Community event in Phoenix features Mobile Service Units bringing care to Veterans, a traveling storytelling exhibition honoring local heroes, and honored advocates making a difference for Veterans
PHOENIX, Oct. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Veterans’ advocates and community leaders joined together at the Arizona State Capitol’s Wesley Bolin Memorial Park today to raise awareness about programs and services to help Veterans in need. The community awareness program has been part of a year-long celebration of Nation’s Finest’s 50th Anniversary, which has honored individuals who have helped Veterans above and beyond the call of duty. The Phoenix event today was one of several awareness events taking place in three states and in Washington DC as a part of Nation’s Finest 50th Anniversary.
The effort by Nation’s Finest aims to shine a light on the alarming statistics impacting Veterans – from mental health and high suicide rates to homelessness and unemployment—-and help connect Veterans and their families to resources that honor their service and ensure their care and success.
“The suicide rate among Veterans remains high, with approximately 17 Veterans committing suicide each day, and on any given night, over 40,000 Veterans don’t have a place to call home in our country,” said Chris Johnson, President & CEO, Nation’s Finest. “As a nation, we can and should do better to honor those who have sacrificed and served, which is why we are promoting this program to raise greater awareness and help connect Veterans to the services they need.”
Through Veteran’s Day, Nation’s Finest is hosting a series of community awareness events that bring together community leaders, Veterans’ advocates, and community partners to ensure Veterans and their families have access to services, and programs. Each event features a Nation’s Finest mobile service unit staffed by trained professionals to assist Veterans, as well as community partner booths to provide educational information. On display is a powerful storytelling exhibition honoring heroes for making a difference in the lives of Veterans. At each event, Nation’s Finest is presenting special awards to local Veterans organization leaders who have gone above and beyond to help Veterans and their families in their communities.
During the ceremony, seven local heroes from Arizona were honored for their service to Veterans. Heroes honored included: Mike Broomhead, Pat Upah, George Bliss, Sam Young, Reginald (Reggie) Atlas Yates, Dr. Sue Sisley and Robert Mitchell. Legislative leaders, Arizona State Senators John Kavanaugh and Sonny Borelli were among several community leaders who joined Nation’s Finest to present special medallions for their work. The awardees personal stories, along with other Nation’s Finest awardees, were featured in the exhibition and on the Nation’s Finest website at www.NationsFinest.org.
The Nation’s Finest Community Outreach Program is funded through the support of many community partners, including Verizon (presenting partner), U.S. Veterans Affairs, Safeway, the Land of the Free Foundation, Comcast, Turton Commercial Real Estate, Enterprise Community Partners, and the Charles M. Schulz Museum, among others.
“Verizon is honored to join so many community partners in supporting Nation’s Finest and their mission to help Veterans in need,” said Matthew Clark, Manager, Government Affairs and Community Engagement. “Verizon is committed to helping Veterans and their families with access to smart technologies that improve connectivity to the programs, services, and care available to them. It’s through community partnerships like this that we can work together to make a difference.”
This year marks 50 years since Nation’s Finest was founded to support Veterans returning from the Vietnam War by providing critical housing, health, and employment support to ensure Veterans reach their full potential. During the past five decades, the programs and impact of Nation’s Finest have continued to grow, serving more than 150,000 Veterans and providing $275 million in direct services in 31 locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as through national services. Additionally, through its mobile service unit program, Nation’s Finest can reach thousands more Veterans each year, who lack access to care by bringing resources directly to them, particularly those living in rural areas.
SOURCE Nation’s Finest