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As the scandal at the Veterans Administration continues to raise serious questions about the health care system’s treatment of vets, private employers can step in and help take care of employees who served in the military. Look no further than an employee assistance program for help.

One company, ACI Specialty Benefits of San Diego, has chosen perhaps the most appropriate kind of employee to serve as clinical manager for its new Veteran Connection product, which offers veterans updated online resources — including Youtube videos, blogs, and a live Twitter feed — as well as  training, consultation, outreach materials and data analysis for clients with employees who’ve served in the military. Though ACI had services dedicated to veterans in the work place for some time, the company re-tooled and launched Veteran Connection in late May with Major Megan Hawker serving as clinical manager.

Major Megan HawkerHawker is an Army veteran who spent five years on active duty with two tours in Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now Hawker, 33, serves in the Reserves and works with veterans across the country. Hawker’s expertise doesn’t stop with military service, though — she also has a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is pursuing a doctorate in the same field. A native of Narrowsburg, N.Y., Hawker recently took some time to answer BenefitPro’s questions about working with veterans, and what brokers and agents need to know in this time of increased focus on the well-being of our nation’s military veterans. 

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