Published October 19, 2010
Volume 18, Number 10

Livermore Veterans Foundation Launches Website, Prepares for the Holidays    

Members of the military returning from active duty often encounter significant medical, mental, and financial obstacles. In June 2007 a study undertaken by the Department of Defense Mental Health Task Force reported symptoms of mental disorder among almost half of the National Guard troops who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Even with a renewed commitment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, aid from the government and other groups can sometimes be limited or difficult to find. The Livermore Veterans Foundation (LVF), a veterans’ assistance resource in the Tri-Valley area, was formed to help bridge that gap. The LVF’s mission is “to support our troops by providing access to resources, both private and public, through partnering with business, government, and civic organizations.”   

“All around us, as we go through our daily lives, we are surrounded by individuals who have served and fought on behalf of our country,” observes LVF President Warren Booth, a former Marine Corps sergeant who saw duty in Vietnam. “They are often unremarkable against the backdrop of daily living—our bus drivers, fellow students, and bank tellers—but in reality, these brave men and women frequently have wounds and needs that are invisible to many of us. We must all ensure these brave individuals have the appropriate resource to address their needs.”

Since its founding in 2007, LVF has established several support programs for veterans and active-duty servicemen and women. The latest offering is a full-service website, www.LivermoreVeteransFoundation.org, a source of critical information for veterans.

The easy-to-use website sports a compelling headline: “After the veteran comes home, after the parade ends, after the bands put away their horns and the flags are folded, who remains to help the veterans?” The answer comes from the many concerned citizens willing to share their time, talent, or treasure with this deserving segment of the population. Visitors to the site can volunteer their professional skills and abilities to provide free services to veterans, from mentoring to assistance in specific areas like finance, education, tax obligations, home repairs, auto repairs, and employment.

In addition to the website resources and links, LVF operates several related programs supported by volunteers. Especially timely is Christmas-in-a-Box, which collects donated gift items and personal goods, packaging and mailing them to troops overseas, with the goal of making each service member feel connected to home during the holiday season. Recipients have traditionally been part of the Army’s 101st Airborne division, but LVF is interested in outreach to other units as well.

Other popular activities include Operation Welcome Home, “a hometown event held to show appreciation to our sons and daughters who are returning from duty”; School Supplies from America , providing much-needed school supplies to children in other countries while helping to establish trust with U.S. soldiers; and Livermore Military Families, a support group that meets monthly with families with loved ones serving in the Armed Forces. 

“Random acts of kindness are nice, but the world needs more people who are regularly, habitually, and deliberately kind,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has remarked. To volunteer, contribute, or for more information, visit the LVF website or call (925) 784-7794.


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