Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. and The Veterans Coalition
Lifetime member of VVnW, Inc. and The Veterans Coalition
VVnW Texas State Coordinator Commander, Post TX-06, Waco, TX
US Air Force 1964 to 1968
(Vietnam tour 67-68)
US Army 1970 to 1973
(Vietnam tour 71-72)
Vets Helping Vets
Commander of "Vets Helping Vets", a project of VVnW Post TX-06. VHV is a local non-profit organization headquartered at the Waco VA Medical Center. In a formal manner, VHV is a psychosocial rehabilitation program that was started in 2000 by two staff members of the PTSD department, and two veterans. I was lucky enough to be one of the veterans. It is basically a peer support program, hence the name "Vets Helping Vets", one vet helping another vet.
From a beginning of four people we have grown to over 20 veterans, the majority working as volunteers. Since its beginning, VHV has worked and counseled over 2000 veterans in Central Texas. VHV not only works with veterans with PTSD but also with veterans who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse and other mental health problems. VHV also runs and facilitates five trauma support groups in five cities in the Central Texas area. And last, but definitely not least, VHV was chosen to give a presentation at the VA/New Best Practices/Boston Mental Health Conference in June of 2004. I, one other veteran and Dr. Wayne Gregory, one of the foremost experts on PTSD, were invited to attend. It is one of the few times in VA history that two lay individuals have been invited to the most prestigious conference in mental health. Post TX-06 is very proud of what we all have accomplished.
All the service organizations basically work on the homeless veterans problem in the U.S., but, VVNW and The Veterans Coalition with their program, "United Veterans Beacon Houses" is a key to defeating the homeless veteran's problem within this country. I would like to eventually see a UVBH transition house in every state. The other key, in my opinion, is the VA will have to eventually realize that mental health programs are the only way to defeat this problem, and partnering with organizations like VVnW and UVBH is one way of accomplishing this.
I think VVnW and The Veterans Coalition has the potential for a great future. At our little local organization "VHV", we have a motto. "To Assure All Who Have Served, Continue to be Served." I live by that motto here in Waco and will continue to live by that motto. I want to be a part of this future, I want to participate, I want to help.
Veterans of the
Vietnam War, Inc.
805 So. Township Boulevard
"An organization succeeds, not because it is long-established,
but because there are people in it who live it, sleep it, dream it,
and build future plans for it."