Tonight Christmas was brighter for the American veterans who were honored with gifts and a Christmas feast at the Petey Green Center on 2907 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd in Southeast, D.C. As beautiful Christmas music played in the background the United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. VETS) presented a holiday celebration that included delicious food courtesy of Walmart and an uplifting program of thanks that let the American veterans know that their service and their sacrifice was not forgotten this Christmas season.
Linda Clark-Holland, program manager, U.S. VETS opened the program by thanking the veterans of their service and she offered special thanks to Walmart and Niche Workforce Solutions for helping to make the Christmas dinner a success.
Officials present for the Christmas celebration included; Jessica Smith-Haynie, Supportive Service Veteran Family Program Coordinator; Raymond O’Pharrow, Rapid Employment Workforce Coordinator; Kim Oswald, U.S. Vets Advisory Board Member; Debra Truchon, SSVF Program Assistant; Rashida Johnson, SSVF Case Manager, Brittany Young, PSHP Case Manager; Charlie Kessler, Director of Special Program for Niche Workforce Solutions; and John Hurley, Executive Director, Niche Workforce Solutions.
Special thanks was also given to U.S. VETS-Washington D.C Advisory Council; United Planning Organization; Metro DC Association of Black Social Workers, U.S. VETS Staff, Imani Consulting and all contributions made in preparation for the U.S. Veterans Initiative Holiday Celebration.
Angie Jacobs of Fauquier, Virginia, an ICU nurse from Fauquier Hospital donated the beautiful Christmas cake for the celebration. The Wildwood Forest Neighborhood also donated gifts to the veterans. The celebration for the American veterans and the role that the U.S. VETS organization has played in helping veterans to overcome whatever obstacles they face in order to lead healthy and successful lives.
“I am a veteran with a 25 year history of substance abuse. I came to U.S. Veterans Initiative 3 years ago. I was homeless, I have enrolled in Catholic Charities Substance Abuse Counseling Program. I graduate in March of 2014. I look forward to helping fellow veterans after graduation. Thank you, U.S. VETS,” said American veteran Willie White.
"Serving those who served," was not just words tonight. The faces of the veterans showed the true joy of Christmas is in giving to others. U.S. Veterans Initiative gave the American veterans a Christmas feast tonight.