The Veterans Council of Collier County is the umbrella organization of the 13 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 239.848.8508
We will not be holding a Council meeting in June. The next Collier County Veterans Council following May's meeting will be
held Wednesday, July 19th, 7pm at Naples City Hall. Everyone is invited to attend. Please contact President Chief Carl if you would like to be added to our agenda. City Hall's
address is 735 8th Street South, 34102.
April 12th, 2017
Members of the Collier County Veterans Council,
The end of an exciting first quarter has passed. Our nation is now getting ready to venture into the second quarter. I have
enjoyed the start of this New Year. Many good patriots from the local community have stood at the podium during our Collier County Veterans Council monthly meetings in Naples City Hall with exciting
and interesting news that has enlightened and helped veterans on many different levels.
At the end of last month, I was excited to end the first quarter by inducting Brigadier General Edward Dyer, US Army (Ret.) as an
honorary member of the CCVC Board of Directors for the day on March 15th, 2017. He took some of his valuable time to tell us about the veteran health care program, Run For Home Base. It treats the
unseen wounds that post 9-11 veterans carry every day. During the meeting, I invited him to be our keynote speaker at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony held
here at Hodges Funeral Home and cemetery May 29th, 2017. He accepted graciously. This Memorial Day will also have a second headlining speaker, our Congressman, Francis Rooney(R)(Dist.19).
This occasion promises to thoroughly honor our veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
I hope you all make the next meeting, April 19th. My special guest is Naples Mayor, Bill Barnett.
I have the need to bring a few serious veteran community issues to light after the way they were overlooked in the past. I say, no more
should we walk through life in blinders. We have heard from different communities about our veterans who have returned home but are still in need of help. Two of the issues that have taken the
spotlight are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known more as PTSD, and Suicide. Recently, I was in downtown Naples at the Starbucks, having a morning coffee when a couple came in who I met
last year during the snow bird season. I had not seen them for a year. So, they asked me if I would mind if they sat to chat over coffee. I agreed and our conversation started with,
“Chief, how are you doing?” I then asked them how they were doing. We chatted about family, our health, and the weather. All of a sudden, they hit me with a heartfelt statement.
“Chief, a good friend of our son had returned from Iraq last year and committed suicide. Everyone that knew him was surprised because he seemed to have it all together. Later, we heard he
was suffering from PTSD. A family member told others he was suffering alone behind closed doors. He would be abusive and drank a lot.” My heart sank because I see this happening
more every day.
Their next statement made me realize what their blind spot was. “Chief, we wished we lived in Naples where these issues never
happen.” Naples lack of concern for veteran suicide has made people believe there are none. That statement alone made me respond quickly. “I hope more people get information about how to
help the returning veteran before this happens to them. No matter where you live, it is happening there. This is not something that hits only certain towns and communities. It’s
countrywide.” My friends were surprised to hear that, last month, I was invited to attend a PTSD Summit held here in Naples, Florida. The PTSD Summit was hosted by the American Military
Veterans Foundation up in Cape Coral. It was a real eye-opener for all those who attended this event. It was held at the Silver Spot cinema where they showed a short film called “A
Marine’s Guide to Fishing”. I suggest you take a moment to find it on YouTube. The lead actor is disabled veteran in real life.
Shortly after the showing of “A Marine’s Guide To Fishing”, I resolved to contact all the homeless veterans that are scattered around
Naples. I decided to set out on a hike to find the homeless veterans that live in our area. I partnered with David from the local Veterans Center on behalf of the Jewish Family and
Community Services “Operation Military Assistance Program” to bushwack through the wooded areas, looking for tent cities. This is where all sorts of homeless Americans gather to stay off the
grid. On our first quest, we met a Viet Nam war vet who served in the US Army. We talked with him for a while. He told us some stories about how the Viet Nam war traumatized
him. We could see that he has carried his PTSD and hidden it from everyone for some time now. When he told us he had not eaten in a couple days, we gave him a ride to the St.
Matthew’s House to get a good meal. David did give him information so he can help him any way he could. Just because we only found one man doesn’t mean we will stop looking for
others. I would like to gather a 6 man team that is willing to help us find those veteran brothers and sisters who became lost and homeless. I am reaching out to the members of the
Veterans Council to join me in the search for local homeless veterans. Are you willing to give us a hand?
With warm regards,
William Carl, CCVC President
We are looking for Volunteers from each service to form an Honor Guard.
If interested, you must have a Dress Uniform and Regular service uniform.
Please contact us by email at CCVCVets@gmail.com.
Which organizations can furnish a Honor Guard for formal ceremonies?
Marine Corps League
Collier County Sheriff's Office
Naples Police Department
Which organizations can furnish a Rifle Salute?
Marine Corps League
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were
treated and appreciated by their nation."
-- George Washington
(Left to right: Chief Willaim Carl and SSG Freddie Vasquez)
William "Black Knight" Carl
Chief Carl recently retired after a combined tenure of over 30 years of active duty and reserve service. His career included 7 combat tours to Iraq while
attached to two deployable tactical units, U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307 and USCG Redeployment Assistance Inspection Detachment Teams 10 and 11.
He is the recipient of the Army Meritorious Service medal among dozens of other ribbons and awards. His duties included a variety of tactical combat leadership duties
such as: Surveillance and reconnnaissance of enemy post positions, intelligence and reporting threat engagements, force protection measures, contingency
planning, critical team coordination, and maritime security patrols. Chief Carl is a member of several military groups including the Coast Guard Combat Veterans Assn., American Legion post 135, VFW,
AMVets, ROA, FRA, and the ESGR.
Those interested in the Collier County Veterans Council can can contact him at (239) 370-5428 or send him an email to WCARL1722@aol.com.