What We Are About
There are nearly 80,000 veterans who call Delaware home. That’s about 9 percent of the population – not even counting their families.
We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to represent issues affects all generations of Delaware’s veterans to our state legislature. Our slogan, suggested by Purple Heart Vietnam veteran Bob Corsa, is “Veterans are our only business.”
We highlight the benefits of hiring veterans and of encouraging them to make Delaware their permanent home and utilize their talents and financial assets here. These are employees who are young, healthy, well-trained, disciplined, accustomed to following rules, and have documented accomplishments.
Above and beyond the fact that they allow us to sleep securely in our beds and protect our national interests – most through serving multiple tours in harms way — veterans are taxpayers who also bring hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money into Delaware each year, including the VA Hospital in Elsmere and clinics in each county, as well as education funding, retirement and disability checks, and other sponsored services. It’s to our benefit to encourage veterans to stay in Delaware.
Issues raised by veterans:
- Transportation for veterans who have a difficult time making it to appointments at the VA hospital in Elsmere
- Outreach by the state to returning veterans in job searches as well as to vetrepreneurs who wish to start businesses
- More comprehensive connection between the Federal and state effort in connecting veterans to benefits due them
- Address homelessness, especially for women veterans who are increasing in numbers. It’s been estimated that there are between 600-700 homeless veterans in Delaware, including many families.
We also want to work with the legislature to keep young retiring veterans in Delaware by reducing state tax on their military retirement checks. These people will be starting 2nd careers, including some who will start businesses and hire people.
Hero scholarships by institutions of higher learning for veterans and/or a family member that will bridge the gap between educational funding and actual tuition.
As we can, we will serve as an umbrella organization for veterans to the many groups that reach out to them and make them aware of benefits due them.
We’d like to see more veteran involvement in government councils. People who have traveled the world, worked with other cultures, and who are highly trained managers should be invited to share their knowledge and perspective with government officials.
We will monitor state legislation that affects veterans and report to our members. People can find that through this website. It automatically downloads information on legislative bills that affect veterans and their families.
It’s only through education that our elected officials will understand the talents and needs of the few who take up arms to protect us. But it’s only through a coalition of registered voters will we have a voice. One of our priorities will be to encourage all veterans to register to vote.
How We Got Started
After more than a year of discussions about issues concerning living veterans of all conflicts, a number of members of the Vietnam Veterans of America reached out to their fellow veterans across the state.
Their goal was to assess the needs of their peers and the resources available to meet them. They engaged in one-on-one conversations, general meetings, questionnaires, and social events.
The culmination was a decision to create an organization that would reach out to all veterans while not being connected to any existing organization, whether military or civilian. The primary goal would be to advocate for issues affecting veterans both publicly and with elected officials, primarily within the State of Delaware.