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Meet some of your fellow Veterans Peer Corps Program mentors

The Veteran Peer Corps Progam gives veterans a place to gather, share and heal together. Photo credit: U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs

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Many veterans have a need for support services, including peer-to-peer interaction and connections.

Some veterans need to talk about their experiences with combat, deployment, or other situations experienced during their time in the military.

Often, there is no better person to talk about these experiences with, than another veteran. This is exactly what the WDVA Veterans Peer Corps does.

A Veterans Peer Corps Member is a veteran, or a veteran's dependent, who receives training and certification and then serves as a peer mentor by facilitating meetings and activities.

The Veterans Peer Corps gives veterans places to gather, share experiences and stories, heal together, and ultimately create a sense of a Veteran Community within their own community.

We had the opportunity to meet with some of the newer Veterans Peer Corps (VPC) Mentors and receive feedback on the many benefits of the VPC program.

Richard McCammon, SFC/U.S. Army:

"I believe that the Veterans Peer Corps Program is truly needed in the community because various resources need to be available to veterans and their families so that someone in need can always find what they want within the community.

The Veterans Peer Corps Program (VPC) provides local assistance quickly and I believe can solve more problems than by attempting to just solve a problem over the phone or Internet. It is easier to establish a network at the local level to address issues and get problems resolved. 

The VPC training is short enough to learn the basics and complements other training and courses a veteran may have taken in school or while in the service."

Gillian Wold, ET3/U.S. Navy:

"I used to feel absolutely helpless when the topic of suicide came up, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that felt that way.

The Veterans Peer Corps Program is critically needed. While the rates of veteran deaths by suicide may have decreased over the last year or so, if there is still at least one per day, that's still one too many. For as many of us as there are, no one should ever feel like they're alone. 

Whenever someone tells me something, I try to think of questions to keep the conversation going and when I meet someone new, I try to find things we might have in common to get a conversation going.

We are all vets, so there is a bond that (most) civilians may never understand.

I am a true introvert, but I still open up with other veterans. I think it is just easier for a veteran to open up to another vet, no matter the subject we are talking about.

With that being said, this Veterans Peer Corps class is almost like a low-key communications class. You just learn how to ask more and how to ask better questions. I also really appreciate that the people teaching it were vets. It would kind of be BS if someone was trying to tell us what it is like and they did not know themselves."

Veterans Peer Corps Program Objectives:

1. Build community-based programs that connect veterans from a variety of eras and backgrounds to each other

2. Create opportunities for veterans to gather and participate in activities

3. Provide training for veteran peer mentors and equip them with information about veteran resources in their communities

4. Empower veteran peer mentors to facilitate group and individual mentoring sessions

5. Build camaraderie and trust through ongoing coaching, training opportunities, and support forums

6. Veterans Peer Corps Mentors will work with veterans both in groups and individually to:

  • Create opportunities to give back and be involved with their communities
  • Create a safe local group setting where veterans can share military stories and experiences
  • Participate in activities together and find common interests
  • Assist with transition from the military to civilian life
  • Provide referrals to local, state, and federal benefits and resources

To sign up for upcoming Veterans Peer Corps trainings and/or to learn more about the program, visit: or contact Bryan Bales at

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