Goodwill Honors Those Who Serve

Letters

BY BOB ROSINSKY SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY MAY 21, 2016

Every year on the third Saturday of May, Americans pause to recognize the heroics of those who are serving in the US Armed Forces. The brave men and women of the military make tremendous sacrifices, as do their families, for a greater cause and sense of responsibility to their country.

On this Armed Forces Day and throughout the year, Goodwill Manasota affirms its gratitude to those who risk their lives in service to our country. We not only appreciate their many sacrifices but also stand at the ready to help them re-integrate into their families, communities and jobs after their discharge.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates some 250,000 service men and women return to civilian life each year. Currently, there are nearly 80,000 veterans who live in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Many return from deployment with debilitating physical injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other challenges that impede their smooth transition to civilian life. Goodwill is proud to provide support for them.

Many veterans approach Goodwill for career services and are surprised to find that our support extends beyond assistance for job searches. Goodwill also can link them to resources that help with a variety of needs—from health care and child care to housing and transportation. We are also now providing targeted assistance for the homeless veterans in our region. 

Since its inception three years ago, our Veterans Services Program has served more than 1,000 veterans, placed 118 in jobs, raised over $15,000 through our SERV Fund to assist more than 20 veterans and their families with emergency needs, provided free specialized yoga classes and offered holiday and entertainment options that program participants might not otherwise have been able to enjoy.

Many of us know of a family member or friend, or someone in our community, who is currently serving in the Armed Forces. We at Goodwill encourage you to let them know that Goodwill stands ready to welcome them back to our community, and to the workforce, after their brave service is complete.

Bob Rosinsky is president and CEO for Goodwill Manasota.

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