Featured Articles



September 11: A Time for Reflection

September 11th, 2015 by COL David Sutherland

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. 

Veteran Services Must Account for Changing Demographics

August 4th, 2015 by COL David Sutherland

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.


Army Layoffs Mean 40K to Soon Join Civilian Ranks

July 28th, 2015 by COL David Sutherland

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.


Putting Words Into Action

July 2nd, 2015 by COL David Sutherland

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

Hollywood Takes Action on Meaningful Employment for Vets

I've heard people say that Hollywood is tough, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

All Gave Some.  Some Gave All.

This weekend marks one of the most sacred holidays of the year for me -- Memorial Day. 


The Smashing Pumpkins and Easter Seals Come Together on Big Issue

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.


Who has the structure to serve veterans of all generations?

April 29th, 2015 by COL David Sutherland

Last week I visited Easter Seals Florida in Orlando and met four World War II veterans at the adult daycare centerthere. It was the highlight of my trip. It also reaffirmed what I love about Easter Seals.


In Search of an Improved Transition for Veterans

Testifying before a Congressional Committee is a great opportunity to inform and educate an important audience about a topic I’m very passionate about ways to improve the military-to-civilian transition.


7 Ways We’re Supporting Veterans and Military Families Right Now

Since our start in 2012 with the support of founding partner Prudential, Easter Seals Dixon Center and Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services work around-the-clock to assist veterans and military families with the solutions they need to live productive, successful lives in their communities.  Last year we worked with nearly 165,000 vets and military families. We’re looking to top that in 2015. Here are seven shining examples of how we are supporting veterans and military families right now.


Meet Our Top 5 Candidates for a Dream Mentorship with Judd Apatow

This time last year, Easter Seals Dixon Center launched the first in a series of public service announcements focused on veteran employment. The PSAs were not the typical, tear-at-your-heartstrings videos that flood the airways. Led by an all-star veteran cast and crew, these 30-second spots use light humor to challenge public perceptions of returning veterans. The two PSAs were hits with veterans and civilians alike, and continue to air on broadcast and cable TV.  Looking ahead to 2015, the launch of our third installment in the series is shaping up to be the biggest one yet.

What Veterans Day Means to Me

We asked some of our staffers at Easter Seals Dixon Center, the military and veterans’ arm of Easter Seals, what Veterans Day means to them. Their answers make us proud – and we thank them for their dedication.


HBO celebrates Veterans Day with The Concert of Valor

November 7th, 2014 by Jim

Starbucks, HBO and Chase are recognizing 16 veteran service organizations (VSOs) this Veterans Day on November 11th — and we are delighted to announce Easter Seals Dixon Center is included in this group! These VSOs are being highlighted for outstanding service and support of veterans and their families and will benefit from a very special THE CONCERT FOR VALOR.


Coming of Age After 9/11

September 11th, 2014 by COL David Sutherland

As I reflected on what 9/11 means to me, I got to thinking about those with whom I served who enlisted after 9/11. This blog post is for them, and for all of our readers who came of age after 9/11.

“I Did Some Good Over There”
By Kim Mitchell

Last Friday, on August 1st, I had the honor of participating in my second Old Glory Honor Flight. American Airlines, in partnership with Old Glory Honor Flight from Wisconsin, flew me and 150 Vietnam veterans who live in Northeast Wisconsin to Washington, DC. We spent the day in DC before going back to Oshkosh that evening for a long overdue homecoming and concert.

The Biggest Corporate Hiring Mistake: Ignoring Enlisted Soldiers
December 4, 2013

This article is by Col. David Sutherland (Ret.), who commanded a combat brigade in Iraq, has served as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and is co-founder and chairman of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services, an enterprise of Easter Seals.

This Veterans Day, Ways to Move Past the Thanks and Really Get to Know Us
November 11, 2013

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.

How to Hire a Veteran, Part Two
October 9, 2013

Someone told me a story this summer about a large communications agency that claimed it wanted to hire veterans and had posted all of its job openings to HireHeroes.org, but then said that it wasn’t getting very many responses and those that were submitted weren’t qualified. This company decided there just must not be a lot of veterans with communications skills looking for jobs in the Washington, DC area.

Lead From the Front: A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way
October 6, 2013

In June I blogged about “Lead From the Front," a philosophy for team-building based on years of real-life experience in the field, culminating in Iraq. Then I started dissecting the four traits of successful leaders in July, starting with character.

An Important Treaty on Disabilities Languishes in the U.S. Senate
September 26, 2013

When some of the world’s worst human rights abusers have ratified an important treaty on human rights but the United States has not, something is terribly wrong. This October, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to reconsider a United Nations treaty defending the rights of people with disabilities. Hopefully, this time around the panel will put the treaty back on track to ratification.

How to Hire a Veteran, Part One
September 26, 2013

When is a cook not just a cook? When he’s doing it for the U.S. military. A cook in the military handles inventories worth millions of dollars, manages the preparation of meals for a dining hall that serves thousands, turns around meals on a ship whose kitchen is as cramped as any New York City apartment and coordinates closely with foreign vendors and workers to deliver a good product.

Our Afghan and Iraq Vets: The Next “Greatest Generation”
September 18, 2013

If I asked you today if you know someone who served in the U.S. military, how would you answer? Too often, the response is, “No.” The National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics projects the number of veterans from recent conflicts to jump by 26% in the next three years. These are your friends, high school classmates, and neighbors.

Meet Kim Mitchell, Dixon Center Co-founder
September 16, 2013

You may have seen Kim Mitchell’s inspiring story on CBS News or on the home page of Dixon Center’s website. In the story, you see how Kim was reunited recently with the Vietnamese soldier that picked her up as an infant lying on the side of a road in Vietnam and brought her to the convent where she was ultimately adopted by an American airman and his wife.

What Happens When the Jumbotron Moment Ends?
September 10, 2013

Leadership is about motivation and vision. Motivation includes follow-up and follow through. It is also about doing what’s right for the organization rather than for personal or financial gain.

Moving from Jumbotron to Meaningful Maintenance
September 2, 2013

Our veterans and military families are great young people who will contribute to their communities in the future. In fact, it goes without saying that they will make a positive difference wherever they are. Right now, though, they need a little assistance during transition and reintegration in order to thrive.

Veterans Are Being Ill-Served by Too Much of a Good Thing
August 10, 2013

When it comes to addressing the needs of returning veterans, bigger isn’t better. Though it might sound counterintuitive, there simply are too many disparate organizations ineffectively servicing the needs of veterans. In military parlance, it is termed “groundswell without focus.”

Benchmark Websites for Veterans’ Services
July 22, 2013

It seems that everything can be acquired on the Internet nowadays. You want to find someone to ride your Harley with? Look for a Meetup group in your city. Cheats for a video game? A thousand sites abound. And if you’re a returning service member who needs some support? Sites promising a hand proliferate.

Who is NOT in the Room?
July 16, 2013

Maybe you’ve heard of Jack Lengyel, the football and lacrosse coach who took over football duties at Marshall University after the plane carrying the team crashed, killing most of the coaches and players. After this tragedy, the community came together and connected with survivors and mourners to ensure they had the support and services they needed to move forward.

Let’s Talk About Character
July 11, 2013

What does character mean to you? To me it means following through on your obligation(s) after that initial motivation is gone. It’s an elusive trait – so easy to say it’s important to you and yet so difficult to put into practice.

The No Wrong Door Approach
July 7, 2013

When you’re sharing a bunk with someone, trading MREs in the field, taking and returning fire, strong bonds develop (If everyone in the business world had an “I’ve got your back” mentality like we do overseas, this country would be unstoppable. But that is a posting for another day.)

What Type Of Impact Are You Making?
June 25, 2013

In my June 9 post “The Chilling Effect of the Sea of Goodwill,” I referenced a paper written by John Kania and Mark Kramer and published by The Stanford Social Innovation Review in Winter 2011. In this paper, they posit that “large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations.”

Lead From the Front
June 20, 2013

There’s always a front-page story about some organization’s failures and how it could be done better. And that’s typical in our society. We tend to focus on the negative because it’s easy to stand safely in the back of the crowd, pointing out what is wrong and why a good idea cannot become a great reality.

Paying More Than Lip-Service to Employment Issues
June 14, 2013

Let’s talk about veterans’ employment. It’s a hot-button issue, with everyone from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the White House urging corporate America to hire veterans. Laws exist requiring companies that do business with the U.S. government to actively pursue and recruit veterans. But does it actually happen? Not as often as I’d like.

The Chilling Effect of the Sea of Goodwill
June 9, 2013

Three years ago, while at the Joint Chiefs’ Office, I co-authored a white paper titled “Sea of Goodwill” with Major John Copeland. In it, we posited that the return of a service member to civilian society would be enhanced by the more than 400,000 resource organizations operating to bridge the gaps and improve the outcomes of soldiers drawing down from Afghanistan and transitioning to civilian lives.

Adapt and Overcome
June 7, 2013

Colonel David W. Sutherland founded the Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services at Easter Seals. He actively contributes to numerous national veteran and military family committees and boards. COL Sutherland speaks in communities at universities, businesses and conferences around the country as a vocal advocate and leader for transformational change.