03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Michelle Obama Announces Community Service Network for Vets

On Veterans Day, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of Mission Serve, a network that links veterans to community service groups, calling upon Americans to commit themselves to volunteering.

The initiative, part of the public-service group Service Nation, aims to help veterans better integrate themselves in their communities, with only 13 percent of veterans reporting that their transition back to civilian life is going smoothly, The Christian Science Monitor reports. Mission Serve comes at a time where the unemployment rate of veterans is rising and nearly 2 out of 3 veterans report that they feel their skills are not being sought out by their community.

The idea of Mission Serve is to join groups already engaged in community service programs with veterans who have a desire to perform public service. A former Marine, for example, could have leadership skills to volunteer or work at a high school. A retired soldier could work with troubled youth. But there is no organized group bringing the skills to the need.

Mission Serve also wants civilians to engage with veterans in community service that benefits the needs of the military community, whether it be working on a free summer camp for military kids or offering veterans vocational, educational training and support.

Watch First Lady Michelle and Obama and Dr. Jill Biden during the Mission Serve announcement:

Read Michelle Obama's full remarks on Mission Serve.

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