WDVA E-Newsletter October 2023 Issue

WDVA E-news Header image - March 2023


Dryhootch Madison veteran mental health comm org grant check presentation 10.17.23

WDVA's Secretary Bond presents Veteran Mental Health Community Org. Grant to Dryhootch in Madison

WDVA Secretary-designee James Bond visited Great Lakes Dryhootch Madison on October 17 to present their leadership with their Veteran Mental Health Community-Based Organization Grant for $50,000. The grant will be used to create recruitment materials and outreach throughout Wisconsin for their “Quick Reaction Force and Battle Peer” programs, as well as to train a corps of 20 peer mentors and provide peer support to 100 Wisconsin veterans. At least fifty percent of the participants will be from rural parts of Wisconsin. 

The grants which were announced this past September, are intended to support our local, community organizations and non-profits who provide positive mental health activities and healthy outcomes for Wisconsin Veterans. 

For the detailed list of the 16 non-profits receiving grants and how they will be used to support positive veteran mental health outcomes in Wisconsin, please visit WDVA's Press Room.

*Pictured (left to right): Bob Curry - Dryhootch founder, Otis Winstead - Dryhootch CEO, Levi Marker - Peer Support Specialist, and WDVA Secretary James Bond.

She is a Veteran

Join the "She is a Veteran" Campaign!

WDVA is encouraging all women veterans to sign up for the "She Is a Veteran" Campaign. This is a new WDVA campaign looking to connect women veterans from diverse backgrounds and various service eras across the great state of Wisconsin.

What is it? The "She Is a Veteran" is a Wisconsin Women Veteran’s outreach campaign that is designed to acheive the following goals:
  • Connect women to their identity as veterans.
  • Change the public perception of what veterans look like.
  • Connect women veterans to benefits and resources they have earned.
  • Connect women veterans to the community.
  • Campaign participants will be recognized via a short bio and point of contact on the WDVA Women Veteran website. Campaign members will share their stories, hoping their journeys will resonate with all individuals and encourage Wisconsin Women Veterans to speak up and proudly identify their veteran status.
  • Campaign participants will meet once a quarter (either in person or remotely) with campaign chair, WDVA's Women Veteran Coordinator.
  • Campaign members will share community outreach events and Wisconsin Women
  • Veterans’ concerns, issues, and needs.
Women veterans can sign up here. If you have any questions about participating in the She Is a Veteran campaign, please email WomenVets@dva.wisconsin.gov.
Veterans Day 2023 ceremony at WI capitol image

Veterans Day 2023 Ceremony at Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda

Join WDVA and the Madison Veterans Council as we reflect on 175 years of Wisconsin Service during this year's Veterans Day 2023 Ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda on the morning of Friday, November 10. View more details about our Veterans Day Ceremony as we get closer to the event date on wisvets.com. 

Sec Bond at LGBT WI Chamber of Commerce event for Natl Coming Out Day - Oct 2023

Secretary Bond joins Governor Evers for National Coming Out Day and Shares Personal Story

WDVA Secretary-designee James Bond spoke at the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce National Coming Out Day Breakfast on Wednesday, October 11, in Madison. He shared his personal story as the first openly gay, African American, and disabled Marine Corps veteran to serve as WDVA Secretary and appointed to lead one of the state's cabinet agencies. Governor Tony Evers also gave remarks at the event. National Coming Out Day is intended to convey a message of support, compassion, and acceptance.

He also reaffirmed that WDVA is here to support and deliver eligible veterans benefits to all veterans, and that includes Wisconsin's LGBTQ veterans.

*Pictured left to right: Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce's Nick Barth – Chief of Staff, Alexis Hernandez – Outreach Coordinator, South Central Wisconsin, WDVA Secretary-designee James Bond, Jason Rae – President & CEO, and Jenna Sterr – Outreach Coordinator, Southeast Wisconsin.

Sec Bond and new CVSOA of WI president Bruce Wilbur - 10.10.2023

Bruce Wilbur Elected CVSOA President at State Conference

WDVA Secretary-designee James Bond attended and gave keynote remarks at the County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin state conference on Monday, October 9. While there he met with Bruce J. Wilbur Jr., who was elected as President on October 11 and made history as their first Native American veteran  President to lead the association. Bruce has served for many years as TVSO to Wisconsin's Menominee Nation as well as CVSO for Menominee County. Congratulations!  *Pictured: Bruce J. Wilbur, CVSOA of WI President, and Secretary Bond. 

TVSOs and Melissa Doud at state CVSOA of WI conference 10.10.23

WDVA's Melissa Doud, Tribal Veteran Liaison, Connects with TVSOs at CVSOA of Wisconsin State Conference

WDVA's Tribal Veteran Liaison Melissa Doud met with several attending Tribal Veteran Service Officers at the County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin conference this month. Melissa has been hard at work connecting with TVSOs who help WDVA deliver benefits and services for tribal veterans. 

*Pictured left to right: Gregg Duffek TVSO Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Melissa Doud - WDVA's Tribal Veteran Liaison, Lynette “Bee” Hopinkah Ho-Chunk Nation TVSO veteran office manager, Bruce Wilbur- TVSO Menominee Nation News, Connor Kestell TVSO Oneida Nation, Ronald “Stosh” Peterson TVSO Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and Dean VanZile TVSO Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Kevin Moore VORP staff Region 11 photo

VORP Spotlight – Kevin Moore

Meet Kevin Moore, Region 11 outreach coordinator with WDVA's Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP). 

Kevin covers the counties of Brown, Calumet, Kewaunee, and Door. He works with local and regional community partners and professionals to provide veterans with assistance including mental health support services, substance use treatment, financial assistance with rent or utilities, claims and benefits, educational opportunities, and vocational job training services.

What motivates you and/or what is the most rewarding part of helping or seeing veterans succeed?

Being a veteran myself, I understand what it means to serve our great nation. Sometimes that means being away from family and friends for extended periods as well as being put in harm's way. I am personally motivated in what I do in my outreach with VORP to help our veterans. Many of our former soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen don’t return home whole. It truly hurts my soul to see them homeless and in need of care. I find it extremely rewarding to know I can become an agent of change in their lives.

Any veterans in your family, and/or are you a veteran yourself?

I have 7 uncles and my sister who are all veterans. I was inspired by my sister to join. I am an Army veteran who served for over 24 years, 5 months, and 15 days of active duty. I deployed to Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. I retired as an E8, First Sergeant, and during my military career, I was stationed in many locations in the US and overseas.

To contact Kevin, or learn more about VORP services, please visit our website here.

Now hiring for UG Home Director Commandant - Oct 2023

Find Your New Career at WDVA!

Are you looking for a new career opportunity? WDVA is looking for great people to help us serve our veterans in Wisconsin. Our featured job this month is for a Nursing Home Administrator and Commandant for our Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove. 

WDVA has many more available job openings across our state which includes various administrative positions at our veteran memorial cemeteries, veteran homes, and our offices in Milwaukee and Madison. To view all available openings, and how to apply, please visit www.wisc.jobs today!