I have met a lot of fellow Veterans through the years, some I keep in touch with daily, and I can talk with on the phone once a year and it still feels as though we were standing in formation together earlier that day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the many Brothers and Sisters that I have gained by serving in the Army, but I have lost too many to suicide these past years. It seems that lately, with each call from an old battle buddy I have not heard from in a while, I anticipate bad news is about to be dropped in my lap. Ninety-nine percent of time, the phone call starts out with a “hey there buddy!” and I can tell by the tone of the voice that things are ok.
Looking back on the friends I lost, I often wonder if I could have made a difference by just picking up the phone and calling them, but it would be impossible to call friend, every day, to make sure they are doing well and know that they have someone to talk to. I had to find another way to stay connected. This past week, I stumbled on an app for my iPhone called POS REP. After a little digging, this is what I found out about how the app was born.
The inspiration for the POS REP app was U.S. Marine Clay Hunt. Clay Hunt took his own life in March 2011 and his death led Jake Wood, who served with Clay in the Marine Corps to come up with an app that would connect Military Veterans so they do not feel isolated as Clay Hunt had felt leading up to his death in 2011. Ironically, as isolated as Clay had felt, Jake found out at the memorial service that three Marines that served with Clay lived within 15 miles of Clay’s apartment. Had the POS REP app existed, and had Clay been a member, he would have easily known that there were fellow Marines close by that he could have counted on.
So, POS REP seemed to be the perfect match for me. It would allow me to stay connected with Veterans I served with and allow them to stay connected not only with myself, but with others they served with. POS REP is available in the iTunes App Store and will hopefully be available for Android devices soon, so I was in luck.
App Store Description of POS REP:
POS REP is the first mobile, proximity-based social network made expressly for the military veteran community. Short for Position Report, POS REP connects veterans who served together but more importantly allows veterans to discover peers and resources in the palm of their hand.
Some of the features the POS REP app offers:
For security, your exact location is not shown on the devices to other users, instead they will see an icon with your branch of service near your location.
You can discover Veterans in your area, get answers to questions and monitor communications between those you are connected with.
Maintain communication in an easy to use chat interface with the conversations organized by the groups you create. This allows you to maintain communication with everyone you served with even after they leave the service.
I am only just starting to use the POS REP app and have not likely realized its full potential yet, but there are some changes that I would suggest to the app to make it even better.
- Include an option to view friends of friends on the app. This expands the circle of who you can reach out to for help.
- Place a button on the home screen that dials to the Veteran Crisis Line or Vets4Warriors to allow for one button access to crisis counseling services.
- Add an additional option for Veteran Verification to enable members to be a “verified Veteran”. Make it so when 5 “Verified Veterans” verify a member, they are Verified versus having to go through TroopID or one of the other services offered which seem to be in very limited geographical areas.
- Get moving on that app for Android devices. The member base is extremely limited by limiting to IOS devices only.
I would like to see POS REP grow into a useful resource, but for that to happen it will take a large number of members to use the free service. If you have not checked out POS REP and have an IOS device such as an iPhone or iPad, give it a whirl. The app is free and really easy to set up. If you have an Android device and want to use the POS REP app, visit their website at pos-rep.com and click the “”Enlist for Android” button.