Frequently Asked Questions
I have been a member of the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition for many years. Within The Veteran Leader magazine as well as throughout the website I see the Veterans Fund of the United States mentioned. What is it and how is it connected to the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition?
First of all, thanks for your support with your membership. The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition is a membership-based organization with an Internal Revenue determination as a 501(c)(19) non-profit organization. It was established on May 5, 1980. The Veterans Fund of the United States has a 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue determination and was established on January 31, 2002. The Fund is eligible to apply for and receive corporate, government and individual grants.
The relationship between The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition and The Veterans Fund of the United States is a close one. In order to make that story clear please see the chart that follows for the layout of services and who controls them.
Hopefully this will make it clear that the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition are closely related and work exclusively on what is beneficial to Veterans and their families - just using different methods.
I see on the websites for both the VVnW & The Veterans Coalition and The Veterans Fund of the United States that the VFUS manages the two United Veterans Beacon House projects being done in Promise and Parade, South Dakota. How does that work?
In order to apply for a Grant and Per Diem from the Department of Veterans Affairs we needed to have a 501(c)(3) IRS determinations and then determine the need for transitional housing for Homeless Veterans in a particular area. After a great deal of investigation, requests from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and in-depth discussions with other Native American Veterans in South Dakota we put in for a grant from the VA and began the daunting task of finding a location in South Dakota, filing all of the required paperwork and then waiting for the VA decision. We were amazed that we did, in fact, receive a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs and they determined that rather than two separate grants we would combine both South Dakota locations of Promise and Parade with the Promise location housing 13 Veterans and a House Manager and the Parade location would house 15 Native American Female Veterans with or without children along with a House Manager. These unique "frontier" United Veterans Beacon Houses have been a long-time project for the Veterans Fund of the United States in cooperation with The Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition.
Our expectation was that we would get many, many volunteers to assist with both projects not only from the local Native American tribes but from Veterans who would want to assist their fellow Veterans. Imagine our surprise when that did not happen.
There are many reasons, we think, that we have not received the many volunteers we need to continue these projects. Most Native American Veterans do not believe that anyone would keep their word to them and accomplish what has been promised so they do not want to put any effort into something they do not believe will be completed as promised. After all, history shows that there are not many occasions were Native Americans were given what they were promised. Also, the facts are that those who might want to volunteer seemed to come from the East Coast and it is a grueling three day trip from the East to just get to South Dakota.
This lack of volunteer support has not stopped Peter Forbes, the National Commander, from continually making the long trip from Pennsylvania to South Dakota as he is a man who has given his "word" that these projects will be completed and he will do all that he can to be sure that they are completed. Just remember that Peter is an Australian Vietnam Veteran and while he has no obligation to American Veterans he does feel that he is his brother's keeper and will finish what has been started.
Why South Dakota?
Well, it would be a lot easier not to work in South Dakota but the Veterans there asked us for our support with the United Veterans Beacon House, the VA agreed and we agreed that it does not matter where Veterans are physically located - what matters is there should not be any Veteran who is homeless and we will do what we can to help! We cannot help all Veterans but we will do what we can for those we can assist.
How do I get involved - I don't have many building skills but I am willing to learn?
To participate in a UVBH Working Bee you need to have the ability to be in South Dakota for just about three weeks. The travel to and from South Dakota (either by vehicle or airflight) will be provided by the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition. All expenses like hotels and food are covered. The vehicles leave from Pittston and then it takes about two and one half days to get to South Dakota from Pennsylvania and then the same amount of time to get back. Then two weeks there would include many responsibilities which could include painting, cleaning, framing, grass cutting, landscaping, chicken care, cow care, cooking and on and on. If you don't have skills we will teach you some. We guarantee that you will come back more tired than hungry but you will feel a real sense of accomplishment for what you have done for Veterans.
Help support a United Veterans Beacon House
Required Donation: $40
Required Donation: $250
Required Donation: $450
Required Donation: $2400
Click the "Donate" button to donate that item or click here to see all items.
Here are some links to more information.
- Veterans of Vietnam War, Inc. & The Veterans Coalition
- HOW - Help Our Warriors
- Working Bee