1.Is The Frontlines free for everyone?
Ans:Yes, The Frontlines is free. It was created by a veteran for veterans and does not charge for use of the site. However, we do have an Amazon affiliate link that we would be grateful if you used it for all of your online shopping. Using our Amazon link helps differ our costly online hosting. We also have a Frontlines store for buying T-shirts and gear that help with costs. Lastly, we hope that companies will one day advertise their support of veterans and contact us too! Note: Both Amazon link and the store are located under "Support" on footer)
2.How can The Frontlines Social Network help active duty, veterans, military families and citizens?
Ans:Active duty servicemembers, veterans and military families are faced with complex communication needs that are unlike most groups in the world. Active duty, veterans and spouses are denied services for a myriad of reasons, depending upon their location, age, sex, color and disability type. When services are not provided, it can have a negative impact on not only the individual's communication abilities, but also on his or her day-to-day quality of life and independence. For example, when an active duty servicemember is separating the military who is there to help them with the transition? How does a veteran access needed VA help without a six month wait list? How does a military spouse find employment every time they PCS? The Frontlines as a military specific social network aims to provide both resources, education, and historical preservation of veterans stories. But perhaps most importantly through this dedicated social network people can be connected to not only other veterans, but active citizens looking to support the veteran community. It is through this all encompassing network that issues such as veteran unemployment can be solved. This may sound idealistic, but according to six degrees of separation everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of a “friend of a friend” can connect any two people in six steps or fewer. So let’s see what we can accomplish in six steps or less?
3.How can Social Networks help the military community?
Ans:As discussed in the previous question, a Social Network is useful in helping to advocate for appropriate services through multiple means of communication. Social Networks will help to unite the nearly 24 million veterans and 76 million descendants of veterans by systematizing information in a way that allows it to be used effectively as a supportive veteran advocacy tool. There truly is strength in numbers.
4.What else does The Frontlines offer?
Ans:The Frontlines bridges helps to filter the 400,000 available resources and providing a “checklist” for service members and their families to use as they remain on active duty or transition to veteran status. Besides customized resources, The Frontlines provides a personalized social networks so that users can interact with one another, and possibly connect with former service members. There is also all forms of "storytelling" such as videos, pictures, letters, art, or songs. There is also the ability to post book, movie and gear reviews of items of interest by those affiliated with the military.Lastly, the "dossier" (AKA profile) lists a description of your service, campaigns, and any awards you may have had. It represents a time capsule for future generations to use in order to have a better appreciation of the sacrifices veterans made while serving in the armed forces.
5.Why is it important to see or read veteran stories?
Ans:A picture is worth a thousand words; and a video is worth a million. How much do you remember of your grandparents? or great grandparents? Modern technology allows us to remember for posterity. Think of The Frontlines as a living time capsule for your stories. Through the experiences of those that have actually lived it, future generations will have a better appreciation of the sacrifices and most importantly the lessons. “Those that do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” - George Santayana
6.Are there ways for interviewers to help veterans develop their story?
Ans:Some of the questions you may ask during an interview require a certain amount of deep reflection. Thus, you may wish to give interviewees a list of questions in advance to help them gather their thoughts, journals or whatever other memorabilia they may wish to include. To learn more about interview questions check out our 25 Interview Questions in the Resources section or News for the latest info.
7.So, what sorts of decisions does The Frontlines help veterans to make?
Ans:The Frontlines seeks to provide a 'big picture' assessment that will assist the veteran community and active citizens to make informed decisions about: 1) the range and efficacy of current communication between the veteran community and civilians. If we don’t share our story who will? 2) immediate goals for improving veteran trouble spots (i.e., improving the quality of VA care, small business incentives for veterans, improved transition services, military spouse employment etc. etc.) 3) the advantages and disadvantages of trying new tools and techniques to address veteran issues 4) any skills training that may be necessary (for active duty, veterans and military spouses) 5) when and how to assess the efficacy of proposed interventions to address PTSD, TBI, homelessness etc. 6) long term planning for future veteran needs. How do we provide long-term care if we don’t fund it? or plan it? interventions, and 7) educational learning programs that accurately reflect the veteran point of view (If we don’t define our story who accurately will? CNN? Fox News?)
8.What if someone submits a story or creates a profile and lies?
Ans:“What if someone submits a story or creates a profile and lies?” If a person chooses to lie aren’t they tarnishing their own legacy? Not everyone can be a Navy SEAL, a pilot or Green Beret but at least you served, and that in it self is the legacy worth sharing. However, if a person lies, is racial, prejudice or post inappropriate content please contact us ASAP so we can address the issue.
9.What is Theorem?
Ans:Simply put, it is a tool which helps people find the sentiment of the pages using the keyword on the web. This sentiment analysis is designed for veterans to search beyond the 5 meter target that our resources provide and individually search for more items of interest. (Details on specific employment, other articles discussing PTSD, other pertinent issues etc. etc.)
10.Why Corporations and Companies want The Frontlines?
Ans:The advantages of social media and why Corporations and Companies would want to support and use The Frontlines is based off of 5 factors: 1) Legitimacy and authenticity with the majority of the armed forces, not a top down approach but instead from a veteran for veterans. The upper ranks of our military normally have no problems in finding employment and a sense of community after leaving the service but what about the rest of the force? The Frontlines is a safe and inclusive environment for fostering community regardless of rank or which state you end up in. 2) Investment Value-After reaching out and hiring veterans companies have NO network to address their lifetime needs, which potentially means the company loses in their investment and training of the new employee. Simply put, the company is not getting the most out of their money invested in hiring a veteran. It is not the company's responsibility to know every resource available to veterans, but it is in the company's best interest to provide a network capable of providing those resources. Within the past three years 53% have hired veterans, but there remains no network of support after that veteran is hired. The Frontlines as the only social utility network and provider of resources, and community, can prolong the tenure and increase the productivity of veterans in an organization. 3) How do we get the most out of employees? By providing a network of tailored resources to their personal needs and life-cycle, which will make them better employees by mitigating the stressors through use of community as found in an inclusive social network. 4) Ability to mobilize the masses. Social media has no walls and if employed correctly can connect individuals better than any other technology tool. As a species of stories, storytelling is the most powerful communications tool we have, and through these collected stories whether in a corporation or on the battlefield we can lead and define future moments. As Dr. Pamela Rutledge author of The Psychological Power of Storytelling said, “ When organizations, causes, brands or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe, participate with, and share. This is the basis for cultural and social change” (2011, pa. 5). Corporations or companies seeking further information or wishing to support The Frontlines please contact us. Thank you.