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July 2021 Edition

Hello! Welcome to the first edition of our newly re-designed monthly email newsletter for the Arizona Coalition for Military Families and the Be Connected program. We hope that you will enjoy this format that pairs the latest insights from our leadership partners with news, events and real stories about our the impact of Be Connected on Arizona’s service members, veterans and their families. Let us know what you think. Feel free to email

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Thomas Winkel, MA, LPC, NCC Director

Arizona Coalition for Military Families

From the Desk of Thomas Winkel

It was my distinct honor to be invited to testify in a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity on May 26, 2021. The hearing was focused on the impact of COVID-19 on veteran employment.

I explained how we tackle this problem the Arizona Way, through a collaborative, public/private partnership that reaches across all levels of government and the community. Through the Arizona Coalition for Military Families and the Be Connected program, we are making a difference.

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Arizona's Ecosystem of Support for Service Members, Veterans and Their Families

What is an ecosystem and how does that relate to our work to support service members, veterans and their families? Great question! When we go out and talk about our holistic approach to supporting veterans, we have described it as an ecosystem- an interconnected network that is focused on providing complete support for the needs of Arizona service members, veterans and their families.

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Featured Video

Learn more about how you and your organization fit into the

Be Connected Ecosystem of Support.

Social Media Highlights

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News to Know

Gilbert Veteran Receives New Air Conditioning Unit As Summer Heat Approaches

Just in time for the soaring summer temperatures, Gilbert veteran Derek Tope and his family received a brand new air conditioning unit valued at more than $3,700. The unit was donated through a partnership between the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, Operation Homefront and AAA Cooling Specialists. Installation of the system took place on June 4 at the Gilbert home that Tope shares with his family

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U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on Veteran Employment During COVID-19

The support given to service members, veterans and their families by the Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF) and its partners in the public and private sector was featured at a May 26 hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

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Real Stories of Our Impact

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Partnership with Packing

An Army veteran was scheduled to move. However, the veteran was faced with a barrier and could not pack his belongings due to the physical barrier of being a double amputee. A Be Connected Navigator was able to assist the veteran in packing boxes of his belongings and removing items hung on the walls or out of his reach. The navigator also assisted the veteran in identifying items that would be thrown away. Through the collective work of both the navigator and the veteran, the veteran was able to pack his items and be ready for the movers who were scheduled to arrive the next day.

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Hotel to Home

A veteran in the Be Connected: Career Navigation program was challenged with finding housing. He was living in a hotel, paying $650 a week. The career specialist called the Be Connected support line on behalf of this veteran, seeking resources to assist him with a more sustainable housing situation. The Career Navigation team also discussed a game plan to upgrade his current employment situation.

With the resources and support of the Be Connected teams, he found an apartment and was able to move out of the hotel and into a more comfortable and affordable living arrangement. The Career Navigation team is continuing to work with this veteran to upgrade his employment and assist him with improving his quality of life.

Our Be Connected team is standing by to assist all service members, veterans, family members and community helpers statewide with connection to information, support and resources. Call 866-429-8387 to connect today!

Upcoming Events

July: Military Consumer Protection Month

July 04 - Independence Day

July 25 - National Hire a Veteran Day

July 28 - Military/Veteran Resource Navigation Training

July 30 - Arizona Veteran Supportive Campus Training


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