By Mr. Jeff Crawley (IMCOM)June 29, 2017
FORT SILL, Okla., June 29, 2017 -- The Fort Sill USO Center's Transition Services held its ribbon-cutting June 20, at the Soldier for Life Transition Complex.
Site manager David Rollins and scout Missi Singer assist active service members, Guard/Reserve, family members, and new veterans in finding employment in the civilian workforce, as well as using their earned veterans benefits by connecting them with agencies, companies and organizations, both locally and nationally.
"We're here to support you," Rollins said. "Come in. It's all free, and we have all kinds of assets at the ready that we can help you tap in to."
The mission of Transition Services is to guide service members, veterans and their families to their next objective, Rollins said.
The staff does this by concentrating in eight categories: employment, education, housing, finance, legal, family support, VA benefits; and health and wellness.
Transition Services has great partnerships to connect its clients to those services that they need, Rollins said.
"We set up an appointment, and ensure that they get one-on-one support (from the receiving agency)," he said. "It's not a referral to a website, or an email. We make sure it's a warm hand-off to a person."
Singer said each individual who needs assistance receives a personalized service plan unique to their situation.
"Every service member has something very individual about them," she said. "Some may want to become a doctor, or another a truck driver, so the process for each Soldier is very different."
Transition Services can also assist service members who are interested in starting a small business, Rollins said.
Service members may use Transition Services up to one year after they have separated from the service, said Jennifer Kirby, Fort Sill USO Center director.
Transition Services also assists trainees who do not make it through basic combat training here, Rollins said.
"We help them with a resumé service, and we're about to start a finance class for them," he said.
During the ceremony, Fort Sill Garrison Commander Col. Samuel Curtis, Kirby, and Rollins cut the ribbon. Transition Services services had a soft opening in November, and has served more than 200 customers since then, Kirby said.
Three years ago Jack Dyer Crouch II, USO president, made it a goal for the organization to assist service men and women as they left the military, Kirby said. Transition Services ties in to the USO mission, which is to strengthen America's military by keeping it connected to family, home and country from the time they enter the service until they leave.
"We connect our clients with the resources that they need to come up with a plan so that they can exit the Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy in a successful manner," Kirby said.
Fort Sill USO was one of the first of 11 sites to offer Transition Services, Rollins said. The USO is going to add nine or 10 more Transition Services centers this year at a variety of installations.
"They will be scattered throughout to develop, not just services for that installation, but to have a network so wherever home is there can be a USO presence nearby," Rollins said.
Transition Services has helped a variety of service members of all ranks and ages since its soft opening, Rollins said. Customer feedback has included thanks for covering unique areas of the transition process, and thank yous for a positive experience.
For more information about USO Transition Services, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.