Social Media sites for members of the military open new doors - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Social Media sites for members of the military open new doors

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Army Aviation Operation Specialist Tony Baker is grateful to finally be home with his family.

"I messed up my knee in Afghanistan and I fell on my weapon," said Baker.

However the 22 year old says being thrust back into civilian life and facing everyday challenges has been tough. 

"It's been very difficult trying to get back into working and get back into school," added Baker.

And that's not all that's on his mind right now.

"Finding the information to where all veteran's benefits and veteran's assistance that you can get is very difficult to find," said Baker. 

But in recent months, Facebook and other social media sites has become an important tool in tackling his issues.

"That's how I get all my information," said Baker.

"All my friends that I served with are on Facebook so I use that to get in contact with them."

As veterans make the transition out of military life, social networking has become a support system and lifeline.

North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan says social media sites are game-changers when it comes to reaching out to veterans.

"A lot of veterans they need help navigating this system and this is what these E-benefits actually do and it makes if much faster for the veterans."

"UNC Charlotte just received a 1.5 million dollars to help train veterans for job opportunities."

For Baker the sites have also become a way for him to keep in touch and share his experiences with others, something the experts say is invaluable for recovery.

"It makes me feel like there are still people out there like me."

The Veterans Affairs Department recently issued a social media policy that "highly encouraged" the use of blogs, Facebook, Twitter urging VA employees to interact with the public online.

That way Veterans have consistent and convenient access to reliable VA information.

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