National Press Club

Communities must help returning veterans and their families, Camp Better America founders say

November 17, 2011 | By Keith M. Hill |

Communities should make an organized effort to connect with military veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, Kathleen Gagg, co-founder of Camp Better America, said at a Press Club Newsmaker Nov. 15.

Col. David Sutherland, special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Warrior and Family Support at the Department of Defense, said that a holistic, partner-centric approach is needed to provide veterans and their families with education, adequate employment, and access to health care.

Sutherland added that resources for veterans should be synchronized at the local level.

Camp Better America and volunteer organizations like it reach out to veterans and their families to help them bond and reconnect with the communities they left, said co-founder Kimberly Burleson.

Rebekah Williams Lovorn, executive director of No Greater Sacrifice, talked about her organization’s efforts to provide the children of wounded servicemembers with post-high school education. Education provides hope to families and is an investment in their future, she said.

There are 46,459 children of wounded servicemembers, and it would cost $1.6 billion to provide them with post-high school education, she noted.