Facebook app helps veterans, military families reconnect with friends
Frequent relocation is a rare constant for those who serve our country, which means military members and their families can easily lose touch with friends from one assignment to the next.
Social media tools have helped bridge some of that divide, but a unique Facebook application that launches today aims to keep the military community connected like never before.
The free app, called Veterans United Connect, helps service members and military families find and reconnect with old friends based on their service history, from installations and deployments to boot camp.
Users navigate the app through their Facebook account and input information about where and when they served. The app instantly generates friend suggestions and personalized matches based on the user's distinct history of service.
Veterans who served at Fort Bragg or any other installation worldwide can find and reconnect with old friends, share stories and upload photos, and get up to speed on a community they once called home.
Veterans United Connect is also helping to make the relocation process easier for military families. Users can make new friends, create support systems and learn about schools, social activities and base life weeks or even months before a military move.
That ensures services members and their families don't have to start over with every new assignment.
"The goal is to foster even stronger ties and communication among a community that's already given so much to our country," said Rob Stretch, social media manager for Veterans United, the nation's leading dedicated VA lender and sponsor of the application. "We want to enhance their experiences during and post-service as much as possible."
A pilot version of the application attracted a large user base and was profiled in Stars & Stripes in 2009. The new version features several important upgrades and is built to generate significantly more matches for service members and their families.
Veteran United Connect is expected to have more than 500,000 users by the end of 2011.
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