On June 14, Mission Daybreak hosted a virtual roundtable with different perspectives on Veterans’ experiences. The speakers discussed Veteran experiences, including the difficulties of transitioning from military to civilian life, what makes the Veteran experience unique, and meeting Veteran needs. Panelists included:

  • Lieutenant General Gary M. Brito, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 of the United States Army
  • Dr. Anne Lord Bailey, Director, Clinical Tech Innovation, VHA Innovation Ecosystem
  • Dr. Pamela End of Horn, DSW, LICSW (Oglala Lakota), National Suicide Prevention Consultant, Indian Health Service Headquarters, OCPS/Division of Behavioral Health
  • Dr. Nathan Graeser, Director, Veteran Initiatives, SoCal Grantmakers

Following the panel discussion, the speakers answered questions from attendees. Watch the session recording and read on for highlights from the virtual event. Also, see the presentation slides; the challenge FAQ will be updated later this week with questions and answers from the virtual session.

What do you want solvers to know about Veterans’ transition back into community life?

“If you pick one thing that is helping our veterans now, it’s a very deliberate transition plan. And it may be one year when you get your physical done, your finances done, opportunities to build resumes and job interviews, and really transition from that uniform to a polo shirt. Some of the work we’re doing with organizations that assist Veterans doing that has been critical to maintaining a quality of life with them individually and their families.”
Lieutenant General Gary M. Brito

“From individuals who are coming out of the military service into the VA, they don’t know where to go. Who do they contact? In addition to that, if you know of somebody who’s transitioning, get them connected as soon as possible. I know too many veterans who waited until they were in a crisis, or they were having a medical issue. And then, they had to start going through that process in a very difficult time. Get that ahead of time, so that if anything should happen, it’s set up for them.”
Dr. Pamela End of Horn

What do you hope will change because of this challenge?

“​​What I would love for us all to continue to learn, is that those Veteran-civilian connections are really important. And if you don’t personally know Veterans now, please find a way to get to know some Veterans if you’re a civilian. If you’re a Veteran and you aren’t particularly engaged with the civilian community, please reach out, and get to know your neighbors. Because I think there’s some great bridges to be built, and we can change each other’s lives just by getting to know each other.”
Dr. Anne Lord Bailey

“The majority of Veterans who commit suicide are not VA-connected. Designing a solution and building a model that gets to those Vets who aren’t already connected to services, is the way forward. It has to be. It can’t be more of the same, which is generally how we’ve been solving problems. What we have to do is think about a way to get to Vets who aren’t currently accessing the support they need.”
Dr. Nathan Graeser

Enter Mission Daybreak by July 8

Solvers should submit detailed concept papers to Phase 1 by 4:59 p.m. EDT on July 8, 2022. Some innovators will have market-ready solutions, while others will have early concepts — in Phase 1 of Mission Daybreak, the quality of the idea and potential for viability is more critical than present-day maturity.

30 finalists will be selected to participate in a virtual accelerator, which will provide resources — from exclusive data sets to networking and mentorship — to help solvers prepare their final submissions.

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