Veteran Transition 2018
How can the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provide the right services and products to assist new Veterans with this significant life change?
- Chris Dylewski
- Ifedayo Famojuro
- Simon Jones
- Rebecca Schwartz
- Irene Solaiman
When he separated from the Marine Corps, Daniel, like so many other combat Veterans, struggled with the transition to civilian life. In the Corps, Daniel fought, and was willing to die, for his fellow Marines. Mere weeks later, he was on his own, feeling ostracized from both the Corps and from the people he now encountered on a daily basis — people who couldn’t possibly understand what he was dealing with.
Following the principles of user research, we have drawn on the insight and experiences of Veterans. We have interviewed and heard stories from Veterans and service members from across the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. We visited local military installations and Veterans Centers like Hanscom Air Force Base, their Transition Assistance Program class, the USS Constitution Museum, and the New England Center for Homeless Veterans in Boston. We also engaged with private companies helping Veterans, like Three Wire Systems.
Our key insight? “I want to feel like a person,” seven deceptively simple words, articulated by Anne, an Air Force Videographer Veteran.
Our proposed solution is a personalized transition tool we’re calling Vetransition. By entering in a few key demographics along with their transition priorities, Veterans can better navigate the vast array of information and resources available to them. We also propose a timeline for connecting veterans with Vetransition: first promoting the tool as service members consider leaving, then showcasing it during the Transition Assistance Program that all transitioning service members attend, and finally integrating it with calls that all newly-transitioned veterans receive after separation.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with some our nation’s most dedicated individuals, and we’re especially excited to see how the work continues.