Google is once again reaching out to a special group: veterans and their families. Google for Veterans was created by a volunteer group of employees at Google to show the unique tools the company has to offer for those in the military lifestyle. Anyone who has an account has access to the basic tools Google has to offer, but Google for Veterans takes it one step further and gives special options to those who are in the service, were previously in the service, and their loved ones.
The first step for anyone wishing to access Google for Veterans is to create a Google account. If you already have a Gmail, you already have a Google account. Once you have an account, you have access to myriad of options to help you stay connected to loved ones while you are deployed or stationed in another part of the world. The obvious option is email, but in addition Google also offers free calling for any uniformed service member via their Gmail phone service, or Google Voice. You simply add your .mil email account to your Gmail account, they assign you a phone number, and then you will be able to send a receive phone calls for free. However, if a non-service member is making the call there is a small cost (as low as $0.2 per minute). Click here for more details on how to sign up and use the Google Voice service.
Other useful tools that Google for Veterans offers is resume building via Google Docs for those transitioning out of the service, keeping track of your finances via Google Finance, and sharing videos of your experiences via YouTube. There is also a neat tool for veterans to stay connected to those with whom they have served. This tool is called VetConnect, and it is somewhat like Google’s version of Facebook using their service called Google+. In your VetConnect profile, you can add your branch of service, rank, and places you have been stationed. Google then searches profiles with similar variants and shows them to you to see if you know anyone else. Many times in the constant moving lifestyle of the military, we tend to lose touch with other service members and their families, so VetConnect is a great way to continue to stay connected using your service together as a means of contact. Click here to learn more about VetConnect and how to sign up.
If you are already familiar with Google and its tools, Google for Veterans does not seem much different. However, the few additional options they have just for veterans such as Vet Connect and free calling via Gmail does help to provide those who have served or are currently serving with some extra options. If anything, Google for Veterans simply is a good resource for service members to learn some of tools Google offers that may help them stay connected to their loved ones and/or transition out of the service.
Have you used Google for Veterans? If not, is it a service you would be interested in using? Tell us your opinions in the comment box below!