Q&A with the Executive Director of the North County Veterans Association

The North County Veterans Association’s Resource Center in Oceanside serves thousands of local service members, veterans and families. Lori Boody, Executive Director of VANC, recently took the time to answer a few questions about the Veterans Association and its programs.

Question: What’s going on these days at the North County Veterans Association, 1617 Mission Ave., Oceanside?
A: VANC is in full vacation mode. We sponsor Christmas parties each year for active service and their families. This year we have five units that will be receiving a holiday turkey dinner complete with all the dressings as well as music and toys for each child.

Question: What is the mission of the North County Veterans Nonprofit Association, known as VANC – a network of veterans groups helping members of local service?
A: VANC is committed to serving veterans, active-duty military members and their families in any form they need. We are a full-service resource center that centralizes the services of various agencies to help with employment, education, finance, health and wellness, including offering weekly yoga classes at the center. of resources.

Question: VANC offers a number of training programs, what areas do they cover?
A: Our Vets Beyond Uniform, for example, is not a bridging course, it is a transformation course. We offer comprehensive career success packages specially designed to provide the key skills needed to get started quickly. Each career success package includes personal mentoring and coaching to provide insight into real-world applications. Part of the training is practical at the center and another part is virtual.

Question: Who can attend the training?
A: The Vet Beyond the Uniform course is designed for veterans or active duty members preparing to separate from the military. We will offer a spouse and children aged 16 and over the option of taking the Career Success Package later in 2022.

Question: Can the public attend Veterans Advisory Committee meetings?
A: Yes, the public can also attend. The VANC Veterans Advisory Committee meets on the first Monday of the month and several nonprofits in the region discuss programs they are offering to help veterans. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to register to speak at their military service meeting. Contact committee chair Lori Boody at (760) 722.1277 or [email protected]

Question: Do you need volunteers at the resource center?
A: Yes, volunteer duties include front desk operations, handyman / maintenance, event setup and teardown, and light cleaning a few hours per week. Shifts are normally 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (760) 722-1277 or email [email protected]

Question: VANC has been offering monthly drive-thru food distributions to military members in the region since spring 2020 – how many people have you served?
A: VANC’s response to the COVID pandemic has been to launch a distribution of food and diapers for active duty and military veterans, and our volunteers have logged 6,094 in the effort. From April 2020 to December 2021, we served a total of 34,218 active duty veterans and their families, including some deliveries to homebound veterans. About 90 percent of the participants were on active duty. Many active duty spouses were put on leave within five weeks of the start of the pandemic and at the height of the pandemic we were serving more than 700 families. Thank goodness we are now seeing things return to pre-pandemic levels. The final cast took place earlier this month.

Question: Can you update you on the wall of honor and the outdoor staging area of ​​the VANC Resource Center?
A: We don’t just serve veterans, we honor veterans and build a wall of honor and community event space.
The wall will be filled with bronze plaques honoring active duty military personnel and veterans. We are working on the final stages and are currently in the process of raising funds for the fifth and final phase until its completion. The total cost of the project is estimated at $ 385,000, and we are in the process of raising our last $ 38,000. We sell plates in various sizes, ranging from $ 150 to $ 500.

Question: Specific goals for the coming year?
A: Our real goal is to complete the honor wall and community event space by summer 2022 and have a full USO show and ribbon cut on our huge outdoor stage.

Andrew B. Reiter