Community Bonds


A Rising Tide of Isolation Among Americans

The Arizona Coalition for Military Families (ACMF) has a program that provides community connections for service members, veterans, and their families in Arizona. Coaching Into Connection was born out of the recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General that alerted the nation to a growing crisis of loneliness among Americans. The report indicated that more than half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness. This feeling of being disconnected from the community can affect mental, physical, and even societal health.

The report details that loneliness and isolation increase the risk of developing mental health challenges and even elevate the risk of premature death to a level equivalent to smoking tobacco daily.

Coaching Into Connection

Knowing that loneliness was a tangible threat to public health, especially for service members, veterans, and their families who can find themselves in new places frequently and separated from their family support system – the ACMF worked to develop Coaching Into Connection. The goal of the program is simple – to help service members, veterans, and their family members feel more connected to the community through what they enjoy doing.

Personalized Plans

A key to the program is the Connection Coaches – veterans who work for ACMF’s Be Connected program. They understand the military and veteran lifestyle because they lived it. The Connection Coaches work one-on-one with program participants to develop personalized plans tailored to their interests to better build bonds within their community. Activities run the gamut, including everything from getting into the gyms to cooking classes, outdoor recreation, and artistic endeavors.

Coaching Into Connection services are offered statewide at no cost to service members, veterans, and their family members anywhere in Arizona.

Recent Successes

One touching example includes the story of two veterans from different eras—one from World War II and one from the Korean War—who found camaraderie after being introduced by a Connection Coach. Another veteran, feeling a bit worn down, found a new sense of purpose and community by volunteering at a local food bank, and helping other veterans.

Get Involved

Anyone can nominate a service member, veteran, or member of their family to the program by completing a referral form. Friends, neighbors, clinicians, doctors, social workers, colleagues, and employers can share the program flyer or make a referral for someone they know who might benefit. Learn more at or call 866-4AZ-VETS (866-429-8387).

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Be Connected and are provided in partnership by:

Special thanks to the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family for their partnership and support.

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