Bonds of Courage builds bonds with New Jersey post-9/11 troops, veterans and their families and offers services in these four pillars of need: jobs, health, families and finances.
We have spent years working with military personnel and their families. We are expert in the areas of most concern to you, as troops, veterans and military families. Bonds of Courage staff are veterans, military family members, and experienced professionals. We are here for you, let us serve you. You are not alone.
Building Bonds through Letters and Provisions
This is the foundation of all the services provided by Bonds of Courage, and how we establish our bonds with troops. Through this program, we establish a connection with the troop that is designed to last from oath to home. People may enroll an active duty troop with Bonds of Courage by providing us with the person’s name and contact information along with the name and contact information of their Bonds of Courage Buddy. The Buddy, is the essential liaison between the troop and Bonds of Courage as they will always have the troop or veterans coordinates. This allows us to provide continuous support and outreach. Our staff will contact each troop or veteran and his or her Buddy to confirm enrollment.
We will send active duty troops provisions based on where they are stationed or deployed: PCS, base, ship, hospital, etc. We are often able to supply not only individual troops but entire platoons and units. Typical shipments include Clean Packs (toiletries) and Snack Packs customized to meet personal preferences.
We know that getting a job is the most important mission for service personnel when they are discharged from the service. Veterans can receive a variety of assistance from us to help them get a job — from choosing a suitable job or career to preparing for interviews, networking to expand your contacts and negotiating an offer of employment. We can help translate military and life experiences to the language of civilian businesses. We can offer help in preparing to answer some of the difficult questions that may come up during interviews. We have credentialed staff who offer a variety of assessments based on each person’s interests. In addition, we have a network of people in all types of vocations, industries and fields at all levels who stand ready to share their connections and information on opportunities. Call us! We are dedicated to getting service personnel every opportunity that they have earned so well.
Bonds of Courage recognizes that building a good life happens when we take care of our physical and behavioral health. We are prepared to assist service personnel in getting to the best professional help in both areas from well-trained people who understand the military in particular. We have a special liaison within the Veterans Administration who will personally help to address any concern you may have.
When people contact us we review their individual health interests. They may have leg pain or skin problems or a more serious injury that is making it hard for them to move on. They may be having a hard time sleeping, headaches, trouble concentrating, or feeling emotions that they are not used to feeling. Bonds of Courage will stay with them as we together find the solution for that pain. And we will find a solution! You are not alone.
Post-9/11 Veterans Council
The Post-9/11 Veterans Council was formed to provide an opportunity for new veterans to continue their dedication to service while at the same time receiving support. The group meets monthly and is open to participants who want to share in the development of Bonds of Courage by providing their essential insights into the interests and needs of new veterans undertaking the transition to civilian life. Activities are related to job search and networking, good health, both mental and physical, education and GI Bill issues, financial guidance, navigating the VA, making life better with wives/husbands and girlfriends/boyfriends. Other topics of interest to the group will be added over time.
The design of the group is to both provide an opportunity to serve and to receive support and is based on Bonds of Courage’s long experience with active duty and veterans, and knowing that it takes courage to ask for help. It responds to the following quote, contained in a document entitled “The All-Volunteer Force” (Civic Enterprises, 2009) which emphasizes the assets that veterans have brought to our nation throughout our history, and hold true til today:
“Recognize our usefulness. We are not charity cases. We are an American asset.”
— a veteran from Iraq and Afghanistan
The Big Family — Moms, Dad, Friends, Spouses, Siblings and All
For every member of the U.S. Armed Forces there are dozens of people who are impacted by their service. We feel a bittersweet mixture of immense pride and awful fear. It is an experience understood best only by those in our position. Bonds of Courage welcomes all who are in this situation to contact us to join OUR community, to get and give whatever you can to enrich your life. We are offering a variety of services to everyone who is a part of the larger military family, from newsletter articles to phone and email conversations, groups and special events. Let us know what you’d like to learn about or talk about. We welcome you to contact us anytime via email or 908-273-4122.
Military Moms’ groups form regularly throughout the year. When your service member is in harm’s way, and/or on a base or ship somewhere in the world, or in training to defend our nation, you share a unique experience with those of us in the same position. Come, get support and give it, as we learn to thrive as members of the wider military family.
You will gain information on military culture, procedures to help you better communicate with your service member and your own family and friends. A myriad of topics will be covered based on the interests of the group, such as stress management, techniques for better sleep, using social media, visiting military installations, etc.
The group is a facilitated educational support group, accompanied by credentialed behavioral health professionals familiar with the military lifestyle. Meetings will be held twice a month depending on the group’s preferences, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm for eight consecutive sessions at the Bonds of Courage office. Members will be women who are related to, or close friends of, New Jersey active duty troops and post-9/11 veterans. The maximum number in a group is eight.
Financial guidance is provided by senior and credentialed staff and volunteers to assist new veterans in managing and building healthy financial behaviors. Information is exchanged in a variety of ways including: personal discussions, newsletters, email correspondence, telephone, and workshops. Among the topics covered are buying a car or a home, credit cards and credit ratings, avoiding and managing debt, investment basics and budgeting to enjoy life, as well as other topics of interest.