FEBRUARY 5TH 2009 THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE.
The Vermont Army National Guard would be deploying 1500 men and women to Afghanistan in early part of 2010. This announcement prompted a question: How can we, the veterans of the community, be of assistance?
Not only to the soldier upon his/her return, but to their families while the soldier was away?
Brainstorming of ideas began - volunteers came forward and asked how they could assist. The final question where do we provide these services?
THE ANSWER CAME IN THE FALL OF 2009
We learned that the Vermont Veteran's Home intended to tear down the old Commandant's house. This building had not been used in 5 years.
Approaching the Board of Trustees' who overseeing the property, a proposal was made stating the intent of creating programs and services to assist and support Veterans and their families during this trying time - and it would be an all volunteer undertaking.
A request to lease the house was presented and accepted.
December 2009 - the lease was signed. We assumed responsibility of the property, the upkeep of the building and paying all expenses and repairs.
December 21st 2009 - the "Veterans Outreach & Family Resource Center " (VOFRC) opened it doors.
The reception of this facility was an immediate success to the Veterans community.
The Bennington National Guard unit, in support of the upcoming deployment, had established two separate programs: The Family Readiness Group (FRG) led by Rev. Robin Greene, and the Family Assistance Center (FAC) led by MSG Kevin Dunican.
The VOFRC building was offered as a place to hold these meetings. It became the perfect match. During the deployment of 2010 both groups respectively held monthly meetings and family events.
The local VA Clinic was contacted and the use of the building and its meeting rooms and services we offered to supplement its services.
Every Thursday there is at least one service Officer on site to assist in filing claims and providing resources and assistance to veterans and his/her family.
The bottom line - whether its being a part of a coffee group, support group, watching the news, just looking for someone to talk too or seeking advice and or help: 2500+ people have walked through the doors of this amazing home and have gotten what they needed and deserved.
Veterans and their families have a place to come to and feel a sense of comradeship with people who understand them and what they have been or are going through.
Thers is no membership, no dues, simply, the safest of environment
CORPORATE ADDRESS: 134 BEECH STREET - BENNINGTON, VERMONT 05201 - 1-802-733-8576