Supporting our military, veterans and family members

Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 20:37:33-04

More than one third of our friends and neighbors are active duty military or veterans and their dependents.  

Serving the needs of military families in San Diego is integral and more important than ever. Did you know? 

Military, Veterans, and family members residing in San Diego County:

  • Over 225,000 Veterans
  • Over 600,000 Veteran family members and survivors
  • Over 115,000 Active Duty Military
  • Over 285,000 Dependents

These numbers equate to over 1.2 million residents in San Diego County associated with Military and Veterans, close to 39 percent of the 3.2 million residents in the County.

Throughout September, ABC10 is bringing you information about organizations and programs available to support active duty military, veterans and their families. 

The stress of deployment, finances and daily life can be challenging, particularly to military families and dependents. 

Family and caregiver support services such as Child Welfare Services have Military liaisons who coordinate and consult on a variety of military family advocacy programs to support families in crisis. From training to treatment, the CWS Military Services is a wonderful resource. 

CONTACT: CWS Military Liaisons Program Manager 858-694-5742 

The County Office of Military & Veterans Affairs assists veterans and their dependents and survivors to obtain benefits from the federal, state and local agencies administering programs for veterans, and provides advocacy to the veteran’s community regarding entitlement rights to federal, state and local benefits programs.

This includes VA disability claims, college fee waivers, education, in-home supportive services, emergency needs (shelter), survivor’s compensation claims, non-service connected pensions, death pensions, and appeals for veterans’ benefits.

Other Military and Veteran outreach programs to look for:

  • Vet-Connect Program
  • Veteran Services Representative (VSR) Outreach Program
  • Military & Veterans Resource Centers (Escondido/National City/Oceanside)
  • San Diego Veterans Coalition
  • CalVet College Fee Waiver

In San Diego, our military is a huge part of our history, sense of community and vibrant culture. 2-1-1 serves as the single access point for information, referrals, navigation and ongoing care coordination for active duty military, veterans and their immediate families. We are also honored to answer the Courage to Call network, San Diego’s peer-to-peer talk and chat line.

Veterans Village of San Diego, or VVSD, assists homeless veterans who have substance abuse and/or mental health issues, including men and women who have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. At the heart of VVSD's programs are five pillars of success: Prevention, Intervention, Rehabilitation, Aftercare and Employment services.

For parenting and health concerns, the North Coastal Public Health Center at Camp Pendleton Support provides Public Health Nursing services focusing on health promotion and individualized services to pregnant or parenting women.

The San Diego Military Family Collaborative’s mission provides a forum of community resources to enhance military family life. 

But the most important time is family time! 

Where can military families turn to? As a nonprofit, the YMCA strives to meet the needs of the community. Serving military families in San Diego is integral. 

YMCA of San Diego County serves nearly 20,000 military members throughout San Diego County. 

All YMCAs throughout the county offer active duty military and veterans 10 percent military benefits off membership fees and do not charge a join fee. 

But their most important programs are for military children and families.

At the Ecke Family YMCA in Encinitas, one of their more impactful programs is called Operation Appreciation Summer Day Camp. In partnership with the Armed Services YMCA, they provide a special week of camp to all military children ages 6-13 whose parents are stationed on Camp Pendleton.

The YMCA is able to offer this camp free of charge due to fundraising dollars.

For more information visit to contact the YMCA closest to you for membership and programming.