Updated website helps wounded warriors, families - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Updated website helps wounded warriors, families

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Defense Department officials have updated and improved access to the National Resource Directory, a Web site for wounded, ill and injured servicemembers, veterans, their families and those who support them.

The Web site – at http://www.NationalResourceDirectory.gov – is one-stop shopping for servicemembers and their families. The site brings together information from the Defense Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Labor Department.

The directory first went up in November 2008. "We had a vast array of information resources that had to be collated and coordinated and made easier to use," said Noel Koch, deputy undersecretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy. The current site takes the lessons learned from the first effort and improves on them, he added.

The three federal agencies provide most of the resources that wounded warriors and their families need. The directory touches on everything from benefits to current events to the processes servicemembers and veterans can use, Koch said. The site also provides addresses, contact points and links to nongovernmental agencies that provide assistance to servicemembers and veterans. And because these organizations are on the site, users can feel safe that federal officials have checked to ensure these are legitimate organizations, Koch noted.

The site answers questions about benefits, education, transition and medical care. The information is much easier to access and more up-to-date. "We improved it by listening to the people who use the site," Koch said. "They told us what they need, and we put it in place. It reflects the expressed needs of wounded, ill and injured servicemembers, veterans and their families."

The site also has a news section, "and we've gotten smart about social media now, and that's accommodated," Koch said. The site also has a section developed with VA on homelessness and how the government can provide the information homeless veterans need.

The site contains a new "bookmark and share" application that users can click to point out content they've found most helpful through social bookmarking, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools. Visitors also can subscribe to RSS or e-mail updates to receive new content, events and features based on their specific interests and needs.

Biographies >>
Noel Koch

Related Sites>>

National Resource Directory
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Labor

Source: Department of Defense

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