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Colonel David W. Sutherland
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Colonel David W. Sutherland, US Army (Ret.) is the chairman of Easter Seals Dixon Center and Chief Strategist for Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services and the president of Sutherland Partnerships, Inc. In these capacities he actively contributes to numerous national veteran and military family committees and boards, including the Student Veterans of America, Hope for the Warriors and the Gallant Few. Sutherland frequently speaks in communities at universities, businesses and conferences around the country as a vocal advocate and leader for our service members, military veterans, their families, and the families of our fallen. Colonel Sutherland culminated his 29 years of service following combat Brigade Command in Iraq as the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with principle focus on Warrior and Family Support. By visiting hundreds of communities and assisting thousands of organizations, he created a nationwide network of support utilizing grassroots solutions for veterans and their families. Awards and decorations include, among others, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge Second Award and Senior Parachutist Badge. He is also the 2013 Commitment to Service Award recipient presented by Give An Hour, 2008 Freedom Award recipient presented by No Greater Sacrifice Foundation and the 2011 Meritorious Service Award recipient presented by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans for his work on behalf of returning service members, veterans, military families and families of the fallen.

Entries by Colonel David W. Sutherland

Common Core Essential For Families of Vets, Active Forces

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 2:45 PM

Originally published on

One of the quickly learned lessons by U.S. military service members is that you move. And move often. On average, a service member moves every two to three years. For those with a family, this can mean six to nine different...

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Celebrating Caregivers This Holiday Season

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2015 | 4:38 PM

The holidays are a time of celebration, of family, of homecomings. Every November and December, when our sons come home from college, I watch my wife redouble her efforts to ensure we are comfortable. And that got me thinking about those who do this on an everyday basis.


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5 Common Myths About Veterans and Military Families

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 12:49 PM

This week we celebrate 22 million living veterans who span generations, conflicts and all U.S. states and territories. Less than eight percent of our country's population, though, has ever worn a uniform, leaving millions of civilians to get to know vets and military families through the...

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September 11: A Time for Reflection

(12) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 9:19 AM

An "Alive Day," a term well-known to those who are or have been in the military, is the anniversary of a day that you came close to death. It is not cause for an open celebration; rather, it serves as a day of reflection. In 2007, James Gandolfini produced the...

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Veteran Services Must Account for Changing Demographics

(2) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 1:22 PM

Today Easter Seals released a white paper calling for federal and state policymakers to invest in community-based solutions to improve the transition to civilian life for female veterans.

I would never presume to fully understand the unique challenges that female veterans experience - and I do not...

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Army Layoffs Mean 40K to Soon Join Civilian Ranks

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 5:02 PM

Last week it was reported that that the U.S. Army will reduce the size of its force by 40,000 soldiers between this year and 2018. This amounts to a cumulative cut of 120,000 soldiers, or 21 percent, since 2012.

It's easy to refer to these massive force...

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Putting Words Into Action

(2) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 12:00 PM

This country has a long history of men and women making sacrifices for our freedom.

As I celebrate our freedom and our county's independence this holiday with my family, I especially appreciate how actions across the country are enhancing the independence of those touched by military service.

Independence is...

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Hollywood Takes Action on Meaningful Employment for Vets

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 6:11 PM

I've heard people say that Hollywood is tough, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. That's certainly true of the veterans who worked on the latest public service announcement for Easter Seals Dixon Center. These men and women, who comprised most of the...

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All Gave Some. Some Gave All.

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 1:20 PM

This weekend marks one of the most sacred holidays of the year for me -- Memorial Day. It is a time to reflect on those who gave all for their country. It is our solemn duty to never forget and to honor their memories.

To the service members who...

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When End of Times Is Actually a New Beginning

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 5:36 PM

Making it happen. Getting it done. Those are traits I admire, and this week they are on full display at Live Nation in an announcement made by Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins.

Before going any further, I must issue a disclaimer. I hail from the Stevie Ray Vaughn...

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More Local, Less Government

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 5:22 PM

At the beginning of his political career, Ronald Reagan illustrated our over-reliance on government with the following truism: "Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, 'What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.' But the truth is...

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Tip #2: When It's OK to Talk About Yourself

(5) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 2:12 PM

To all vets, military families and active duty service members, let me tell you with great certainty that the majority of U.S. citizens do not know us. By that I mean that during the past decade, more than 99 percent of this country has never served in the...

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Tip #1: Create Your Own Military-Civilian Welcome Wagon

(10) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 6:34 PM

This is the first of several posts highlighting concrete solutions communities can implement to bridge the civilian-military divide. Skeptical that this schism exists? Think again.

A 2014 Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 55 percent had served in the military felt disconnected from civilian life. That...

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Bridging the Civilian-Military Divide

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 7:24 AM

Regardless of whether the U.S. extends its mission in Afghanistan, our nation's all-volunteer military force will continue to shrink over the next 12 months. Sequestration, not going away anytime soon, means that current troop levels will be fiscally impossible to sustain. Nearly 80,000 Army troops will be forcibly...

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Time to Give Hidden Military Heroes Their Due

(2) Comments | Posted February 8, 2015 | 5:32 PM

Two exceptional movies are making headlines on the awards circuit - American Sniper with Bradley Cooper and Still Alice with Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart. One looks at the Navy SEAL with more "kills" than any other sniper in military history. The other examines a successful career woman handling early-onset...

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The Unfulfilled Promise of Unbroken, the Movie

(3) Comments | Posted December 25, 2014 | 5:42 PM

I'm not a shill for Angelina Jolie or NBC Universal. Nonetheless, I'm going to encourage you to see the move "Unbroken". It's a fantastic story about courage, guts, resourcefulness - all the best traits of our service members, past and present.

I also want you to notice...

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Our Post-9/11 Vets: Primed for Greatness

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 12:18 PM

Personal experience tells me today's 2.7 million Afghanistan and Iraq veterans are poised to become tomorrow's next big thing.

By the end of this year, all but 9,800 of them will have left Afghanistan, ending 13 years of military engagement in the...

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Moving Past the Thanks

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 9:53 AM

Veterans Day is a very special day in my family. We take time to remember the men and women with whom I have served, many of whom have eaten dinner with us, played with the kids and crashed on our couch. In the military, everyone is family.

My military family...

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Veteran Services, There Is No "I" in "Team"

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 2:12 PM

In his last public speech, the great Revolutionary War orator Patrick Henry cried, "United we stand, divided we fall." It seems fitting to recall this saying the week our country celebrates Independence Day, a holiday made possible by America's first organized army.

It is also imperative that we remember...

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