On this episode, Arizona Week explores the resources and support systems in place for veterans and their families.
The Arizona Department of Veterans Services features three divisions throughout the state to include Veteran state homes on Tucson and Phoenix. The Department also manages cemeteries and runs 17 offices throughout the state. We hear from Ret. Col. Wanda Wright, the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson is among the 20 military installations in the state, and one of the country's top military aviation operations. More than 6,000 airmen serve there, and 1,700 civilians support them in jobs on the base. DM50 is a non-profit service organization that supports the base and the people assigned there. We talk to Bryan Foulk, president of the DM50, about the group's mission.
The Arizona Coalition for Military Families serves those who support their active duty family. Nicola Winkel is with the coalition.
There are three people in Arizona who serve as civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army. Randy Groth is one of them, he represents Southern Arizona, and says the program includes 110 such positions in the country. They are nominated by the three generals who report to the Secretary, and are a way to connect the military branch with the public.
The University of Arizona has a program that helps support veterans who are enrolled college, many of whom are on the GI Bill, which began in 1944. Duan Copeland is a graduate assistant with the Vets program at the U of A, and explains how it helps former servicemembers.