Earlier this month Boeing Ottawa donated US $40,000 to the Veterans Transition Network (VTN) to fund programs that provide assistance to former Canadian Forces and RCMP members in Ottawa who are transitioning from military to civilian life.
One of Boeing’s main areas of community giving is aimed at helping Veterans and their families to transition successfully to civilian life, which is in alignment with the purpose and outcome of the VTN’s Veterans Transition Program.
Oliver Thorne, executive director of the VTN, says, “Donations like Boeing’s are so important to us because they support those Veterans who are not covered by government funding, and as a result, are often more at risk during their transition.”
According to VTN, approximately two-thirds of veterans who participate in VTN’s Veterans Transition Programs do not have a claim with Veterans Affairs Canada or do not meet the eligibility criteria to receive government funding. They say that Boeing’s contributions mean that nobody is turned away.
This isn’t the first time Boeing has donated to the VTN. Since 2016, Boeing Vancouver and Boeing Ottawa have contributed over C $145,000 to VTN’s Veterans Transition Programs. VTN has been using these funds to specially train their Veterans Transition Program Clinicians across Canada. There are still areas in need of more funding, though, including Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.
Program participants receive 100 hours of counselling over the course of three weekends, and over the last 20 years, there have been nearly 1,000 participants. The transition from military to civilian life can be very difficult, with many facing traumatic memories. Accordingly, the counselling provided by VTN is focused on the participant’s mental health, personal relationships, and future planning.
Founded in 1998 by Dr. Marc Westwood, the VTN is a national organization that delivers mental health services to veterans. VTN’s primary focus is to help veterans transition to civilian life, ensuring that no Canadian veteran is left in isolation. Using a research-based approach, VTN has a 98 per cent successful transition rate.
All costs of the program, including transportation and accommodation, are covered by the VTN. Space for the upcoming Ottawa program is limited. People who are interested in learning more about the program can contact Patrick Thomas at [email protected].