Getting to know the military-friendly Upstate of South Carolina
May is National Military Appreciation Month. While you may not immediately think of South Carolina as a military-rich area of our country, the Palmetto State, with its eight military installations, boasts more than half a million veterans in the state (although actual numbers are probably much higher). When added to the more than 62,000 Department of Defense personnel, you have a significant portion of the population that is, or at least once was, military focused.
Although the Upstate of South Carolina doesn’t have a large military base outside of the Reserve units scattered across the ten-county region, around a third of the state’s veteran population resides here. And because of this, the community has a strong base of veteran-focused initiatives that serve our veterans, military spouses and military families. Here are just a few of the organizations you may run into in the Upstate.
Upstate Warrior Solution
As you’re getting to know the Upstate, looking for charitable or volunteer opportunities, and if you’re in need of services or resources for veterans or military families, a great place to start is with Upstate Warrior Solution. The proverbial “first line” of information, UWS is an important resource for veteran needs in the Upstate, with direct connections to resources in housing, healthcare, employment and more. Because their service area spans the full extent of the Upstate (with Greenville, Spartanburg and Clemson locations), they are a great resource for information, connections or just meeting other local veteran and military families.
Built right here in the Upstate, sharpenWARRIOR is an app designed to help local veterans and warriors find hope, healing and health through online content. The app is free to download and provides numerous videos and resources that are created by veterans, for veterans.
The RECON Network
This national organization started right here in the Upstate and is focused on helping veterans and military spouses find purpose in their transition and career search. The fully-online platform, called RECON:Global, offers a curriculum highly focused on individual purpose, and helping users find fulfilling and meaningful careers. Additionally, keeping focus on the company’s roots in Greenville, The RECON Network offers an annual conference on veteran employment in the fall.
The Honor Foundation
Although The Honor Foundation’s main offices are found elsewhere—in Virginia Beach, San Diego and Camp LeJeune—the support for the group found here in the Upstate has resulted in a staunch partnership that aims to recruit retired Special Forces and Navy SEALs into the Upstate community and its companies. As a result, each September you may run into a group researching the area or attend a local fundraiser for the organization.
About the Author
Jordana Megonigal was an Upstate-based editor and publisher for 15 years, until she put it all aside to become CEO of The RECON Network. Her passion is helping connect veterans and military families to the resources they need to thrive in their next stage of life.