Aug 05, 2023

Tom Caulfield

Tom Caulfield

In line with our 30th anniversary this month, Veteran Community Initiatives (VCI) has made the difficult decision to ask the community for only the second time in our history for financial donations.

And wow – we can tell you after only three months down the road that we are bursting with pride and appreciation at how this community so generously gives at all levels – rallying around our veterans and their needs/issues so quickly and committedly.

Although we are only in our initial request stage(s), we have found responses to our sustaining fund drive most amazing from businesses, organizations, veteran service organizations, present and past clients, and our everyday community supporters.

Respondents have recognized both the short- and long-term benefits of VCI’s programs, services and initiatives to our veterans and communities at large.

As we engage late spring/early summer enjoyment, our community members have shown they understand and are aware of the significance and sacrifices of those who have served (many paying the ultimate sacrifice) on behalf of this great country. This show of appreciation has often extended beyond everyday appreciation through financial support where and whenever feasible.

On behalf of the VCI board, emeritus, staff and more than 15,000 formal clients, we wish to thank our Laurel Highlands/Southern Alleghenies veteran and veteran-appreciative community for a most generous and amazing support of VCI’s sustaining fund drive, and more importantly, for the support given during the past 30 years.

We are in ongoing awe of your caring, giving, understanding and loving of our military, veterans, families and our entire veteran community.

VCI’s program is operated and directed entirely by local community members – we live and grow our families here –many veterans themselves, and/or family members who have served and sacrificed.

Our organizational structure allows us to continue fighting and serving (not missing a day through the pandemic) for veterans, helping them attain their rightfully entitled benefits with reduced bureaucracy – bureaucracy that is so often an enemy of our deserving veterans, especially our aging veterans.

With supporters’ help, VCI continues to push for and implement needed and pertinent local veteran programs and services such as rural outreach, job search assistance, suicide prevention, veterans court, mental health issues, one-time financial assistance of bills due to hardships, and many other veteran-assisted help initiatives.

Working in conjunction with other established veteran- directed federal, state and community programs often results in less bureaucracy the veteran has to deal with.

In the coming months, VCI plans on introducing some life-changing/long-term care, informational and veteran recognitional programs for veterans and their families.

With our diverse and caring support efforts, VCI’s mission and purpose continues to be to enhance the lives and well-being of community residents, focusing on our veterans and their families.

VCI daily emphasizes assisting with social and economic needs of those disabled, disadvantaged, physically/mentally challenged, unemployed, underemployed, substance abusers and previously incarcerated.

This support is administered by a qualified, competent, veteran-oriented, concerned staff and board members helping, caring and advocating for our nation’s most precious resource – our veterans and military.

Please continue your ongoing support of VCI and our communities’ veteran-centric programs as we continue our fight on behalf of our veterans, eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, and working closely with the Veterans Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, etc., and anyone that can make a positive difference in the lives of veterans, families and the veteran community.

All at VCI feel privileged in every way that you have allowed us this opportunity to serve our veterans who have sacrificed so much for this great country.

Anyone interested in reaching out, helping our area veterans, contributing, and/or just learning more about VCI, write us at 727 Goucher St., Johnstown, Pa. 15905, go online to, or visit our office in person.

May God bless.

Tom Caulfield is president and CEO of Veteran Community Initiatives.

Tom Caulfield is president/CEO of Veteran Community Initiatives.

Johnstown Magazine is a positive and forward-thinking monthly publication for the people of our region.

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