The U.S. Military Veterans Center in Second Life (SL) .is the foremost resource center for real-life veterans, active duty service members and their families. It is supported by primarily by donations and is not affiliated with or sponsored by any US government agency.
It includes an information center, a memorial garden, museum, a chapel, and a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Two national veterans organizations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and a family support organization are also represented .
In addition to its physical headquarters, the US Military Veterans Center is also a social group. Currently there are 240 members. The members of the group provide services to veterans and their such as classes and seminars on topics that pertain directly to them. The group also includes coalition members, veterans of allied forces who served and fought next to US forces.
U.S. Military Veterans Center in Second Life (SL) was started by a real life Desert Storm combat veteran of the U.S. Navy, a member of the Disabled Veterans of America, and of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who saw a need to bring veterans together for support and also to exchange information about programs, resources and services for veterans.
Since its launch, U.S. Military Veterans Center in Second Life (SL) has been instrumental in assisting several veterans. One individual, who is a disabled combat veteran who uses a wheelchair as a result of his injuries, was looking for assistance to make his house more wheelchair accessible.
One staff member, after reviewing the Veterans Benefits Handbook, confirmed the veteran was qualified for grant assistance. After contacting the DAV, the National Service Officer confirmed the veteran is eligible for a $50,000 grant to assist in making his home wheelchair accessible as well as an additional $11,000 to adapt his automobile in a likewise fashion.
Another individual was looking for resources relating to PTSD. After visiting the U.S. Military Veterans Center in Second Life (SL), he found the information he needed and was unable to find on his own. After consulting a checklist provided by the Center, he realized he could be suffering from this debilitating condition and scheduled an appointment with a counselor for the following week.
The Disabled American Veterans has conducted a feasibility study to determine whether Second Life can be used to deliver outreach and services to disabled American veterans and has decided to move forward. They have purchased a large area recently beginning construction on what will be a virtual convention center and home for the DAV in SL. Veterans who find U.S. Military Veterans Center in Second Life (SL) while exploring SL have joined DAV.
Another veteran, who leads a local VFW Post, has built a post as an extension of the VFW Post website. He saw an opportunity within SL to reach younger veterans without geographic hindrance and to provide them with the necessary information to transition to civilian life. He has also referred at least 6 individuals who were having problems with their VA disability ratings to VFW National Service Officers.
Some of the information provided by the VFW extension includes details of VFW programs and services, links for individuals to make donations to VFW sponsored programs (VFW Foundation, Operation Uplink, MAP, etc), PTSD Resources for service members and their families, and online recruitment links.