GI Rights Network


GI Rights Network

The GI Rights Network is coalition that provides free and confidential information to United States military servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Most of the work of the Network is done through the GI Rights Hotline, but the Network also provides email counseling and live in-person counseling in some locales. [ [http://www.girightshotline.org/about/index.shtml GIRightshotline.org, "About the Network"] ] The Network also maintains a website, [http://www.girightshotline.org www.girightshotline.org] with easy access to information about discharges, military regulations, GI rights, and other organizations; all information is available in both English and Spanish.

The Network endeavors to provide non-directive counseling to callers, with a particular focus on providing accurate information. Counselors do not provide legal advice, but can assist callers in finding lawyers in their area who can give them appropriate advice. [ [http://www.girightshotline.org/about/index.shtml GIRightshotline.org, "About the Network"] ]

GI Rights Hotline

Calls to the Hotline are routed to different "nodes" of the network based on the area code of the caller. Some nodes provide 24-7 coverage with live counselors, while other nodes provide limited hours of live coverage or return calls from messages left by callers.

Calls on the Hotline are received by callers in most of the United States through one of two national toll-free numbers, 877-447-4487 and 800-394-9544. Calls from Alaska and from Germany are received on separate telephone numbers [ [http://www.girightshotline.org/contact/ GIRightsHotline.org - Contact Us] ]

Hotline counselors come from a variety of backgrounds and include veterans, mental health workers and attorneys, but most counselors are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice.

History

The Network began in 1994 as a coalition of several organizations committed to peace and non-violence activism. The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors served as the clearinghouse for the coalition; CCCO managed the coalition's website, routed calls to the various network nodes, and provided funding for a national coordinator for the Network. [ [http://www.objector.org/girights/ Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors - GI Rights Project] ]

In the fall of 2006, the Network organized an "Advisory Council" which would serve as a democratically elected governing body of the Network, which resulted in some degree of tension during the transition from having CCCO serve as the clearinghouse of the network, but these problems are slowly being resolved. At present the Advisory Committee is working to establish by-laws and an incorporated status for the Network. There are still currently two toll-free national numbers for the Network, one administered by the Network's Advisory Council and one administered by CCCO, with plans to eventually move back to having one national toll-free number in the United States. CCCO will continue to have a significant role in the Network after this transition takes place. "(need citation)"

Current Network Membership

Current members and associate members of the Network include (this list includes groups who do not get "routed" calls from the Network but do provide other essential services to the Network as a whole): [ [http://www.girightshotline.org/contact/index.shtml GIRightsHotline.org - List of Member Groups] ]

* Alaska Peace Center [http://www.alaskapeace.org/]
* Humboldt Committee for Conscientious Objectors
* GI Rights Hotline Oakland [http://girights.net/]
* North County San Diego GI Rights Hotline
* San Diego Military Counseling Project [http://www.sdmcp.org/]
* Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild
* San Francisco AFSC
* Resource Center For Nonviolence (Santa Cruz, CA) [http://rcnv.org/]
* Storrs Friends GI Rights Hot Line (Storrs, CT) [http://www.storrsfriendsmeeting.org/]
* Center On Conscience and War (CCW) [http://www.centeronconscience.org/index.shtml]
* Military Counseling Network (Bammental, Germany) [http://www.mc-network.de/]
* North Central Florida GI Rights Hotline [http://www.afn.org/~vetpeace/public_html/vetproj.htm]
* G.I. Rights Hawai'i [mailto:girightshawaii@gmail.com]
* Vietnam Veteran's Against the War VVAW's Military Counseling Service [http://www.vvaw.org/mc/]
* Catholic Peace Fellowship [http://www.catholicpeacefellowship.org]
* American Friends Service Committee-North East Regional Office, (Cambridge, MA) [http://www.afsc.org/newengland/cambridge.htm]
* Quaker House Of Fayetteville, NC [http://quakerhouse.org]
* War Resisters League [http://www.warresisters.org/]
* Oklahoma GI Rights Hotline [http://okgirightshotline.org/]
* Lewis & Clark Military Counseling Project (Portland, OR) [http://www.lclark.edu/org/nlg/girights.html]
* CCCO (Philadelphia) [http://www.objector.org/]
* Austin GI Rights [http://austingirights.org/]
* GI Rights Utah
* Seattle Draft And Military Counseling Center
* New Mexico GI Rights Hotline [http://abqpeaceandjustice.org/gihotline.html]

References


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