VA Long Beach Healthcare System: 5th Annual Welcome Home Celebration
On Veteran’s Day 2015, Elite employees attended the 5th Annual Welcome Home Celebration at the VA Long Beach. This was the first step in launching the Elite Veterans Initiative (EVI). The celebration included several booths for veterans with information for support services, free massages and haircuts, food, entertainment, and fun activities for their kids. Veteran guest speakers encouraged Veterans to take advantage of the services provided by the VA and provided honest accounts of their experiences, both good and bad, since leaving the service.
One of the goals of EVI is to support established organizations and their efforts to help veterans and their families. Attending this event was a way to make the VA Long Beach aware of EVI’s goals and start to create partnerships that will benefit Veterans in the future. At the event, Phil made connections with VA Long Beach staff involved in the VA Caregiver Support Program, www.caregiver.va.gov, and recreational therapy services as well as a representative with Volunteers of America, www.voala.org, which is an organization that helps find veterans jobs and supports their needs in the process. Partnerships are beginning to form between EVI and these organizations, building the groundwork for providing support, education, and jobs for years to come.