COVID Veteran Network Survey

May 15, 2020

Executive Summary

The Mission Continues (TMC) is committed to supporting veterans as we adjust and adapt to ever-changing conditions related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In April 2020, we surveyed our veteran network to understand how we can best support them in the coming weeks and months. 100% of our 555 respondents* said they want to virtually connect with us during this time of physical distancing. This is particularly important because many of our respondents shared concerns regarding their mental and emotional health during the pandemic. Foundational to all of our work, are the pillars of personal growth, connectedness and community impact. While our impact may look differently during COVID, we are committed to maintaining our focus on strengthening connectedness with and among our veterans. These survey results will help guide us to adapt best practices to and provide even more opportunities for veterans and their families during this crisis.

The Problem and Our Solution

Respondents shared concerns related to overall well-being – specifically related to emotional and mental health. The majority of our veterans (55%) shared their energy levels have been lower than usual during the pandemic. Nearly half of our respondents shared they have concerns regarding not being able to socialize with others (46%). Additionally, many of our veterans shared they have concerns around feeling depressed (40%) and feeling isolated (35%).

Connectedness has long been core to The Mission Continues, and we are building on that foundation to creatively engage our veteran network remotely. A handful of our innovative actions include: creating virtual content that is posted on our updated YouTube platform–the Charlie Mike Channel, conducting virtual peer-to-peer check-ins of our veterans, and strengthening relationships through remote family-inclusive social events. We will continue to build on these ideas to provide veterans and their families diverse opportunities to purposefully socialize with others. By doing so, we will guide and support our veteran community to constructively cope with stressors, such as feeling depressed and feeling isolated.

Moving Forward with Urgency

Our engagement now can have an immediate and enduring effect as we are committed to stewarding our existing relationships and to welcoming more people into our TMC family during this crisis. Thirty-nine percent of respondents who have not yet received a virtual check-in shared that they would like us to connect with them in that manner. We have begun implementing an action plan to reach out to those individuals, as well as providing unique opportunities to those who have already been engaging with us during this time. This points to the importance of having a support system and the positive role that peer-to-peer interactions can play in helping all of us cope during this remarkable time.

The Mission Continues is dedicated to connecting veterans and communities to create sustainable change. The hardships faced by communities where we operate will be great, the challenges persistent and the need for veteran talent will be greater now more than ever. By strengthening and expanding our relationships with veterans and their families, we will have the crucial ready reserve of volunteers that will be vital to navigating COVID-19’s long-term effects in communities across the country.

*The Mission Continues’ COVID-19 Veteran Network survey was sent to 12,189 individuals. We received 555 responses, a response rate of 4.5%.