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August 21, 2008


August 21, 2008

I was a Marine Platoon Commander in Vietnam and lost 11 young Marines and two Navy Corpsmen over a 14 month period in 1965 and 1966. I was bitter and avoided anything to do with the military until the late 1990s, when I heard about Swords to Plowshares and the work they were doing with homeless veterans in San Francisco. After learning about veterans who had been helped by Swords and meeting Executive Director Michael Blecker and his staff at Swords, my wife and I began contributing to Swords' work, I joined the Board and my wife became active in Swords' Annual Veterans Day Dinner. We have watched Swords grow from a smaller, locally known agency to a nationally recognized veterans' organization that helps Vietnam and older veterans deal with homelessness and benefits issues, and, more currently, helps recent Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans with legal, education, training and housing issues before they sink into or near homelessness. Swords works. Vets in need benefit. We're proud to be a part of Swords' continuing work. Jon Paulson

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping veterans become part of society again.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not run this organization...I am not qualified.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Swords' staff.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and devoted to Swords' mission...vets helping vets since 74.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand its activities throughout the whole San Francisco Bay Area.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time and money.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

visibility to and awareness by San Francisco's "Opera Crowd", those who could and should better support Swords' work.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Michael Blecker, Swords' Executive Director, has devoted over 30 years' of his life to helping veterans get better treatment than they would if it were left up to the U.S. government and citizens alone.

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