What exactly is FAVA?
FAVA provides information, education, advocacy and support to families of veterans and veterans across America at a time of their critical need. Such need arises, for example, when veterans return from combat with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); when veterans and their families need assistance in getting help from the VA; when veterans suffer from addictions to drugs or alcohol; when veterans have encountered the criminal justice system, including incarceration; when veterans have attempted, or committed, suicide; in short, when veterans and their families are suffering in any way from service-related issues and problems. Focused assistance to veterans and especially, their families is FAVA's prime objective.
A Complementary Role to the Federal Government
Federal government agencies are not well-structured and organized to provide assistance to families of veterans in need. Furthermore, there are only a limited number of private organizations to which veterans' families can turn for help when in need. FAVA fills the gap in providing necessary, direct, immediate and personal assistance to the families of veterans in need.
Building A Robust Network
FAVA will seek to establish a peer-to-peer, (family-to-family) network which provides mentoring, guidance, education and information services to the families of veterans in need, helping their veteran loved one. A number of founding members of FAVA are currently, but informally, providing such services and have even done so for a number of years. For example, FAVA members receive numerous phone calls and emails from families who need help. Such families need to know that someone, with intimate knowledge of the variety of issues confronting them is listening to them, understanding them, and, most importantly, believing the often heartwrenching stories about what is happening to such families. Listening, understanding, believing and helping are FAVA's most important service to veterans and their families.
FAVA families have experienced the same despair, fear, anxiety, isolation and helplessness as the families they are serving. Because FAVA families have experienced and confronted the same, seemingly hopeless, issues of PTSD, TBI, addictions, jail time, legal issues, suicide attempts and an unresponsive government system – to name just a few, they are often in the possible position to empathize with, understand, mentor, respond to and assist the families of veterans in need who feel alone, uncared for and desperate. FAVA members are attuned to the signs and symptoms of problems and needs that veterans exhibit upon returning from military service. Often such veterans heavily rely upon, and even live with, their parents and other family members, following their military service. FAVA is organized to educate, inform, mentor and aid these and all, families of veterans in need. By helping the families of veterans in need, FAVA will honor the military service of such veterans in a uniquely compassionate, caring and effective manner.
FAVA will provide easy access to help and support the families of veterans in need by calling (641) 243-4103. Families will be able to speak to a call center operator, who will be a FAVA family member and who understands what such families are going through. FAVA will document and maintain a data base of family information on both a national and state level to assist FAVA in providing the families of veterans in need with information relevant to their particular need such as, for example a network of families nearby the particular family in need for important family-to-family support.