Blog

WATCH: Homeless Vet Talks About What’s Important to Him

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Through DVNF's Health & Comfort program, the items that we send to stand down events to support homeless, low-income, and disabled veterans make a bigger difference than many might realize. Wayne Stewart, a homeless Navy veteran in DC, spoke with us about his experience as a homeless vet, and which supplies that DVNF sent made the biggest difference. “Toiletries! Because when a person is clean, looks good, smells good, they have a tendency to feel better about themselves."  “I would like to say 'thank you' to all of you [DVNF donors] – without your services, without your kind gestures and your kind thoughts, trust and believe me – it would be much harder for us. Thank you, DVNF!” Countless veterans are helped through the Health & Comfort program, and each time a donor gives, we're able to provide critically needed

DVNF Veteran Employee Spotlight: John Paruch

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A Humble Veteran As part of DVNF’s commitment to serving the men and women who stood in our defense, we understand the importance of having team members who have been in their shoes. The following story gives some background on one of the veterans working at DVNF. [caption id="attachment_1522" align="aligncenter" width="823"] DVNF employee, John Paruch, takes a photo with a veteran at the 2016 Wheelchair Games[/caption] John Paruch, DVNF’s Director of Corporate Sponsorships and Foundation Relations, has been with the organization since 2015. John, like so many veterans, is humble by nature. “I always say I was a veteran in the loosest sense of the word. I didn’t serve during any conflict, and really didn’t do anything very significant.” Many veterans often express this same sentiment. However, they need to remember that willingly putting your life on the line – regardless of

WATCH: Veteran Discusses His Experience with PTSD and Drinking

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PTSD and Drinking Can Send Life into a Tailspin Drinking is a common activity that is usually ingrained in the military experience. But what happens when drinking is used as a self-medicating coping mechanism? Things can spiral out of control in a hurry. Just listen to this Marine veteran's experience with drinking. When I drank, got drunk, you know, all the anxiety, depression, my purpose, the betrayal - all that, it went out the window ... For the next 3 years I was drunk probably - drunk or hung over 75 percent of the time. So when I went out I couldn't just have one ... and that caused problems. For veterans struggling with PTSD, drinking might feel like a temporary solution to what you're going through. Unfortunately, it isn't a solution at all. If drinking has become a problem for you,

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and this is an issue that is especially relevant to so many veterans. There are many reasons veterans in particular can often be prone to misusing alcohol. One aspect that increases the likelihood of a veteran misusing alcohol is that they are often predisposed to it as a part of their military experience. In fact, did you know that medical expenses related to alcohol use by military personnel average nearly $425 million per year?1 Perhaps alcohol is used as a bonding tool or even a team-building exercise, or maybe for others, it’s seen as an escape route from handling a difficult experience. Either way, it’s something that most service members are familiar with before they even leave the military. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism demonstrates just how prevalent the alcohol culture is

Shipment to Albany Helps Veterans Displaced by Fires

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As part of DVNF’s Health & Comfort program, we help stock various veterans’ shelters with clothing and supplies they need to support the veterans who visit seeking support. In some cases, it can be in the middle of an emergency. This was the case recently when we sent a shipment to Albany, NY to the Veterans Miracle Center. They keep a free “store” that veterans can visit to get common supplies they often struggle to afford. DVNF’s shipment happened to come at a critical time. According to Barry Feinman, the organization’s administrator, January and February not only brought cold temperatures, but it also brought several fires in the region. In one evening alone, seven veterans lost their homes and all their possessions. Feinman explained how the shipment helped: The day after the fire, the VMC was called upon to clothe

“Suit Up” Hiring Fair a Success for Veterans

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On Monday, March 13, DVNF, in conjunction with the Detroit VA and because of an incredible donation from Jos. A. Bank clothiers, was able to participate in a “Suit Up” event to get transitioning veterans ready to reenter the civilian workforce. At the event, 110 Veterans were able to get a suit or other professional clothing, along with a $50 Visa gift card from DVNF to cover the cost of some of the alterations, that will prove useful as the attend this weekend’s military job fair at the Detroit VA. This event followed the first “Suit Up” on February 25th. The first event had light attendance due to poor weather. In addition, they had to use an alternate location due to construction near the Detroit VA. How this made a difference to veterans Joe Sattler of Marine City was a Helicopter Pilot in the

OFFICE CLOSURE – Tuesday, March 14

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Due to heavy snow in the DC area, the DVNF offices will be closed on Tuesday, March 14th. The office may remain closed on Wednesday as well, depending on the condition of the roads. If you need to reach us, please send an email to info@dvnf.org.  

Introducing Our New Look

Welcome to DVNF’s new website! In an effort to improve our image and our services to veterans, we felt it was time for a fresh new look. We were long overdue for a new website, and since we are turning 10 this year, this was a great time to pursue this endeavor. I hope you’ll find a cleaner, more user-friendly website. We want veterans who are in search of information and resources to be able to access it effortlessly. We also want to tell our story to donors better, because we think it’s important for people to know about the struggles and the successes of those who have stood in our defense. Our New Logo Another change you probably noticed is our new logo. With this new look, we’re hoping to incorporate our feelings of pride in those who have

Are You Sleeping?

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By Ana Yelen, Executive Director, Healing Warriors Program A good night’s sleep is more elusive than we think. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services studies assert that sleep disorders affect between 50 – 70 million Americans, or about 20% of the population. In the armed services, sleep issues are the de facto norm because of training, job schedules, and the need for a military force that is on-call and available at a moment’s notice. But the cost of long-term sleep deprivation is high and linked to depression, anxiety and worsening of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “More so than even the amputations and traumatic brain injuries that have come to define the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, insomnia is the hidden wound that America’s warriors are bringing home. It’s largely unnoticed, under-prevented and untreated.”1 At Fort Hood, Texas, Dr. Vincent Mysliwiec,

New Electric Lift Helps Hearts and Hooves

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Craig O’Neill , KTHV SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) — Until July 12, if a wheelchair-bound child or adult with a disability hoped to get on a horse, it took three to four volunteers at Hearts and Hooves. Not anymore. (more…)