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Veterans Health Administration

Veterans Connecting with Veterans

informal portrait of Bryan

From a self-described “happy kid” to a determined Marine, Bryan returned home thinking he’d forever lost the ability to feel. Hear him tell how he overcame IEDs, posttraumatic stress, and the unique challenges of a long-distance romance. He got his life on a better track with help from VA.

informal portrait of Trista

From an early age, Trista knew she wanted to be in the military and she proudly served in three branches. For a long time, she didn’t acknowledge the effects that military sexual trauma was having on her life. After years of not recognizing the emotional effects of her experience, she told a VA counselor about it and changed her life for the better.

informal portrait of Jack

Jack was wounded in Vietnam after landing in a hot LZ. He lost some of his Marines that day and after returning home, grieved their loss by turning to drugs and alcohol. After a friend helped him discover the help available at VA, Jack turned his life around, went on to become a successful entrepreneur, and today helps other Veterans as a mentor and advocate.

Website lets Veterans Share Problems and Solutions

MakeTheConnection.net is a website where you will hear inspiring stories of strength and learn what has worked for other Veterans.

You will discover positive steps you can take, all in the words of Veterans just like you.

Make the Connection, a new campaign launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is creating ways for Veterans and their family members to connect with the experiences of other Veterans and ultimately to connect with information and resources to help them confront the challenges of transitioning from service, face health issues, or navigate the complexities of daily life as a civilian.

“Veterans of all service eras, genders and backgrounds…are stepping up to share their stories.”

“I have seen over and over again how important it can be for a Veteran to hear a message from another Veteran. This type of communication will be especially useful in helping to break down the stigma associated with mental health issues and treatment,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

“VA is leveraging this powerful connection using an approachable online resource that links Veterans to personal stories from their peers, to VA resources and support, and to reliable information about mental health and resilience.”

Customize Your Experience

Visitors to the website can customize their online experience, directly connecting with the Veteran stories most relevant to their own lives and situations.

It offers a place where Veterans and their families can view the candid, personal testimonials of other Veterans who have dealt with and are working through a variety of common life experiences, day-to-day symptoms, and mental health conditions.

The website also connects Veterans and their family members with services and resources that may help them live more fulfilling lives.

“VA is heartened by the tremendous commitment of Veterans of all service eras, genders and backgrounds who are stepping up to share their stories,” said Shinseki.

“Just as they would never leave a fellow Service member behind on the field of battle, they are once again reaching out to support their fellow Veterans with their compelling examples of successful treatment and recovery.”

At MakeTheConnection.net, Veterans and their family members can explore information on mental health issues and treatment—and easily access support—in comfort and privacy, anywhere, anytime.

For more information, visit MakeTheConnection.net or VA’s mental health services website.