VFW Post Helps Peer Navigator Program Help Vets

    Posted 12/07/2012

    AspenPointe’s Peer Navigator program received an early Christmas present this year, thanks to the generosity of a local Veterans of Foreign Wars post donation.

    On a day set aside to honor veterans who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, leadership from VFW Post 7829 in Monument presented a $400 check to the Peer Navigator program, which helps military members, veterans, and their families connect to resources in the Colorado Springs community to improve their lives and accomplish their goals.
    “We’re so grateful that the VFW felt that our program was a worthy cause to donate to this holiday season,” said Catherine Mayberry, AspenPointe’s Lead Peer Navigator. “The use of donated funds allows us the flexibility to support our clients in ways that we aren’t traditionally funded for, and it gives us the ability to provide hope for military and veteran clients who are working hard to make major changes in their lives.” 
    As part of the group’s veteran assistance efforts, post members identify non-profit organizations that provide direct services and financial support to veterans and their families, and then donate relief funds to support non-profit organization efforts.  This year, post members selected the AspenPointe Peer Navigator program as a recipient of relief funds.
    Every cent that the Peer Navigator program receives as donated funds goes directly to offering supportive services to our clients,” Mayberry said. “It’s often as simple as a bus pass, a modest gift card to help with gas, or getting someone a pre-paid phone so that they can connect to potential employers in their job search. With $400, we can help more than a dozen veterans with these simple but meaningful items.” 
    The Peer Navigator program is free for military members, veterans, and their families. The program focuses on whole-person wellness, and helping connect individuals to resources to help meet mental health, physical health, community integration, and career development needs, according to Craig Schlattmann, an Air Force veteran and Peer Navigator. 
    “Each Peer Navigator is a military veteran or military family member with a deep understanding of the military culture who is able to establish a personal individualized connection and act as a personal guide through complex systems of care,” Schlattmann said. 
    Two members of the Peer Navigator team, Schlattmann, and Jennifer Richards, are active members of VFW Post 7829. 
    The Master Sergeant William J. Crawford VFW Post 7829 is a local chapter of the national VFW organization whose mission includes providing support for and improving the lives of military Veterans and their families in local communities.  
    The namesake of Post 7829, Master Sgt. William J. Crawford, was a Pueblo, Colo. native and later a resident of Palmer Lake, who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor as a combat infantryman during World War II.  Though initially reported as missing and presumed dead during the war, it was later learned that he had actually survived and was interred in a German prisoner of war camp. More than 40 years later, President Ronald Reagan presented the Medal of Honor to Crawford at the Air Force Academy in May, 1984.   The Post’s motto reflects the proud heritage of Crawford’s service: “Deeds – Not Words.”
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