2022 In Review
As expected, COVID protocols abated in 2022 which gave us the opportunity to return to business as usual.
Our partner, Wilmington based Coastal Horizons reports that, as of December 31, 2022, 95 veterans and veteran spouses have been served through the Save A Vet Now Veterans Outreach Program. We are encouraged by this report which indicates we are connecting with veterans in our local communities. We expect the impact to increase as more and more veteran service-related organizations support our efforts.
2022 proved to be productive in advancing issues most important to veterans, especially those leaving military service. Most at issue with these veterans is the loss of their beloved tribe and the transition they must make to a strange new civilian culture. These issues were stressed emphatically throughout the year at our speaking engagements, at the organizations where we are a member, and at the veteran events we attended.
While we spoke to several organizations, a few engagements stand out among the others. We spoke at the annual North Carolina Marine Corps League Department Meeting and stressed the steps League Detachments can take to help local veterans with their transition to civilian life. We spoke, along with Brig. General Rob Cooley, U.S. Army retired and Mr. Chayse Roth, Founder of Veterans Business Collective at Wilmington’s Vantaca Corporation. We spoke specifically about the difficulties veterans have in adapting to the civilian work culture and how employers can bridge the gap. We were a member of a podcast panel with Mr. Bill Kawczinski, Direct of Military Affairs, University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Mr. Jeremy Stalnecker, CEO of The Mighty Oaks Foundation. The topic we spoke about is why veterans are more apt to speak with clergy, the need for pastors to learn more about the veteran culture, and how they can tend to our veterans’ requirements.
Save A Vet Now funded two “Don’t Go It Alone” public service announcements which were produced by River Breeze Productions and distributed by Spectrum Corp. Statistical information accumulated by Spectrum indicated that these announcements were highly successful and exceeded expectations.
Regarding our Veterans Visual Arts Program, we were unable to secure teachers to conduct our planned 2022 watercolor and acrylic workshops which were ultimately cancelled. Unless we are able to find workshop teachers in the coming year, we will be forced to end the Program.
Blue Moon Gift Shops and Eclipse Artisan Boutique once again sponsored our September Step Up For Vets fundraiser. The event was very successful and we continue to explore ways to make it even more impactful.
Our annual November Artwork Can Save A Vet fundraiser was held at the Hannah Block USO Center in Wilmington. The accommodations along with post Veterans Day Parade activities made this an event to remember. The Hannah Block USO Center will host us again in 2023 and, together, we have pledged to make the coming year’s event even better.