Homeland defense mission scrubbed

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Soldiers' well-being is the focus of a local foundation that used to zero in on national security and defense issues. - MARK LEWIS
  • Mark Lewis
  • Soldiers' well-being is the focus of a local foundation that used to zero in on national security and defense issues.
Three years after terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, locals saw an opportunity. With financial backing from the El Pomar Foundation, the National Homeland Defense Foundation was created in 2004, based in Colorado Springs.

The foundation was envisioned as a professional and trade organization for national security specialists and issues, and it hosted an annual National Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense staged at The Broadmoor.

Well, forget all that. Now, the group has repurposed itself into a completely different outfit called Peak Military Care Network, which will provide services in support of soldiers and airmen and veterans. Those include advocacy, behavioral health, crisis intervention, workforce readiness and employment, reintegration, substance abuse, domestic violence, education and so on.

This means it will abandon the homeland security aspect, says Rebecca Tonn with Blakely + Co., which issued a news release as follows, on behalf of the newly named organization:
Established in 2004, the National Homeland Defense Foundation was formed as a non-partisan, nonprofit forum for the United States’ response to the presence of terrorist threats.

Since its inception, NHDF has provided a public forum for the discussion and presentation of various homeland defense and security issues and solutions. The Foundation also hosted the annual National Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense for United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) for nearly a decade, as well as supported educational events, including the National Security Innovation Competition and Thought Leadership Conference.

In 2012, NHDF expanded its services and changed its mission to include a broader scope of work and provide support for defenders of the homeland – military veterans and first responders.

As part of that new mission, NHDF reached an agreement with Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments to establish and operate Peak Military Care Network, which provides services to and partners with other agencies to meet the holistic care needs of military members, veterans and families in the Pikes Peak region.

Since then, supporting Peak Military Care Network activities has become the focal point of the organization. To reflect that transition, NHDF’s Board of Directors decided to change NHDF’s name to Peak Military Care Network (PMCN).

“NHDF has contributed greatly to Homeland Security matters over the last decade, with lasting impacts to the nation,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Ed Anderson, former President of NHDF and Chair of the PMCN Board of Directors.

“The NHDF/PMCN Board sees addressing the needs of our military, veteran and first-responder community as a critical focus moving forward. By changing our name to the Peak Military Care Network, we will be able to concentrate our identity and efforts on the collaborative and coordinating work of PMCN in order to serve our homeland defenders and their families.”

At least one in four residents of the Pikes Peak region is a former or current member of the military, making the area home to one of the highest concentrations of service members in the nation.

PMCN connects the needs of the community’s military service members, veterans and their families to the highest-quality resources by providing a central source for information, navigation and integrated services.

In turn, PMCN’s partner agencies are committed to understanding military and veteran culture and the unique challenges faced by service members, veterans and their families, working together to meet the needs of individuals and families to provide support for the military and veteran community.

About Peak Military Care Network
Peak Military Care Network supports collaboration among community, military and veteran service providers to assist those providers and service members, veterans, and their families in identifying resources and streamlining access to services to meet their needs. Connecting individuals and families to information and the highest quality resources, PMCN facilitates seamless transitions between service providers by providing a central source for information, navigation, and integrated services.

PMCN and its partner agencies offer a broad range of information and assistance to support the whole individual and family, including advocacy, behavioral health, child welfare and family support, crisis intervention, education, employment and workforce readiness, medical and physical health, social services, and transition and reintegration.

In addition, PMCN provides training and information-sharing opportunities to partner agencies to ensure community-based agencies understand the unique needs of the military and veteran community and are aware of available resources (including military and VA services) to keep individuals and families out of crisis and improve health and well-being.

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