New App Helps New Jersey Veterans [AUDIO]
If you are a New Jersey veteran returning home from deployment and you're looking to find information on the many services available to help you in your transition back to civilian life, you have technology on your side. There's an app for that and it was created by a veteran.
An eight-year veteran of the New Jersey National Guard, Lloyd Deans was deployed to Baghdad in 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Before that he helped with a flood mission in Bound Brook, N.J. and border patrol in New Mexico.
"The National Guardsman operates a dual life," says Deans. "They're a civilian one day and a soldier the next. After deployments we come back home to our armories, to our families, to our jobs and to our communities. Unlike our active duty counterparts where everything is provided for you on base, National Guard and reservists have to search for local, state and federal resources specific to their needs."
His personal search for research is what inspired the Deans' List App says Deans. In August 2012 he started to research veterans' resources online and he discovered that it couldn't be found all in one place. Deans was sure there was a smart phone app for veterans' resources. There were none.
"My mission became simple," explains Deans. "The Deans' List App would aggregate current information and vetted resources for veterans and their families free. [...] I decided in order to make my application different I would vet every resource by speaking with the decision maker in the company before I added them to the Deans' List App."
Before creating his app, Deans says he talked to his "battle buddies" about what they would be looking for and then he started a social media campaign and met with officials in Washington.
With the Deans' List App, veterans and their families can find information about programs that work with amputees, help those struggling with substance abuse and addiction, help those suffering with mental health issues and more.
"Veterans and their families are able to seek and research help for specific resources they need through the Deans' List App when they are ready," says Deans.