To advocate for Veterans programs, benefits and rights.
To recognize, honor and appreciate members of our military.
To provide a safe environment for Veterans to talk, share and learn.
To help provide jobs and quality of life for Veterans and their families.
To encourage Veteran entrepreneurs and provide them information and mentoring.
HONOR THEIR MEMORY PROGRAM:
- Purchase and maintain solar lights for all flagpoles in cemeteries and veteran memorials.
- Purchase and maintain American and POW flags on all cemetery/memorial flagpoles.
- Identify all veterans buried in Windham cemeteries upon application to the cemetery.
- Installing metal flag holders and small American flags on every veteran grave.
- Maintaining the gardens and property around veteran memorial.
- Keep an updated list of Windham veterans and their branch of service to be honored at ceremonies.
- Restore veteran graves that are damaged and maintain veteran graves that no longer have families.
Wreaths Across America
We honor our fallen heroes by placing wreaths on their graves during the holiday season and removing the American flags until spring. Held on the third Saturday in December with a memorial service.
Providing a safe environment for Veterans to meet and network every Wednesday from 9-11 AM at the Salvation Army Community Center. There are weekly guests that include: agent orange advocacy, VA benefits, retirement options, senior health issues, Bradley Air Museum, national archives, military history, yoga, info on PTSD and veteran suicide, medication review, UCONN football games, history and personal experiences of veterans.
FEED OUR VETS:
Working with several food distribution programs and our partners, we provide weekly food boxes to any
veteran regardless of need, including home deliveries. We have delivered hundreds of meals and personal supplies to both active service members and veterans.
We provide group and individual workshops where we work with Veterans to help them start their own busi-nesses, find funding, create business plans, apply for grants, update HR and operational policies, improve and learn new technology and create marketing strategies. Our partners include: SBA, USDA, WBDC, SBDC, CEDF.
We work with state and federal lawmakers to advocate for veteran friendly legislation and provide feedback to them on veteran needs.
VIETNAM WAR 50TH YEAR COMMEMORATIVE PARTNER:
We are official partners with the Vietnam War 50th Year Commemoration Commission under the Secretary of the Defense and as such we host a minimum of two events per year honoring our Vietnam veterans and pinning them with official lapel pins.
VISIT OUR VETS PROGRAM:
Our veteran volunteers visit homebound, ill and recovering veterans in our region to do wellness checks, offer them friendship, spiritual support and comradery, and make appropriate recommendations and
referrals for services and programs.
CONNECT OUR VETS PROGRAM:
In partnership with the CT VA and the social workers in our region, we provide ipads and internet service to those veterans who are at risk of suicide. These tools allow them to attend group sessions, visit with their therapists, social workers and doctors, keep them connected to their families and friends and apply for VA benefits and programs, as well as professional development courses and workforce assistance.
LOVE OUR VETS:
Many of our veterans return home from service or are discharged from inpatient programs and need basic supplies for personal hygiene, pots, pans, utensils, plates, furniture, appliances, cleaning supplies, linens and clothing. We collect new and some used items for them to make their transition as easy as possible.
NEWSLETTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA:
We keep our veterans informed of changes in VA policies and benefits, new programs and services available to them, discounts, events and opportunities through our email newsletter and facebook page.
COMMUNITY MILITARY THEMED EVENTS:
Our veteran volunteers host several events honoring veterans, the military and historical moments
throughout the year including Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, National Vietnam War Day and Veterans Day. They are always free and open to the public, all military families and branches of the US Armed Forces.
EMERGENCY DISASTER SERVICES:
In partnership with the Salvation Army, we are refurbishing an emergency disaster services canteen that
provided food, blankets and support at ground zero during the 911 crisis. This vehicle will be available to
respond to any natural disaster or emergency, like house fires, within our region and statewide. Our
veterans are working hard to raise money to support the project, complete the refurbishing and staff the
vehicle during emergencies.
The Chamber and its Windham Region Military Service Council work with many community organizations, government agencies, legislators and private businesses in order to develop the programs we have to
support our Veterans. We are the official VA Representative for Windham. We attend monthly meetings representing our veterans with Congressman Courtney, the CT VA, Veterans Base Camp, other veteran coffeehouses, municipal leaders and state representatives and senators.