Let me be clear – I am a board member of OASIS. And I’d like to share with you the reasons I accepted this responsibility.
I was attracted initially by the fact that OASIS is an all-volunteer organization. No officer, employee or director accepts one penny of compensation to help our tip-of-the-spear warriors. (This approach has its limitations; we would be able to assist more service members, veterans, POWs, and all their families if we could afford to hire one or more full-time employees. We hope to be able to do so in the future.)
I fervently believe in the unique area of responsibility that OASIS has taken on as its mission. No one else does what we do with the specificity of the group we assist and the ways in which we do so. We provide respect, recognition and relief for POWs, service members and veterans of all special operations commands, be they Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, and their families.
OASIS provides briefings and one-on-one consultations to ensure that POWs and Special Operations personnel successfully navigate, with the direct assistance of our former VA rater volunteers, the byzantine Veterans Administration claims process. This ensures our service members that their service-connected medical needs are taken care of for life and, if their injuries warrant compensation because those injuries limit them in any way, they receive due consideration.
OASIS also provides continuing education counseling, encouraging these special warriors to take advantage of education benefits to seek a new career or add to their knowledge in an existing field of interest. Finally, OASIS has partnered with the Foundation for Financial Planning, which provides expert pro bono one-on-one financial counseling. These men are expert in combat but may not enjoy the same life skills others picked up while constantly deployed defending our nation. We aim to level that playing field.
OASIS is supported solely by donations-in-kind from service commands (like providing a venue for our briefing sessions,) support from special operations fraternal organizations like the Green Beret Foundation and the Navy SEAL Foundation and, most importantly, from private donors who recognize the sacrifice our special operations warriors have made.
Those of us working with OASIS are either former Special Operations Forces (SOF) members ourselves,
former VA raters, Veterans Service Representatives, or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors.
In short, we are SOF Helping SOF.
Joseph L. Shaefer
Brigadier General, USAF, Retired
Review from Guidestar