AmericaServes: Navigating For Those Who Have Served and Their Families
By Anthony Cosby
One of my most memorable experience as a Naval Officer comes from my time serving as Officer of the Deck (OOD) navigating the warship, USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). As an OOD at sea, I was in charge of the safe navigation and responsible for the lives of all crew members onboard. While navigating the warship, I was assisted by the Junior Officer of the Deck (JOOD), who was in process of qualifying as full OOD, and the Conning Officer, who was also training to become and OOD, but was directly responsible for the maneuvering of the ship. The following positions also assisted the OOD: Boatswain’s Mate of the Watch, Quartermaster of the Watch and Signalman of the Watch.
I took great pride in navigating charted waters to ensure that the warship was ready for combat and the crew safely arrived at so many remarkable ports across the world. As a veteran, I continue to serve as a family member of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) working with AmericaServes. The mission of AmericaServes is to catalyze and instill a sustainable, community-based commitment to care coordination excellence for America’s military connected members and their families. Throughout my work with AmericaServes, I taken even greater pride assisting veterans and military families with navigating the sometimes “uncharted waters” of veteran care and services throughout 16 communities across America.
My specific market area of operation is the Southwest Region, providing innovative practice, actionable strategies, technology, resources, and expertise to communities, organizations, and individuals who are willing to improve their efforts to serve the needs of veterans and their families in Texas and Oklahoma. In San Antonio, Texas, I have personally witnessed the life-changing impact of TXServes San Antonio. More than 800 clients, 1,300 requests for services from 62 providers have received “high-touch” from the phenomenal TXServes San Antonio led by Gary Timpson, Veteran Programs Coordinator, Lorena Vielmann, Case Worker, Cynthia Pierce and Kathryn Brown, Intake Specialist. The TXServes San Antonio family take great pride in serving over 255,000 veterans and military families currently in the 13 county Alamo region surrounding San Antonio.
I am reminded of the valuable work of the TXServes San Antonio family from a touching testimonial by an elderly military spouse. The military spouse and her veteran husband had never received healthcare benefits from the VA and the veteran needed healthcare services. After hearing about TXServes San Antonio from a good friend, the military spouse called the tollfree 1-888-SA-4-VETS number and inquired about assistance. The military spouse openly admitted that she was not comfortable navigating through the maze of veteran healthcare and service providers and truly needed help. Lorena quickly completed the intake of the military family, got consent and went to work connecting the referrals with network service providers that specialized in the specific need. The military spouse was amazed at the timeliness, respect and dignity that she received as four different service providers reached out to address her military family’s needs. The military spouse spoke about how grateful she and her veteran husband was to TXServes San Antonio and the service providers that compassionately guided her through every step of their healthcare and services journey.
President Abraham Lincoln once said, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” In 2018, IVMF’s AmericaServes along with strategic partners Accenture and UniteUs are answering that call to action by assisting military-connected members and their families with precision navigation of the maze of services in 16 communities throughout the nation. We are committed to serving the needs of those and their families who have selflessly sacrificed so much while defending America.