In a step to engage communities and help them understand the value of their military veterans, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has hit the road for more “conversations with the country.”
Mullen kicked off the “Conversations with the Country” tour April 18 with a visit to Columbia University in New York, followed by stops in Pittsburgh and Morgantown, W.Va. He plans to continue his “conversations” with academics, community leaders and veterans in upcoming travels, officials said.
Mullen said he is trying to connect the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and communities throughout the nation to better support veterans.
“We all need to look at how we work together in terms of assisting them, supporting them in the needs that they have: their education, their training, dealing with post-traumatic stress, dealing with the medical challenges, the injuries that have occurred,” he said in a podcast that will be broadcast next week.
Mullen said the key is to engage communities, focusing on universities and colleges as they are community-based and so strongly linked to community leadership.
The chairman said he intends to reach a large number of communities to connect community leaders with people who “have a great deal to contribute to the community and to our nation for many decades to come.”
“They’re great young people; they’ve have made a difference,” he said of veterans. “They’ve had life experiences that I think are incredibly valuable.”