Since its inception in the Spring of 2008, WVFV has been honored to help over 700 Veterans transition from military life to a civilian career by garnering the “Vessels” they require. Our mission is simple…To thank our service men and women by helping them along their next career path. Here are just some of our stories….
March 20, 2013
March 17, 2013
10-year Air Force Veteran Mike Winders from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who served in Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan, with the car donated by Work Vessels For Veterans with much appreciated assistance from the Lewis Automotive Group. Both Mike and Sarah are back in school at the University of Arkansas and were in need of a car to assist with transportation needs for their four children.
His wife, fellow veteran Sarah Winders, wrote the following to WVFV: “Thank you for being the answer to a prayer Mike and I have had for a very long time. There truly are no words to express our gratitude. Thank you a million times for everything you have done for our family.”
March 14, 2013
Melody’s is one of 60 laptops sent out by WVFV in the first quarter of 2013! Good luck Melody in this next chapter in your life, and thank you for your service!
March 12, 2013
Iraq War and 8-year U.S. Marine Veteran Greg Trost with film equipment provided by Work Vessels For Veterans. Greg started his freelance video engineering company No Surrender Productions in Boston following injuries sustained in Iraq and his work filming RedSox and Celtics games can often be viewed on Comcast, NESN and ESPN. We’re proud of you Greg!
March 10, 2013
January 31, 2013
WVFV extends its sincerest “Thank You” to Dime Bank and its Foundation for their support. President/CEO Nicholas Caplanson and his team present this grant check to members of the WVFV team! Thank You!!!
January 23, 2013
Wishing you much success in the future…and thank you for your service. We are so happy we could help. From Leah: “Thank you again for my laptop. It means a lot to me that there are organizations such as yours that help out veterans. Thank you.”
January 7, 2013
Seymour Benn working in his class with the laptop provided by WVFV. Thank you for your service, we are happy to help!
January 4, 2013
WVFV is pleased to announce that 42 laptops are in the process of being shipped to veterans this first week of January, including Army Veteran Micah Johnson. Many thanks to Stanley Black and Decker for the laptops and Anything IT for the scrubbing and loading of the laptops!
January 1, 2013
Musical Support for our Veterans!
WFVF has been blessed to be supported by many artists! Among them, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame star Dave Mason who is a founding Board Member. This past year, we welcomed the support of now Grammy nominated, Hunter Hayes, who has provided a signed guitar which will be auctioned as part of our Fifth Year Anniversary Celebration this April! During the coming months we have much to announce and celebrate thanks to each and every one who has provided support to WVFV! Thank you Hunter! And thank you for your support of our Veterans! Hunter Hayes, like Dave Mason, are class acts!
December 25, 2012
WVFV Founding Member, Ted Knapp presents a Christmas gift to Patrick O’Neill owner of New Fabrication of Lakewood, NJ. This proud Army Veteran will expand his business with the donation of a cold saw, pipe notcher, mill machine and other equipment. WVFV thanks those that have made this donation possible! Thank you for your service Patrick….and best wishes on your continued growth and success!
From New Development Fabrication: “Thank you very much for all that you do! It is a wonderful feeling knowing there are people in this world that care as much as WVFV.”
From Marybeth O’Neill O’Connell: “Thank you WVFV-such fine work. Patrick is a hard working and deserving of this assistance. Congratulations from his loving grandmother.
WVFV Note: Thank you Mrs. O’Connell. We are indeed honored to be able to assist.
December 23, 2012
With special thanks to Stanley Black and Decker Company, Luis Bruno, USMC Vet, OIF was presented new tools and equipment on December 23, 2012 by WVFV Chairman, John Niekrash and Mike Ennis of the CT Dept. of Labor/Veteran’s Service. The WVFV gift will be used by Mr. Bruno to further his construction and home maintenance business which he opened earlier this year. Wishing you much success, Luis!
December 20, 2012
Today was a special day for West Point Class of 2001 Justin Nash, who served with the 10th Mountain Division and was part of the OEF Campaign in Afghanistan, when he received start up tooling, made possible by Stanley Black and Decker Company. Justin, a graduate of UCONN’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veteran’s Program, recently opened his company, Veteran Construction Services in Cheshire, CT and will be using his training both in-service and in his post service education to grow his business.
December 16, 2012
WVFV is pleased to announce the recent gift to Kyle Cooper, USMC, (Ret.) an OIF Veteran. As Kyle continues to build his self-sustaining cattle farm, WVFV provided the funding to install the arena fencing that will become the centerpiece of the area shown in this beautiful photograph of his Florida farm. We look forward to seeing his dream grow!
Grossman’s Seafood! Thank you for All you Do!
Sean Coleman, General Manager of Groton, CT based Grossman’s Seafood has been an untiring supporter of our active military and veteran support. Each July, Grossman’s has sponsored Operation Lobster Dinner, providing 500 free lobster dinners for the area’s active military servicemen and women and their families. Through sponsorships and fundraising activities, all net proceeds are donated to WVFV. Here, Sean presents Founding Members, John Niekrash and Kathleen Burns with a check for $24, 000.00. 100 percent of these proceeds have been utilized to provide products, services, start-up capital and more for the Veteran’s we serve.
October 25, 2012
THANK YOU! Anything IT!
Congratulations to Anything IT for stepping up with a large laptop computer donation and taking home the gand prize in the Laptop Donation Challenge. Thanks again for all your support.
September 14, 2012
Click on link for details wvfv challenge
August, 30, 2012
The Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities is a program founded at Syracuse University in 2007 and is now offered at seven universities including the University of Connecticut. The UConn EBV program which began in 2010 previously benefited from the generosity of a major computer company which donated laptops to the veterans in the 2010 and 2011 classes. This summer that company informed UConn that due to the economy, they no longer would be supporting the program.
Work Vessels for Veterans is proud to announce that it has stepped up and donated all 25 laptops to the disabled vets participating in the 2012 EBV program. WVFV thanks Anything IT of Fair Lawn, NJ and Stanley Black and Decker of New Britain, CT for their continued and unwavering support.
About the UConn EBV Program
The UConn EBV program has a proud record of success. In its first year, 11 of 13 veterans started their own businesses within two years of graduation. In 2011, 14 of 24 veterans started their own businesses within 12 months. In total, 25 veterans out of 37 have started 27 businesses. In addition, 5 veterans have been able to access a professional licensing or credentialing education program; an additional 3 have found full time employment.
WVFV wishes UConn and this year’s EBV Class continued success in the months ahead.
A day with David Webb at the Sirius Radio studio.
Thanks to Kim Marden and all the staff at Capt Marden’s Seafood
Hello Mr. Knapp and Everyone at WVFV.org,
J. Barry Neas
someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to
‘The United States of America’, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’”
Many thanks to John Pereira and PMW Marine in Stonington, Ct. which for the third consecutive year ran a fishing derby benefitting WVFV. This year’s derby had 26 boats entered and was a huge success. Thank you JP!
WVFV would like to thank Kim Marden of Captain Marden’s Seafood and his entire staff for their heard work and support of WVFV. An autographed Fender guitar signed by Dave Mason was given away in a fundraiser put on by Kim and his team raised over $ 5000.00 this month for WVFV.
A record breaking month for the WVFV laptop program. HBO stepped up to join WVFV as a driving force in keeping this program successful. A donation of over 40 laptops were delivered to WVFV allowing us to ship out over 70 laptops for the months of June/ July, putting our vets back into school for their continuing education.
If you are in the area, please check out the Poker Run at the Iron Horse Saloon in Ormond Beach, Florida on September 8th. Check out the flyer an stop by for all the fun, food and music. Thanks to Sherry and the Iron Horse team for all the work and support you have shown WVFV over the years.
Here are some pictures of the recent winners of the Dave Mason guitar auctions that Dave does at some of his shows across the country. A very special thank to all the winners and bidders that step up show after show to support WVFV.
I received my laptop the other day. On behalf of all veterans I want
to thank you for your ongoing efforts to help veterans succeed. This
gift will help me continue with my educational efforts and I will
achieve a great deal. I pray that your organization will continue to
thrive so that other veterans can move forward in there future
endeavors. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. It was an
honor to have served such a grateful nation. Attached is a picture of
myself using my new laptop!
Thanks so much. This is much needed and appreciated!!!!
All I can say is Wow ….. This is gonna help a great deal. It was worth the wait! Thank you again
From Scott Jackson
The pictures keep coming in. Good luck to all our Veterans in their educational pursuits.
John Niekrash (Right) founder and CEO of Work Vessels for Vets, a Noank based 501(c)(3) organization providing assistance to returning Vets, stands with Ryan Battista (2nd right) and his family. Ryan received a Toyota Highlander (behind) from Work Vessels to allow him to return to school and commute to work, Ryan, a Marine for 5 years (two tours in Iraq) becomes the latest “family member” to get a “Hand Up” from Work Vessels and it’s affiliation with Valenti Auto Mall.
Patriot Commercial Cleaning in St. Louis, Mo. article Please take a minute to read.
Battle of the Badges Check Presentation/ Plaque Presentation to WVFV
We are humbled today by the generosity of a very special couple: John Niekrash’s 8th grade teacher and her husband, a Vietnam Veteran – a couple that has stepped from the shadows of John’s past to support our organization. in honor of your service to our youth and your husband’s to our country, we promise, as stated in your note to “mulitply it a hundredfold for his fellow veterans”. Thank you.
Sparta System of Holmdel NJ delivers! I received a call a month ago from a total stranger asking about the WVFV laptops program and what it was exactly that we do. At the end of a nice conversation with Bob Schmidinger, he informed me that he wanted to help and would be in touch. I received a call 2 weeks later from Jon Rabinowitz of Sparta Systems..asking me when I could come pick up 63 laptops that he had and wanted to donate to support the WVFV Laptop Program. It is companies like Sparta Systems that makes this program a success. To date we have put over 300 veterans back into educational programs alone throught the generousity and social conciousness. We would like to thank everyone at Sparta Systems for recognizing the need to help out returning men and women and supporting WVFV.
Valenti Auto Mall
WVFV & THE VETERANS FARM EXPANDS
Work Vessels for Veterans annouces the donation of 5 more acres to the Veterans Farm at the second annual Fight For The Veterans Event in Jacksonville Florida. Check out the video CLICK HERE
The Veterans Farm www.veteransfarm.com presented WVFV with a plaque in appreciation of the support.
Revisiting an old story:
Work Vessels for Veterans in conjunction with Dave Mason will hold a charity concert on Wednesday evening, September 28 at George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W Dickson, Fayetteville, AR 72701. All proceeds from the concert will be used to help fulfill US Veteran, Rick Brown’s dream. Rick Brown was injured while on active duty. As a result he has permanent severe seizure disorder, TBI and PTSD. He and his wife Julie have two daughters, Savannah, 11, and Kayla, 16. Julie, who’s formerly employed, must remain with Rick at all times due to his seizure disorder. Their log cabin home and extension has many serious problems including mold, poor insulation, termite infestation, etc. and the family clearly struggles to make ends meet. After learning about the Browns from another veteran-focused non-profit organization, Home Front Hearts (www.homefronthearts.org) The Good People Fund (www.goodpeoplefund.org) through its executive director, Naomi Eisenberger, reached out to the family this past Christmas by sending them simple and utilitarian gifts to brighten their holiday. At the same time, Naomi learned about several serious problems the family was having in their home and arranged to cover the expenses involved in fixing those problems. About six weeks ago Rick’s wife Julie approached Naomi and the Good People Fund to see if it was possible to get Rick some tools and a simple workshop so that he could fulfill his dream of building guitars which he could then donate to help others in some way. This outlet would go a long way in combating the depression that pervades his daily life. Unable to work, Rick spends his days reading, playing guitar or doing flight simulations on the computer (another favored pastime.) It was this request about a workshop that brought Naomi to Work Vessels for Veterans (www.wvfv.net). After describing Rick’s situation, John Niekrash, immediately offered his organization’s assistance in raising funds for the workshop.
Well ….. Here are some pics as we first broke ground
And here is Rick Brown’s new Workshop.
Boat donated by WVFV for the New Englad Disabled Sports/ Veteran’s Program out of Portsmouth New Hampshire taking Veterans deep sea fishing. Boat was refurbished for no charge by the Noank Shipyard, Noank, Ct.
PATRIOT CLEANING SERVICE Here is a copy of an email we received from Tim Smith today.
Subject: Thanks from Patriot Comm Cleaning
It was great speaking with you today.Patriot Commercial Cleaning has greatly benefited from the generosity of Work Vessels for Veterans and because of that we were able to hire 7 veteran employees providing professional cleaning services. It is great to have a team that knows the true meaning of service and that takes pride in their work. We know that we are the first line of defense to make sure our clients work in a clean, safe, and healthy environment. Work Vessels for Veterans helped Patriot Commercial Cleaning create jobs for our comrades that we served along side by side with in the military and I am personally forever grateful.Best,Tim Smith
–Timothy J SmithPresident & CEOPatriot Commercial Cleaning LLC314-456-2516
The Veterans Farm Fight for The Veterans 2012 Click the link to check it out
Chance Gardner-Lastra and staff held a Bike Wash during Biketoberfest will all proceeds going to WVFV – Thanks to All
23 S. Yonge Street
Ormond Beach, FL 32174
We would like to once again acknowledge Captain Marden’s Seafood for their ongoing support of WVFV. Here is a copy of an ad that was place in the New England area CLICK HERE
I want to thank you and Stanley tools so much for everything. These tools truly mean the world to me . This will help so much towards becoming a Master Technician and getting into a job I really love. These tools have inspired me to do the best I can in school, I wont let you down! Before I wrote WVFV I had no idea there were people out there as generous as you guys. You have made a huge impact on not only my career but my life as well. You guys are the real HEROS!!!!! THANK YOU, Joe Muise
FOX NEWS ALERT Dave Mason, John Niekrash and Ted Knapp on Fox News CLICK HERE
Work Vessels delivers another “Hand Up”
Mike McCreary, President Cavalry Brewing, Oxford, Connecticut receives a diesel van through Work Vessels for Vets from donor Mark Densmore (Densmore Oil Co) second from left as Rob Valenti far left, and John Devine, right of Valenti Auto Mall, sponsors of Valenti’s Vehicles for Vets, in affiliation with WVFV look on. McCreary noted this will allow him to double his delivery schedule and is the exact kind of “stimulus” his business needs. Mike also noted he can now hire another Vet to join Cavalry Brewings growing business.
Please take a minute to check out the lastest article from the photographer of Parade Magazine CLICK HERE
Captain Mardins Seafood is the newest supported of WVFV. Captain Marden’s Seafoods, New England’s premiere seafood monger since 1945 has committed to wraping their vehicles to promote awareness for Work Vessels For Veterans. Thanks to all at Captain Marden’s Seafoods!
Took a ride to The Veterans Farm in Jacksonville Florida with a bunch of Vietnam Veteran friends of mine and showed them what I have been doing with WVFV. I had a great day with Adam Burke and his staff. These guys make me so proud to have helped them get from a vision to reality. John, Dave, Kathleen and I are currently working on a securing a fence for the rst of the farm that will keep the wildlife out. It seems the deer, boar and other locals like blueberries too. Great job Adam, you have come a long way… I was so impressed with what you have accomplised.
Cordella Grant – The latest recipient on a laptop computer for continuing her education! Good Luck Cordella
Mark Farner, co founder and original frontman of Grand Funk Railroad and Ted Knapp. Mark has supported the work of WVFV and has been very helpful on the Hippiefest Tour in the fundraising efforts to help the Veterans of the USA. WVFV wanted to repay the favor to Mark by helping out his son Jesse, who was injured a little over a year ago. The incident left Jesse a quadriplegic on a vent. Please visit the Pray for Jesse Farner Facebook Page and send a note and a prayer. https://www.facebook.com/groups/137095029642126/
Mark talking about Jesse on Stage http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IjDyNZw3ksY
Dave Bernstein and Vlad Stelmak, owners of Anything IT www.anythingit.com and major contributors of laptops to support the WVFV Laptop Program and Ted Knapp, join in for the presentation of laptops to two of of their own Veteran employees. AnythingIT has made a commitment to hire as many veterans as posible to fill job opening throughout the entire organization.
US Veteran, Gary Simpson a student in the Commercial Truck Driving Program at Oconee Fall Line Technical College, working on the laptop he received through the Work Vessels for Veterans Program.
Please take a minte to read the article that was printed in the Ft Belvoir Eagle. The 2nd annual Feeling Alright Golf Classic was held on September 23rd and proceeds were shared between WVFV and CAMMO http://cammomusic.org/main/
LAPTOP RECIPIENTS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
Chris Akey Jennifer Bilodeau Eddy Calixto
Cordella Grant Mike Hausauer Abigail Howard
Justin Lerch David Mckenzie Delbert Pierson
Byron Robinson Nalini Singh Tina Tomek
Bruce Andrews David Harrington Joseph Inman
BrandonRitchhart Chris Ryle Gary Simpson
Ground Zero pick up truck used in the relief effort comes full circle to a veteran through WVFV
AMVETS ADOPT WVFV Here is part of an email from the AMVETS announcing the decision to adopt WVFV
I am VERY excited to announce our AMVETS Riders National Program for 2011 – 2012! After an intense research process of various organizations I have chosen Work Vessels For Veterans as the AMVETS Riders National Program for 2011 – 2012! Although all the organizations are very worthy of our attention and help I made the decision to select Work Vessels For Veterans because of the passion and love of the mission of Mr. John Niekash, Founder and Mr. Ted Knapp, President of Work Vessels for Veterans. During the research process, I spoke with both John & Ted by phone and also Mr. Adam Burke, a combat wounded Veteran and founder of Veterans Farm. The intense passion of each of these men to “complete” their ongoing mission of helping combat wounded Veterans to start their own businesses and to sustain and support themselves and their families was second to none. Work Vessels For Veterans has helped MANY wounded Veterans by presenting them with a laptop computer so that our Heroes can attend school after the wounded Veterans complete an application and qualification process. Work Vessels for Veterans has also helped Army Reservist Chris Pinto launch a commercial Lobster business with the donation of a boat. Work Vessels for Veterans also helped Mr. Adam Burke, a Purple Heart recipient, with the donation of some equipment, so that he could start Veterans Farm in Jacksonville, Florida. Work Vessels for Veterans also helped Mr, Tim Smith, a wounded Veteran from St. Louis, Missouri to start Veterans Cleaning Service, a commercial cleaning business that today is a growing and prosperous business. These are just a few of the many success stories of Work Vessels for Veterans! Please check out Work Vessels for Veterans web site at WVFW.net. It is a WONDERFUL site for a great organization with incredible results!
WVFV Fundraising Event at the Iron Horse Saloon in Ormond Beach Florida Saturday September 10, 2011
While on the road, Dave Mason & Ted Knapp hold a autographed guitar auction at Dave’s concerts. One hundred percent of all the money raised from these auctions go directly to WVFV to support our efforts. Above are a few of the auction winners from previous shows.
Laptop presentation to returning veteran Chris Griffin of Daytona, Florida during the Hippiefest tour, featuring Dave Mason
Walgreens, Dave Mason and Work Vessels for Veterans hit the road for Hippiefest 2011 and WVFV awareness tour
COLUMBUS OHIO Ted Knapp, Dave Mason, Jack Hanna & John Niekrash at the Columbus Zoo for a WVFV Fund Raising Event
St. Louis Beacon
“The Mission Continues put me in contact with Work Vessels for Veterans that provided me the other $3900 for the license, insurance and bonding. …
10 event also will go to Santa Barbara Community Food Bank, Yoga Blue and Work Vessels for Vets. For more information, visit michaelboltoncharities.com or …
SGT USMC (Honorably Discharged
Vietnam War Veteran George Horne from Rhode Island received this van with wheelchair lift donated by WVFV
ANYTHING IT Fair Lawn NJ http://fairlawn.patch.com/articles/fair-lawn-firm-tackles-electronic-waste-looks-to-hire-veterans
Dump Truck Donated to David Campbell to start his landscaping business in Connecticut
WVFV EVENT AT THE NOANK SHIPYARD 7 Laptops were given to veterans returning to school, 1 passenger van was shipped to Tim Smith in St Louis for the Patriot Cleaning Service and 2 other cars were also dobated to veterans in need.
USS RONALD REAGAN
Ted Knapp, Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau, Dave Mason & John Niekrash
WVFV & THE VETERANS FARM CREW
TED KNAPP, ADAM BURKE & NICK SPEZZ @ THE VETERANS FARM
PORTSMOUTH – A year’s worth of work paid off for Todd Rohr on Thursday as the retired U.S. Army veteran set sail on the inaugural ride aboard The American, a vessel meant to help wounded veterans find peace while fishing.Retired U.S. Army veteran Todd Rohr places an American Flag on board The American, a new fishing vessel intended for use by the New England Disabled Sports Fishing Program.
Dave Mason to Headline Benefit Concert for Arkansas Veteran Rick Brown
September 28, 2011 at Georges Majestic Lounge. Tickets on sale for Dave Mason Concert presented by Work Vessels for Veterans, Fayetteville, Arkansas.Rock in Roll Hall of Fame Artist and Co-Founder of 1970s band “Traffic” Dave Mason will take the stage and give hope to US Veteran, Rick Brown, and his Family at George’s Majestic Lounge presented by Work Vessels for Veterans. All proceeds from the concert will be used to help fulfill US Veteran, Rick Brown‘s dream of building custom guitars.
Rick Brown was injured while on active duty. As a result he has permanent severe seizure disorder, TBI and PTSD. He and his wife Julie have two daughters, Savannah, 11, and Kayla , 16.
Matthew T. Rossi
United States Marine Corps; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Recipient
“I am a veteran of the United States, Marine Corps….I am currently pursuing a career in business and would greatly benefit from having my own PC. This would enable me to complete course work from home and after graduation, I would use the computer to begin my own business….I am currently working two jobs to support my family….a laptop would help me complete my degree so that I may become a better provider for my family.”
Mario Cruz, Returning OIF Combat Veteran
Returning From War, Returning To College
“My name is Mario Cruz and I am a returning OIF combat veteran. I was in the Army for four years. Two of them I served in DarmstadtGermanyunder the 92nd MP Company, 709th MP Battalion, 18th MP Brigade. I was deployed to Iraqfor 9 months serving under the 101st Airborne Air Assault Division Fort Campbell, KY. Upon return I finish my duties in Fort Campbell, KY.
During the war it was very difficult mentally and physically. There are many reasons why I say this, but only people who have been to war and been in combat can truly understand what I am saying. From having close friends taken away, and losing my mother during this process, I can say it has been a difficult time. After the war, my wife, three children, and I have really been struggling to get by. PTSD has taken its toll on all of us.
Four years later, I can now say that things are looking better. My family and I have recently moved from Desert Hot Springs, CA to Groton, CT. It has been a significant change for all of us. I have enrolled in college, I have a steady job, and my children are in a great school system. The only thing that was missing was a vehicle to get to all these places!
I found a program on the internet called WORK VESSELS FOR VETS. I submitted an application explaining a little about myself, my military service, and my situation, and they replied. Now when I say they replied, I mean they donated my family a car! A really nice car too. I’m crying right now. They donated a car to my family and thanked me for my service. They genuinely are a true passionate group of people who really helped me in a time of need. It was a true miracle for myself and my family. I personally would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Niekrash and Mr. Brown for putting this all together for me. This program has made me see that there are people out there who really care about veterans. I’m sorry I’m very emotional when I’m writing this. I’ve just felt so alone in the world since I came back from the war and have had such difficulties but you guys really made me feel special, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. Thank you so, so much…because of WORK VESSELS FOR VETS, I can go to college, I can really go to college now, and not have to struggle. Thank you guys so much, it is truly a miracle from God.
Iraq War Veteran Army Sergeant Fran Whitworth
Proud Recipient of a Boat, Motor & Trailer Donated by Peter Drakos
WVFV presented this two-tour from Cranston, Rhode Island with a boat, motor and trailer donated by Peter Drakos from Groton Long Point, CT to start his commercial clamming business.
Army Veteran Cindy Moschetto
Laptop Recipient “Surprised & Honored”
“… I don’t know what to say. I am once again speechless. I received a beautiful laptop and bag from you today. I am grateful to you in so many ways. Words can’t really express how surprised and honored I felt. Just when I think humanity is lost I find people in the world like you who reinforce my faith in my fellow man.”
Army Veteran Rich Stewart
Laptop Recipient Says Thank You
“I want to thank you for the laptop. It is going to be great in helping me return to school. This is exactly what I needed and could not afford. It is great to live in a country where people help each other and makes me proud to be an American and also proud to have served our country. Every time I use the laptop I will remember what you did for me.”
Work Vessels for Vets June 4 Benefit Concert
RECAP: Veterans Benefit from Concert
“That was a very impressive event in many ways. Your vision, passion and hard work made it happen, and will continue to make it happen, as your organization grows.
I especially liked the honor guard with the American flag and the Star Spangled Banner – it reminded me about the meaning of patriotism and that we need a potent armed service to protect this wonderful country of ours. The presentations that were made to the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were moving. I could also sense the passion for the WVFV mission that the entertainers exuded.
Your organization not only has been taking care of servicemen in many ways, but also WVFV reminds us civilians that the veterans can benefit from our help and that each of us should assist.
Congratulations to you and your WVFV team for a wonderfully successful and very entertaining night!”
“VETERAN’S FARM” JACKSONVILLE, FL
WVFV announced the purchase of an 8-acre parcel of land in Jacksonville, FL and is leasing it for $1/year to purple heart recipient and OIF combat disabled Veteran Adam Burke who was severely wounded by a mortar attack while on a mission in Iraq. Adam will be employing other disabled Veterans and utilizing the farm as a working sanctuary. Initially they will grow blueberries to produce and market “Red, White and Blueberry” jam with profits going to help other Veteran farmers. Adam has 20 years of farming experience to go with his 9 years of military experience. “Veterans Farm” will be the prototype for other farms across the country, employing and bettering the lives of disabled American military heroes.
Adam Burke and John Niekrash along with donated tractor on “Veteran’s Farm”, Jacksonville, Florida
Visit Adam’s website at www.veteransfarm.com
THE VETERANS FARM
For nine years Adam Burke has served his country in the United States Army. During a patrol in the Iraqi city of In Balad, a mortar destroyed the humvee in which he was riding. Adam was left ninety percent disabled. A Purple Heart recipient he returned from Iraq suddenly thrust into the reality of creating a new life with new challenges – challenges his nine year military career had not nor could not prepare him for.
With help from the Farmer’s Veterans Coalition and Project Evergreen, both non-profit organizations like WFVF, Adam has started a small blueberry farm in Webster, Florida and is looking to add a second farm closer to his treatment facility in Jacksonville, Florida. WVFV is actively involved in the fund raising necessary in assisting Adam in the purchase of the new land.
Adam is not only looking to transition himself into his new career but to also help others. A place where other wounded veterans can go to work, exercise a “horticulture therapy” to help in their rehabilitation. He would like to expand his efforts to provide veteran employment providing bush-hogging services for the rural properties surrounding his farm. His disability has not hampered his desire or efforts to assist his fellow soldiers. His Veteran’s Administration patient advocate suggested he contact us for assistance.
Veteran: Adam Burke
Military Service: United States Army
Project: Blueberry Farm
Project Location: Webster, Florida
Vessels Needed: Tools such as small tractors, trucks, carts and other farming equipment.
Assistance Needed: Potential transport services to delivery equipment to Florida
Financial Donations: To be used to supplement purchasing of equipment or transportation
Proud Recipient of a Boat, Motor & Trailer Donated by Peter Drakos
WVFV presented this two-tour from Cranston, Rhode Island with a boat, motor and trailer donated by Peter Drakos from Groton Long Point, CT to start his commercial clamming business
LOBSTER BOAT IN WESTPORT, MA
WVFV arranged the transfer of a 39 foot lobster boat donated by Westport, MA lobsterman Timothy Field, to Army Reservist Chris Pinto. Chris will be lobstering upon his return from Afghanistan in Plymouth, MA.
Disabled Army Veteran Mark Mix
Growing His Business With A New Generator
WVFV presented disabled Army Veteran Mark Mix with a generator for his mobile detailing business.
CENTRAL JERSEY RIFLE & PISTOL CLUB IN JACKSON, NJ
WVFV joined with an event at the CJRPC honoring the Wounded Warrior Foundation members that come that day.
OPERATION LOBSTER DINNER IN GROTON CT
Grossman’s Seafood thanked the Naval Submarine Base community by providing 500 lobster dinners in the first annual “Operation Lobster Dinner” benefitting WVFV.
UTILITY VAN DONATION IN CONNECTICUT
The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition in Columbus, Ohio
WVFV presented the local Wounded Warrior Chapter with a 22 foot boat donated by Delta Marine. The boat is utilized to take disabled vets fishing, skiing and tubing on Lake Erie.
Connecticut Veterans Who Received Laptops
Eleven Laptops Arm Connecticut Veterans For The Next Leg Of Their Journey.
Jennifer Delgado, United States Army
Juan Manual Sanchez
Carla Arroya Vega, United States Navy
Tyeona Fletcher, United States Army
Matt Rossi, United States Marine Corps
Patrick Hackett, Army National Guard
David Castro, Jr., United States Marine Corps
David Perrotti, United States Air Force
James Charles, United States Army
In reaching out to WVFV, these are small sections of letters and requests we had received from these men and women:
“…I am currently a full time student at Naugatuck Valley Community College. I am taking 5 courses this year and a lap top would be very useful. I am pursuing a career in Business management and will graduate this May with honors. I am also scheduled to go on my third tour this August for a year…”
Sgt, Tyeona Fletcher
February 6, 2009
“…Due to my injury I am unable to return to my previous line of work in real estate rehabilitation….I am quickly learning the necessity of having my own computer in order to be successful. ..however, going to school full time is going to be a tremendous financial hardship …and I simply do not have the extra funds available to purchase a laptop myself. Therefore, I hope you will find me a worthy candidate to receive one…”
Matthew T. Rossi, February 9, 2009
United States Marine Corps
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Recipient
“…I am a veteran of the United States, Marine Corps….I am currently pursuing a career in Business and would greatly benefit from having my own PC. This would enable me to complete course work from home and after graduation, I would use the computer to begin my own business….I am currently working two jobs to support my family….a laptop would help me complete my degree so that I may become a better provider for my family…”
David Castro, Jr.
United States Marine Corps.
Lance Cpl Richard Giguere, United States Marine Corp
Lance Cpl, Richard Giguere completed two tours in Iraq: from January to September 2005 and the second from January to September 2007 working at the Al Asad Air Base outside of Bagdad. On the base where he repaired trucks for convoy missions, it was a long way from his home in Chepachet, Rhode Island and quahogging along the shores of Narragansett Bay. But an article in Soundings Magazine about a lobsterman in Connecticut donating his fishing boat to a veteran interested in a commercial fishing career changed everything: both for Mr. Giguere and for donor, John Niekrash. This donation launched Work Vessels for Vets and Mr. Giguere was the first of many to be assisted.
(L to R) Lance Cpl Richard Giguere, (then fiancée) Ashley Barry, Senator Joseph Lieberman, CT, and John Niekrash at the inaugural donation ceremony, Noank Shipyard, Noank, CT April 4, 2008.
Richard has utilized the Krasher III to provide for his young family by dragging, fish trapping and clamming. In January 2010, Richard was again called back to military service and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. He looks forward to resuming his fishing career in the months ahead upon his return home.
Richard is a founding board member of the Work Vessels for Vets Foundation and we wish him Godspeed as he again travels to a foreign land to help preserve our freedoms here in the United States.