Veterans have sacrificed a great deal, giving up their civilian lives in order to serve and protect their country and people. However, while we do take the time to remember the sacrifices of our veterans with days like Veterans day, we realize that is just as important to provide support for the veterans as well. Life after the military poses many challenges to veterans as they try to reintegrate themselves into their communities. For some, returning to civilian life may seem like another battle that presents problems that must be understood at the root to overcome. The manifestation of this struggle comes to surface with statistics such as the fact that 23% of the adult homeless population are veterans ( It is unacceptable that people who have sacrificed so much to defend our nation are forced into situations where they are struggling for their basic needs. For this reason, we realized it was our civic duty to support these veterans. Thus, we created an application that would connect veterans to local resources that would ease their transition back into civilian life.

What it does

Veterans are able to create profiles on VetConnect. From here, they have four different tabs, which gives them information on local jobs, discounts, event, and connections. One of the main reasons why veterans struggle to find jobs is that they lack a skill set that can be directly used by current employers. Thus, we will also have information on local workshops that promote skill building and bootcamps that can better prepare them for the skillsets that employers are looking for.

How we built it

After attending workshops, such as Intro to IOS, Yext: Introduction to Elastic Search, and Phone2Action: Integrating Data from the Web Into Apps, we used Swift and XCode to build the different layers of our application.

Challenges we ran into

We had difficulty implementing a backend to the application using Firebase. With such a backend implementation, jobs, discounts, and more could directly be drawn from a database of resources and displayed in a list format directly to the user.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are particularly proud of the front end design of our application. It's clean, user-friendly experience is ideal for veterans as they use its tools to integrate back into their communities.

What we learned

While we struggled with setting up the Firebase portion of our application, we still learned a lot from the workshops and through trial and error while hacking. We were able to successfully implement a great design and user-interface, and also learn about the difficulties and benefits that come with attempting to use a Firebase backend.

What's next for Vet Connect

We hope to further develop the app by implementing some of the things we had originally in our idea for the app, such as a search function and better functionality of the backend.

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