Why are the younger Veterans avoiding the Veteran Service Organizations?

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By Les Davis
Before I researched why the post-Vietnam generation of Veterans were not joining Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t veterans want to be around other veterans?” Truly, participating in a VSO provides a unique opportunity to serve our community with people from all walks of life, and also offers the opportunity to share the bond and comradery that melds us together as proud United States Veterans.
After months of research, most of which involved visiting many VSOs in several states, the answer became obvious: In all of the VSOs that I had the pleasure of visiting, I found that VSOs are standing by and waiting for this younger generation of veterans to just walk in and join like their fathers and grandfathers before them. And this appeared to be the “marketing strategy” to bolster membership in many, if not all, of the VSOs. Many VSOs rely solely on their names to entice these young veterans to show up and join, and most have a marketing campaign that hasn’t quite made it into the 21st Century. And quite frankly, some of the messaging is a little misleading.
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