Coalition of Charities, Funders Launch Initiative to Help Returning Veterans

ITT Exelis has announced a five-year, $5 million commitment to help launch Community Blueprint, a national initiative designed to reintegrate returning military service members, veterans, and their families into society.

With more than a million service members slated to return home in the next five years, the initiative seeks to develop and enhance a comprehensive local support system that addresses the diverse issues and needs that affect returning service members, veterans, and their families.

To that end, some two hundred cities and towns will be established as Community Blueprint communities by 2014. Current sites include Huntsville, Alabama; the state of Delaware; Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County, California; Denver, Colorado; Jacksonville and Miami, Florida; Atlanta, Macon, and Valdosta, Georgia; the state of Indiana; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Dallas, Huntsville, and Tyler, Texas; Fairfax and Hampton Roads, Virginia; and Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. National volunteer service organization Points of Light will lead the initiative in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and a coalition of more than fifty-five veteran and military service organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies.

In conjunction with the launch, ITT Exelis also announced the establishment of the Exelis Action Corps, a new employee volunteer program that will focus the company's human resources on the effort.

"We salute ITT Exelis for making it possible for Points of Light, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and our fifty-five partner organizations to launch the Community Blueprint on a national scale," said Points of Light CEO Michelle Nunn. "Points of Light is honored to be leading this new initiative, which will create better collaboration between government agencies and veteran and military service organizations, and effectively engage local communities and their leaders in addressing the diverse and complex issues affecting returning service members, veterans, and their families."