[An Inside Facebook post]
In the years following U.S. troop deployments to Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, thousands of former soldiers, both men and women, have returned home to to continue their civilian lives. Some of these veterans return physically injured or paralyzed, others with psychological issues. As these veterans adjust to the civilian life, Facebook has become a tool for them to apply for federal benefits, return to college, search for work and find support from other veterans.
Searching for “vets” or “veterans” on Facebook yields dozens and dozens of Pages and groups, some official, but many simply begun by veterans or others wanting to use Facebook to express pride and support for the armed forces. These Pages and groups are used to share stories, some have formed tight-knit communities where people seem to interact on a regular basis, whereas others have become go-to resource forums.
Organizations and vets use an array of Facebook tools in these interactions, including Wall posts and comments, Groups, and Pages. Both offer discussion boards and ways of posting photos and videos — Groups are more focused on community topics, while Pages are intended to be public, and oriented around brands, organizations, and well-known people. As a result, Pages tend to help veterans make new and unexpected connections…[See the full post here]