and new skills. Families learn to build self-confidence, care, and concern for our natural environment while nurturing each other. The Camp provides a combination of experiences that foster the development of positive and diverse relationships for the betterment of society.
In 1983 the first official Camp Minnow Lake office headquarters was opened for year round business and work and the staff was made up completely of volunteers. 1984 marked the first resident family camp – Family 4th of July Camp at Idyllwild, Calif. Fifty families from low income areas of San Diego were chosen with the help of 19 local school districts. Each family was given a scholarship to attend the July 4th weekend camp along with 50 camp volunteers. Together, 230 people from diverse ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds proved that understanding, tolerance, appreciation of nature, and love of self and others can be fostered in the camp environment. A formal evaluation demonstrated the success of this first camp and has become the basis for ongoing funding efforts both locally and nationally.
Simons and Associates Psychological Consulting Services
Simons & Associates is a team of behavioral health specialists working in the field of Employee Assistance and Corporate training and Development. Comprised of corporate, military, and academic experienced psychologists (Ph.D.), psychiatrists (M.D.), marriage and family counselors (MFCC), human health/resource (RN/HR) and legal consultants, the team provides short term training and intervention and longer term, innovative consultation, training, and executive coaching.
SEIDCON is an American-Indian and woman owned 8(a) firm. The company has supported the Department of Defense and other federal agencies–including the Veterans Administration–for over 25 years. Over half of Seidcon’s employees are retired military, with 3 of 5 board members having U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army backgrounds. Seidcon’s Program Management, Contract Management and business acumen make the firm an outstanding choice to lead and oversee our team efforts. These efforts require accomplished, involved leaders with very strong logistics and financial capabilities, to ensure our heroes, our troops, arrive home to impassioned care that will result in fulfilled lives for all of them and their families.
California Miramar University
California Miramar University (CMU) is a California State Approved private postsecondary institution offering Certificate Programs, Corporate Training Programs, and Associate, Bachelor, and Master Degree Programs in Business and Leadership. After a State Approved change of ownership in 2004, the private California University received additional permission from the State to move the University from Los Angeles to its present location near the Miramar Marine Corp. Air Station in San Diego. While in San Diego, the University has become an active participant in local and international organizations and innovative projects such as its own Military Spouse Scholarship program to assist military spouses by offering affordable educational opportunities coupled with child care for individuals whose spouses are deployed in the service of our nation.