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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Vets4Vets is a non partisan organization dedicated to helping Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans to heal from the psychological injuries of war through the use of peer support.

Geographic areas served: National

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the year has passed I have continued to be impresses with the results the staff are able to obtain when working with Iraq and Afghanistan - Era veterans during their transition back home. As we all know, that transition may take a very long time but having an organization such as Vets 4 Vets available 24 / 7 to assist during the bumps in the road is priceless.

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How can anyone write a review about an organization that has saved the lives of so many, and has the potential to change the lives of so many more. I learned about Vets4Vets V4V at a time in my life when the services of such an organization was sorely needed. I have learned that peer support, and the time to tell my story, are invaluable. I have watched first hand the power V4V peer support groups have on those who finally come to one of the workshops. I will continue to participate in such workshops not only as a casual observer but as one who will lead groups discussions, providing that vital peer support all veterans deserve after returning from the rigors of combat. There is no doubt in the mind of this 37 year Marine veteran that the program as presented by V4V is the most powerful ever offered. Semper Fi - Tim Bahr, CWO-4, USMC (Retired / IRR)

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Vet4Vets has enable to move forward with my life and to realize thta their those who really care and are aware of veterans who suffer emotional and ohsycholigical issues as a result of serving out great nation in times of peace and combat. The organization made me realize thta I am NOT forgotten and thta their are others out there thta do suffer great emotional and phsycohological issues. I retired from the military and sufferred PTSD and other medical issues as a result of combat and felt alone and frighten and turned to alcohol to deal with my emotions as a result of PTSD. Vets4vets placed me in groups with other vets and made me realize thta their is hope for me and others like me. That their is an organization who truly cares for me. I can honestly say that if it were not for the group retreats, discussion groups, and the ability to share my turmoil and challenges in a quiet and safe environment, I would not be alive and sober today. Vets4vets is an organization that has made a positive and significant impact in life!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Name is Joe and I am a combat veteran of two Wars Opeartion Desert Storm and Opearation Iraqi Freedom. I first heard about Vets4vets in 2008 upon enrolling in the VA Medical Center right after my discharge from the military. At first I was skeptical about what I read and heard about this program that offered workshop retreats across the country to combat veterans at no cost. Vets4Vets gave me an opportunity to talk to other veterans like myself, by taking equal and uninterrupted turns listening and speaking. This experience has most differently increase my ability to self manage my life as I do suffer from the unhidden wounds of this war. Thank you to all whom serve to support organization such as this. Semper Fidelis, Joe Sturdivant Msgt USMC " Marine for Life"

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello My Name is Kevin Cottrell, I'm an Iraq Veteran from Northern New York. My first time attending a Vets4 Vets workshop was in Sept of 2008 In Stoney Point New York. This was a great experience I meet Able and Johnny from V4Vs. I learned a lot about listening turns in a group and one on one. i learned that i was not alone in the way I was thinking and feeling. I meet 25 different other vets from different areas of the U.S. but we all had the same things in common. I left this workshop with tolls in my tool box that i could use to help me and help others. I returned to college and work with my counselor to start a vets support group and a network of vets on campus. I also took away a network of friends that i can call and talk with on the phone or via email. I have attended several other vet gruops put on by the VA and found them to be less efective in helping me. The greatest outcome from my workshops is the fact I Listen to a fellow Vet and Know that it just helps to listenand aloow them to get rid of that thought that is holding them back.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 2

The Vets4Vets concept and model is outstanding. The Leaders Weekend was well run and well led. That's where the organization seems to fall apart. My experience with them is they are great organizers with non-existent follow through. After repeated emails and phone calls I heard from them only once and that was to ask for a donation. The sad part is that I've been extremely successful using the V4V model in my area and have already "talked a guy off the ledge" as well as become a player in the Veteran community and with the VA. So while I wish the program nothing but success because they provide outstanding tools they fail in the area most critical: communication.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Michael John Lemke February 24, 1959 Chicago, IL Occupations in adult life: Army: Military Policeman, Unit Training NCO, Infantryman, Combat Engineer, Civilian: shipping/receiving manager, commercial truck driver, certified secondary education social sciences teacher, NY State mental health worker, Colorado Certified Addictions Counselor, Colorado adult parole contract therapist, Transportation Security Administration supervisor. Current graduate student, Colorado Christian University, M.A. Counseling expected 2009. 1977-1980 Active Duty Army Military Policeman Fort Carson, CO and Dexheim, Federal Republic of Germany 1980-1989 Army Reserve New York State, Colorado, and Panama 2001-2004 Colorado Army National Guard (Activated four times) 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics Athlete Security Detail, Airport Security Detail, Colorado’s Hayman Fire in the Pike National Forest 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom Military Police Sergeant operating in areas ranging from Kuwait to Baghdad, search for WMD, convoy security, main supply route patrolling, counter-insurgency operations, cordon and search, weapons seizures 2004 Medically Discharged after a year in “medical hold” at Fort Carson. Awarded 20% disability rating by Army and 80% by VA. Had to repay Army severance amount of @ $28,000 out of VA disability pay. 19-year-old daughter, Heidi in college in Upstate NY (St. Bonaventure) My current residence is Colorado Springs, CO I initially joined the Army in 1977 to serve, and expected a war with Iran or East Bloc countries during the Cold War. I left due to my medical discharge, being disgusted with the Army’s treatment of its own soldiers, and finding myself not believing or being able to trust my superiors, especially the Commander-in-Chief. I was a kid during the Vietnam War, and extremely influenced to serve by its veterans. I began to suspect that war was wrong as a teenager, but still joined the Army. I admired the Vietnam vets I met in the Army (including many Vietnamese-Americans) for their courage, and at the same time began to believe the anti-war movement had been right. I was completely aware of the implications of Kent State and songs like “Ohio”. I am completely supportive of all Vietnam Era and all veterans who served in any war. I think that Korea was our last moral decision to wage war. I do not believe Vietnam was necessary or about fighting Communism. I volunteered to go in again because of 9-11. My college room-mate, Mark Munnelly, was at Ground Zero as a firefighter, and I saw him on Tom Brokaw on NBC. I was very enraged by the act of terrorism on innocents. I was, however, unconvinced of WMD in Iraq and expected to go to Afghanistan to fight Bin Laden’s people and get him. I now feel the Iraq War is a colossal waste of life and money, and has greatly weakened our nation, its military, its treasury, and its government. Neil's work regarding "Living with War" - the album, tour, and website makes me proud I have always associated myself with his music and messages. He is a truth-seeking soul carrying a nation through self-deception and governmental lies. He is a man of great personal integrity, self-searching, and visionary. But he is also a realist. I assess what he does as delivering a rare form of consciousness to the world, at least for those who are awake, and not asleep at the wheel. He is a messenger trying to leave a legacy of truth and has always seemed to be willing to expose himself to the dangers of that. He has the heart of a warrior; he just joins the battle on the field of conscience. Certainly that is equal to the mundane tasks of war. Being part of his movie, “CSNY DéjàV”, which (premiered at Sundance in 2008) makes me feel like not everything I did was a waste. It has made me feel more pain and empathy for the innocent Iraqi people who are dying every day. I don’t feel anything for terrorists. I live with PTSD and many things physically wrong with me, and regret that I went to Iraq. I live with a lot of pain and anger. I am doing my best to turn it all into something good. That’s what my friend Neil Young would have me do. That’s what my Creator would have me do. But it’s not easy “Living With War”. Neil has helped my healing process in what he has done here. He and his wife are full of love and respect. I honor them and the band, and what they all have done here. I want Americans to listen to their veterans for once, their hearts, and their consciences, not the media spin-doctors, propaganda, and politicians. I want every man and woman who served in this war to come home now, and everyone who suffered mental and physical wounds to be treated properly by the government that made the mistake of sending them to this crazy thing.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been lucky enough to participate with the Vets 4 Vets program for the last 6 months. The group is very responsive to the needs of returning vets and John has bent over backwards to support my departments program for returning officers. In Mar we had a training event set-up especially for ADOC vets to help us become part of the vet 4 vet program. For me this has been vbery important because I have my own issues to deal with and by helping others I have begun to understand my needs. The training was very professionally done, and was enjoyed by all. I have nothing but good comments and feelings about the Vets 4 Vets program. This is one of the most important tools that help vets feel part of the societies they defended.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Vets4Vets is an awesome non profit that brings veterans who served during the OIF/OEF era together in a supportive peer support environment. I have been working with Vets4Vets for two years and I have been able to hold two workshops in New York. We were able to hold over 50 workshops and see over 1100 veterans. This is a service that many veterans need and it is a great way to support each other.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended a couples workshop with my husband. It was a very meaningful experience. I was so moved and proud when I heard all the personal stories. It was also nice to hear the wives perspectives. Vets 4 Vets did a great job of finding a nice facility where we were pampered with nice catered meals. I would recommend any veteran to participate in this awesome program!