Panhandle Warrior Partnership launched to support veterans in Florida

Special to The Destin Log/USA TODAY NETWORK
Keith Manley

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct two transposed digits in the Panhandle Warrior Partnership phone number. The correct number is 850-945-8387.

AUGUSTA, Georgia — America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) announced that the Panhandle Warrior Partnership (PWP) is their latest affiliate that will use their Community Integration model.

The focus of PWP is to connect with veterans, their family members and caregivers to understand better what they need to improve their quality of life. Coordinated services are activities, volunteerism and purposeful engagement with other veterans, and occasionally housing, employment, access to education or health care available through community partners.   

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Community Integration (CI) is America’s Warrior Partnership’s evidence-based, proven model that provides communities with the tools that improve outreach and understanding of veterans in order to implement a customized local program responsive to veterans, families and caregivers.

A critical aspect of CI is the unique approach to connect with, educate and advocate for veterans in the community as they receive services from local veteran-serving organizations. The CI model is active in six affiliate communities across the country, serving over 54,000 veterans.

"We are proud to have the Panhandle Warrior Partnership on our nationwide team of communities to lead the community in connecting with veterans locally," said Jim Lorraine, president and CEO of America's Warrior Partnership. "We’ve learned over the last 10 years of serving veterans in the community that 90% of the issues can be solved locally. This is especially true in the Panhandle, where the community embraces those who serve and have served in the military.”

Two dedicated staff lead the PWP team: Keith Manley, program lead, and Kenny Thompson, case coordinator. Manley is a retired military veteran and a graduate of Troy University. Thompson has over a decade of working with veterans on the Gulf Coast. They will bring years of experience, knowledge and understanding to provide a high level of support to the organization.

“Having lived and served in the Panhandle for more than seven years, I recognize the need for veterans and their families to have a knowledgeable, well-connected advocate to help improve their quality of life as well as lift up a fellow service member or veteran in my community,” said Manley.

Learn more about the Panhandle Warrior Partnership and AWP’s Operation Deep Dive, a veteran suicide prevention study, during a Facebook Live event on Wednesday, May 19, at 1 p.m. CT. Information about the event is here: https://fb.me/e/7R6IzHjfM 

Panhandle area veterans seeking connections with local and national resources can contact the Panhandle Warrior Partnership here: 850-945-VETS or www.americaswarriorpartnership.org/panhandle.