The Veterans Council of Collier County is the umbrella organization of the 20 veterans groups that exist in Collier County,
The Veterans Council is comprised of representatives from each group and meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
We bring all groups together for networking and fellowship in an otherwise fragmented community. We each have our allegiances, but are fighting the same battle.
United we stand.
Meetings are open to all veterans.
For additional information call 239.478.7441
To all our friends and Members of the Collier County Veterans Council,
Welcome to our third quarterly newsletter of 2019 and, as always, I would like to take a moment to wish you and your families
the very best.
I will start this in the most commonly verbal greeting used in the United States Military which is an expression of
enthusiasm. If you’re not sure what I mean, walk up to a US Marine and ask him to defend this country with everything he can muster up in every fiber of his body and I am sure you will get a very
Oorah, which is a
battle cry in the US Marine Corps since the mid-20th century. It is comparable to Hooah in the US Army and Hooyah in the US Navy and US Coast Guard.
Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active Military, naval, or air
service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable."
Now, let’s discuss some very sensitive, very serious, and incredibly prevalent issues among today’s veterans. If you know
someone who suffers from PTSD, suicidal thoughts/tendencies, or who is currently experiencing or is at risk for becoming homeless, I can guarantee that we will give you the information and the tools
to find the proper direction for them to get the help they need.
After taking the role of CCVC President, I have taken a very hard turn in my life. I was just Honorably Discharged from the
military after 30 plus years of service and I wanted to help the veteran community dealing with Homelessness, PTSD, and Suicide. I have had personal experience in my family growing up in all three
areas. Please don’t pass by a person who needs help thinking “Why should I get involved?” Instead, please ask yourself, “What’s stopping me from helping?” I know from experience that the pride of a
veteran, or even a civilian in need, can make it extremely hard to ask for help. I do not want any person to be afraid to reach out for help. So, let’s please keep an eye out for those in need.
You might just make all the difference in the world to someone.
I started on my own to find our local homeless veterans living in tent cities in our own community. I was taking food and
water, putting it in a backpack, and handing out to the homeless veterans and civilians. At the beginning I did not have any training or guidance until a meeting called the “Veterans Expo” a table
that everyone wanted to help veterans but no one has been to or knew about the tent cities. I met with David from the Veteran Center in Naples, FL and we both filled backpacks and started our own
walk as a team.
Now, a few years later, a new veterans group is doing that and making it better by getting an accurate homeless veterans
Bear with me because I am getting somewhere dealing with homeless veterans. Start at the basics. If you're
wanting to help, just take the time and read this through, please. Proof of Identification is a must because most homeless do not have DD-214 or separation paperwork on them but driver’s license, a
name and SSN can help. Don’t be surprised if you meet someone on a drug or alcohol addiction and will say they are a veteran because they think that’s all you are willing to help. Remember, when you
meet a homeless man or woman and no matter the addiction, explain you are willing to help veterans and civilians who are homeless because they are human and you care. I was one of those who believed
someone on addiction who wanted help and posed as a veteran to get my attention, just for the food and water. When you’re helping a homeless and if you are not sure if they are a veteran by passing
the information they are willing to provide to the Veteran’s service office would help tracking down verification.
Understanding the reason for separation is the first step of knowledge when helping a homeless veteran.
If a military Service Member received a good or excellent rating for his or her their service time, by exceeding standards
for performance and personal conduct, they will be discharged from the military honorably. An honorable military discharge is a form of administrative discharge.
A general military discharge is a form of administrative discharge. If a service member’s service is satisfactory but the
individual failed to meet all expectations of conduct for military members, the discharge is considered general discharge, under other than honorable conditions. To receive a general discharge from
the military there has to be some form of nonjudicial punishment to correct unacceptable military behavior or the failure to meet military standards. The discharge officer must give the reason for
the discharge in writing, and the military member must sign paperwork stating they understand the reason for their discharge. Veterans may not be eligible for certain veteran’s benefits under a
General Discharge, including the GI Bill.
Other Than Honorable Conditions Discharge:
The most severe type of military administrative discharge is the other than honorable conditions. Some examples of actions
that could lead to an other than honorable discharge include security violations, use of violence, conviction by a civilian court with a sentence including prison time, or being found guilty of
adultery in a divorce hearing (this is not a definitive list; these are only examples). In most cases, veterans who receive an Other Than Honorable Discharge cannot re-enlist in the Armed Forces or
reserves, except under very rare circumstances. Veteran’s benefits are not usually available to those discharged through this type of discharge.
Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD)
The Bad Conduct Discharge is only passed to enlisted military members and is given by a court-martial due to punishment for
bad conduct. A Bad Conduct discharge is often preceded by time in military prison. Virtually all veterans benefits are forfeited if discharge is often preceded by time in military prison. Virtually
all veterans benefits are forfeited if discharged due to bad conduct.
If the military considers a service members actions to be reprehensible, the general court-martial can determine a
dishonorable discharge is in order. Murder and Sexual assault are examples of situations which would result in a dishonorable discharge. If someone is dishonorably discharged from the military they
are not allowed to own firearms according to US federal law. Military members who receive a Dishonorable Discharge forfeit all military and veterans benefits and may have a difficult time finding
work in the civilian sector.
Commissioned officers cannot receive bad conduct discharges or a dishonorable discharge, nor can they be reduced in rank by a
court-martial. If an officer is discharged by a general court-martial, they receive a Dismissal notice which is the same as a dishonorable discharge.
Entry Level Separation (ELS):
If an individual leaves the military before completing at least 180 days of service, they receive an entry level separation
status. This type of military discharge can happen for a variety of reasons (medical, administrative, ect.) and is neither good nor bad, though in many cases, service of less than 180 may prevent
some people from being classified as a veteran for state and federal benefits.
Thank you for reading all the above I will have more steps to help you understand when helping a homeless
Also know that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an epidemic sweeping our country. PTSD does not discriminate.
It is an issue for active duty, veterans, reservists and family members. We want to help end the stigma surrounding PTSD and provide resources for the men and women suffering from this
invisible wound. By addressing the whole family unit, we can help end the war that people face on a daily basis. There are many organizations locally that are also working very hard to make
life worth living. If anyone has thoughts of suicide, or has a family member in crisis, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1. You can also text 838255 or go
on the website at www.veteranscrisisline.net to chat.
Our Board of Directors is comprised of a diverse and skilled group of individuals who have a lot to offer both our civilian
and veteran communities. They are working hard as a team to bring the local veteran community relevant news, events, information and support. Please make it your personal promise to attend some of
our monthly veteran’s council meetings at City Hall. The meetings are always scheduled for the third Wednesday a month at 7 pm. Our meetings truly are rich with information to share with the veteran
We need to be there for one another, and we vow to never leave anyone behind.
With warm regards,
William Carl, CCVC President
Character isn't something you were born with and can't change, like your
fingerprints. It's something you weren't born with and must take responsibility for forming.
- Jim Rohn
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home,
there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.
- A. P. J. Abdul