Peer-to-Peer Outreach Programs Rise to Supplement Veteran’s Services

By Emily Brosious

Joe Franzese talking about veterans service delays at DePaul University  (Photo/Mike Reilley)
Joe Franzese talking about veterans service delays at DePaul University (Photo/Mike Reilley)

As access to government services for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reaches critical mass in the United States, grassroots organizations are stepping up to fill the gap with peer-to-peer outreach.

Illinois-based Warrior to Warrior is one such program helping returning veterans transition back to life outside the military.

Joe Franzese, program coordinator at Warrior to Warrior, said in an interview with DePaul University journalism students that many service members encounter a virtual culture shock when returning to civilian life. They frequently need assistance with a number of services while making the transition, he said.

“A lot of it is just being re-acclimated to how civilian society works, because everything in the military, you’re given direct orders. It’s really cut and dry,” Franzese said. “Coming back, it’s a challenge having to be on your own and do things on your own, having to figure out and negotiate civilian life.” Continue reading “Peer-to-Peer Outreach Programs Rise to Supplement Veteran’s Services”