January 2020 SitRep

By Shaun Rieley


Happy new year—and new decade—to you!  Here at Philanthropy Roundtable, we are thinking about what a new decade means for the next phase of veteran philanthropy. 

The past ten years saw a laudable and much-needed rise in support for veterans and their families. But what if one important way to help veterans is by deploying them to tackle some of America’s toughest problems? Can philanthropy better serve veterans by providing them with more opportunities to serve their communities?

Join us in Washington, D.C. on May 13, 2020 to examine these questions, and consider ideas from social entrepreneurs working in various sectors who have ideas about how veterans can make a notable impact on their work given the right support. Stay tuned for more information!

Here’s your January situation report on the military and veterans space:

Veterans Philanthropy News

  • The PenFed Foundation, the charitable arm of the PenFed Credit Union, recently released a report in conjunction with their Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program, highlighting the best cities in the U.S. for veteran entrepreneurs:
  • Author, educator, and philanthropy advisor Doug White discusses his new book on the Wounded Warrior Project scandal that broke in 2016, looking at the origins of the scandal as well as lessons to be learned:
  • Veterans Healthcare and Disability News
  • A study of the historic data on military suicide shows no clear link to combat:
  • For House Veterans Affairs Committee staffer Rory Riley-Topping gives a review of the past decade for the Department of Veterans Affairs:
  • A study of nearly 200,000 veterans offers new insights into the genetic origins of anxiety disorders:

Veterans Education and Employment News

  • 2019 closed with another positive job report for veterans, as the veteran unemployment rate reached 2.8%:
  • A new association has been launched aiming to bring more veterans into newsrooms:
  • A “shark tank” for veteran entrepreneurs kicked off last month’s Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, awarding $50,000 to the winning pitch:
  • New Jersey’s Caldwell University has been ordered to pay $4.8 million in restitution for defrauding veterans who took online classes from them:

Other Items of Interest

  • Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), a Vietnam-era veteran, and Ranking Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, recently announced that he will retire from Congress at the end of this term:
  • Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) is preparing to take over Chairmanship of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee after former Chairman Senator Johnny Isakson retired last month:
  • Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee until his December 2019 retirement, reflects on his 20 years in Congress:
  • The National Humanities Alliance recently partnered with New York’s Jefferson Community College for a briefing on Capitol Hill highlighting a program entitled “Dialogues on the Experience of War” which uses the humanities to help veterans reelect on their experiences:
  • Columbia University linguist John McWhorter reflects on the word “Troops” and offers thoughts on why the media’s use of the term serves to dehumanize the people who do the nation’s fighting:

As always, if the Roundtable can be of assistance to you, or if you have good stories for next month’s news roundup, please email Shaun Rieley at


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