Skip to main content

Veteran Connector

Everyone Can Help to Better Serve Our Veterans and Their Families By Asking "Have You Served?" 

Earlier identification of service members, veterans and their families allow for referrals to be made proactively prior to a crisis. This is very important, as we know the more connected veterans are to the benefits and resources (federal, state and local) they have earned through military service, the lower their risk for suicide and other self-harming behaviors. It is as simple as asking or posting a flyer that states: "Have you or a member of your immediate household served in the military?"
Veteran Connector logo

The Michigan Veteran Connector Program is a network of healthcare institutions, businesses, and community members throughout the state of Michigan, who have committed to asking the question: "Have you or a member of your immediate household ever served in the military?" By asking this simple question, Veteran Connectors assist in identifying members of their military connected population, as not all veterans self-identify. This question can easily be incorporated into existing hiring or onboarding processes for new employees but can also be used in community-facing organizations, where clients or patrons may be veterans.

Once they've "asked the question," Veteran Connector organizations go an additional step by asking a second question: "Have you connected to the benefits you may have earned for your service?" Veteran Connectors are provided 'toolkits' from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, which contain information on many of the benefits veterans may qualify for. Connectors may provide this information to their veteran population and direct them to the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET (642-4838), where a "Benefits Checkup" can be scheduled to determine the next steps in their process toward seeking benefits.

Why is this important?

Veterans, service members, and their family members do not always self-identify.
"Have you served" versus "are you a veteran" is the preferred method as it enables those who do not feel comfortable or don't identify as a veteran to be recognized.
You are likely to see veterans and even service members everywhere.

Why should you be aware?

Military service could be a significant connection point for you and the people you interact with.
Service connections could offer insight into other people's experiences and needs.
Service, deployment, military experiences and combat experiences can all have a profound impact on an individual's life and family.

Best practice recommendation- how and when of screening for military connectivity:

How to Ask: "Have you or a member of your immediate household served in the military?"
When to Ask: Each new case or interaction. Ideally the question would be incorporated into the intake process (healthcare institutions), or onboarding process (for newly hired employees), but not exclusively limited to these situations. Many community-facing organizations have developed innovative ways to incorporate this question into engagements with clientele and patrons.
Where: We encouraged organizations to post free materials within their lobbies, post MVAA banners on their websites, and have MVAA business cards available in high trafficked areas.
Next Steps: Become a MI Veteran Connector and start making an impact TODAY!

To show your support for Michigan veterans, take the pledge to ask your patients, colleagues, clients, or customers if they served. Email to learn more and to become a Michigan Veteran Connector.

MVAA is a state agency; all services are provided at no cost. Not all veterans will qualify for benefits; eligibility requirements apply.

Need a resupply of Veteran Connector materials? Email
Need gun locks? Email