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Welcome new VP2H board member – Chris Boyer!

Chris Boyer is ready to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and dive in to the VP2H mission of helping veterans and the organizations that support them. Chris first became involved with the organization about a year ago, having been introduced to its work by VP2H Executive Director Tony Drees. Chris and Tony worked together about seven years ago and have kept in touch since, even participating in speaking engagements together on behalf of veteran issues.

In fact, Chris became involved with VP2H because of one of those speaking events. He was asked to speak at the Anadarko Veterans Day ceremony in 2017. Anadarko is a valued VP2H supporter and often involves representatives of the organization at its event.

Chris was then honored with the Kevin J. Smith award at the 2017 VP2H Gala for his work with veterans. Following these events, Chris says he was able to meet a lot of board members and get an idea as to what VP2H does. He was very excited to learn about all they do, because he says his “goal in life has been to be involved and make a difference in the veteran community.”

Serving in the Marine Corps for “3 years, 9 months, 10 days, 10 hours, and 28 minutes,” Chris fought in the first Gulf War from 1989 to 1992 as an artillery cannoneer. His unit was the first to engage in ground combat, participating in behind the line raids using unconventional artillery. Chris is proud that his unit will be installed in the National Marine Corps Museum in November 2019.

Chris is now focused on helping fellow veterans. He sees VP2H’s future as one of growth, in terms of helping more veterans over a broader geographic area, eventually becoming a nationally recognized organization. He also hopes to see a growth in revenues, so the number and amount of grants given out can also increase. One of his accomplishments so far as a board member has been to assist with the recent grant awards ceremony, in which VP2H gave out $100,000 to Colorado organizations that support veterans with their work.

Veteran support organizations have played an important role for Chris as he has faced his own challenges of transitioning from the Marine Corps. He has worked with Eagle’s Nest Ranch, at first for his own horse therapy sessions and then as a volunteer and mentor to other veterans there. Recently, Chris has worked with Freedom Service Dogs, bringing home his own service dog – Lance Corporal Noodle D Boyer! – just over four months ago.

Chris is ready to use his speaking skills to help further the cause of VP2H and of veterans coming home from war. As he puts it, “War changes a person forever – you’re never the same.” He believes there is not enough focus on those who wore the uniform to help in keeping their heads straight. He wants to be a part of that solution. He knows the things they need and what they’re going through because, he says, “I’ve been there, done that, have an entire closet full of t-shirts.”

Chris Boyer has learned a lot over the years and wants to put that knowledge and his ability to reach out to others to good use. He sees that opportunity as a VP2H board member.

Where does the money go?

We may ask ourselves that question as we review our bank accounts each month. Sometimes the money seems to disappear if we don’t track it as we spend it. For an organization like VP2H, though, it is critical that we track our incoming funds and carefully review where each dime is spent.

At VP2H, it seems we are constantly asking for those incoming funds – and, in fact, we are. We hold fundraising events. We participate in Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day. We reach out to the community and to corporate sponsors. Why do we do that? So we can give that money away!

We know where our money goes. Our mission is to raise awareness, raise money, and raise the level of cooperation among the many wonderful area organizations that provide needed services to deserving veterans. Bottom line (pun intended) is that the VP2H team works toward this mission by raising money throughout the year so we can give it to those organizations that help veterans.

Our money goes toward organizations that ease veterans back into civilian life, that work with veterans experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, and that advocate for veterans’ rights. Last year, our grant recipients included organizations that bring families back together, physically and emotionally, after long separations. Several of the organizations we supported through grants provide therapy animals, such as horses and dogs, for veterans working through PTSD. Some organizations offer veterans financial and housing assistance.

We know where our money goes. And we are sincerely grateful to all of our supporters that we have those funds available each year when our grant cycle opens.

Thank you for your continuing support – on Giving Tuesday, Colorado Gives Day, and every day throughout the year. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events as well!

Honoring veterans throughout the year

November is the time most people officially recognize the service and sacrifice of military veterans. However, veterans deserve to be recognized and honored throughout the year.

November 11 is Veterans Day, of course. The holiday actually began as Armistice Day, a celebration of the end of World War I. The US Department of Defense explains:

World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ended about seven months before that when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

 

For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

 

But then World War II and the Korean War happened, so on June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars.

There is another holiday that honors veterans during the year. While Veterans Day is intended to honor all who have served the country in war or peace, whether dead or still living, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives in battle, in service to their country.

Veterans deserve honor and support throughout the year. Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in particular, need help and encouragement as they work through their challenges. Veterans of all types, from all branches of the military, served and sacrificed for their country. They deserve nothing less than recognition and respect every day of the year.