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Department of Virginia
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Post 162

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* Updated Friday, 10 October 2014 11:38 AM -0400

 

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Warrior Transition Unit Program

Chairperson: Patricia Veld

 

Index:

WTU 100th Event
Wounded Warrior Support Initiative Job Fair

American Legion Post 162 supports WTU
Family Center Assists Soldiers in Warrior Transition Unit


 

WTU 100TH EVENT

 

Lorton American Legion Post 162 Reaches Major Milestone in Support of the Fort Belvoir Warrior in Transition Unit (WTU) Program………Post 162 sponsors 100th event!

 

Lorton Post 162 sponsored a hearty brunch for members of the Fort Belvoir WTU at the Lorton Fireside Grill on Sunday, May 22, 2011, reaching a major milestone with the 100th event since 2008.

Support to the WTU began in 2004 when Chuck Voccio and his wife of 53 years, Helen, were at Walter Reed Army Medical Center where Chuck had an appointment.  While at the hospital, they noticed several wounded warriors and determined that they had to do something for those guys.  Chuck and Helen began bringing personal care items and other tokens to the wounded warriors.  Chuck soon got his American Legion Lorton Post 162 involved and the WTU Program was born.  Since July 2008, when the WTU transitioned from Walter Reed to Fort Belvoir, the Voccios have hosted the soldiers for lunches, brunches, and other events at local restaurants and at their residence two or three times a month.  To the warriors, they are affectionately known as “mom” and “dad.”  (See photograph below.)

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(“Mom” and “Dad” Voccio)

Over 25 attendees enjoyed the delicious brunch to commemorate and celebrate this major achievement.  Post 162 Commander Sam Ramseur and the WTU Commander Captain Shaunta Hollingsworth each presented Mr. Kostas Daskalakis, FireSide Owner and Manager, with a Certificate of Appreciation for the restaurant’s continuous support of the WTU.  In the photograph below, Mr. Voccio and Commander Ramseur also presented Mr. Daskalakis a Certificate of Appreciation for his personal involvement in and support of the WTU Program. 

 

 

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(Mr. Daskalakis accepting a Certificate of Appreciation from Mr. Voccio and Commander Ramseur)

 

Although significant in that this brunch marked the 100th event supported by American Legion Post 162 and local Lorton establishments, it also serves as one example of The American Legion’s support to our Veterans, our Children and Youth, and our community, state, and nation.  Commander Ramseur, “Mom” and “Dad” Voccio, and the entire Post 162 American Legion family will continue to ensure we take care of those who gallantly served and are serving our nation so we may enjoy our freedom and American way of life.  For more information about Post 162, please call 703-690-1107 or, better yet, stop in our friendly Post Home at 8210 Legion Road, Lorton, and learn about our other programs, such as our Auxiliary’s support to find a Cure for Breast Cancer and our Sons of the American Legion (SAL) support to help burn victims. 

 

Article written by Virginia American Legion Department Public Relations Committee Chairman Marv Rodney

 


Wounded Warrior Support Initiative Job Fair (a joint program of Post 162 and Post 364) pictures.


Wounded Warriors Support Program Accepts $5,000 Check, Announces Job Fair

From THE PATRIOT
By JULIA LeDOUX

jledoux@insldenova.com

Tears sprang to Chuck Voccio's eyes Wednesday as he accepted a $5,000 check on behalf of the Wounded Warrior Support Initiative from Redhawk IT Solutions LLC owner James Hawkins.  "It means what I'm doing is becoming successful," said Voccio.  The presentation came during a luncheon that honored the nation's wounded warriors and announced a May 26 job fair for them at American Legion Post 364 in Woodbridge.


Voccio and his wife,  Helen, began the Wounded Warrior Support Initiative in 2004. That's when the couple was at Walter Heed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where Chuck had an appointment.  While at the hospital, they noticed several wounded warriors, Chuck said.  "I said, 'we've got to do something for these guys,'" he continued.  The Voccios, who have been married for 53 years, on their own began bringing personal care items and other tokens to the wounded warriors. A member of American Legion Post 162 in Lorton, Chuck soon got his post and Post 364 involved in the effort and the Wounded Warrior Support Initiative was born.

"This is our 66th event," he said of the April 29 luncheon.  Since July 2008, when the Army's Warrior Transition Unit moved from Walter Reed to Fort Belvoir, the Voccios have hosted the soldiers for lunches twice a month. In the summer, they hold pool parties for them at their home.  "The wounded warriors call them mom and dad," said Post 364 commander Dan Eubanks.  More than 25 soldiers from the WTU and representatives from 16 companies attended last week's event.

"Even after all the adversity we've faced or have faced, we still have one basic need in our lives," said Hawkins, a disabled veteran and retired Army service member. "That is a need to feel that we are a viable, contributing part of society."  Hawkins told the wounded warriors that they have skills that would greatly enhance any of the companies represented at the luncheon.  "I am confident that together we can make a difference in people's lives because in today's society, unlike in any other time in history, we are not so much limited by our disabilities but by our dreams and aspirations," said Hawkins, who urged the wounded warriors to "become who you want. Do what you want."

Keynote speaker Sgt. Major Jeffrey Seidel, senior enlisted adviser, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, described himself as a country boy from Wisconsin who joined the Army at 17. In his current role, he travels the world, talking and listening to soldiers.  "How do you take a vet, how do you take a soldier, how do you take one of these heroes and give them something that makes them feel that their time, their service to the country was worthwhile," he asked.  Seidel said those who join the military do not do so for glory.  "It's humbling to see what the American public will do for their soldiers,  sailors, airmen and Marines," he noted. "They are our treasure. Today, we're here to marry them up with a future job." 

Post 364 Ladies Auxiliary member Dianne Cabot said the May 26 job fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  "Each of our corporate sponsors will be able to be present and discuss their company and the various positions that are available to you with their company," she told the group. 

Post 364 Ladies Auxiliary President Raye Ferrington also presented Helen Voccio with a check in support of the initiative.  For more information about the job fair, call the Voccios at 703-216-2370.

Military editor Julia LeDoux can be reached at 703-369-5718


American Legion Post 162 supports WTU

By Andrew Sharbel
Staff writer
Ft Belvoir Eagle


After retiring from active duty, Lt. Col. Charles Voccio, and his wife, Helen, have devoted a lot of time to planning activities, benefits and other events for wounded Soldiers and their families.

As members of American Legion Post162 of Lorton, Va., Voccio has successfully introduced a Wounded Warrior Program to show Fort Belvoir's wounded Soldiers and their families how much the community appreciates all they do.

Since July, each month Warrior in Transition Unit Soldiers and their families from Fort Belvoir have been treated to brunch at a local restaurant.

The Voccios began working with wounded Soldiers about four years ago. Then, they traveled to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit them. But, due to the distance, they were unable to make it up there as much as they wanted.

Voccio said they were able to continue their work when Belvoir started its Warrior in Transition Unit. "We started this program when the Warrior in Transition Unit came here to Fort Belvoir to see what we could do for the Soldiers and their families in the local community," Voccio said. "So, my wife and I established a little program to solicit restaurants in the local area to provide meals and we pick up the tab.

"The area has been very cooperative. On Sunday, we had brunch at the Fireside Grill (in Lorton, Va.) and were able to have 16 Soldiers and their families attend," Voccio said. Voccio added that many restaurants in the Lorton area have been very accommodating and have been essential to the success of the program. Some of these are Vinny's Grill and Pizzeria, Glory Days Grill, Fireside Grill, Domino's and Papa John's.

"We are currently negotiating with Pane e Vino as well," Voccio said. "We try to have each restaurant hold a function once a month to keep the burden on them light," Voccio said. "So far each of these restaurants has been fantastic."
Voccio points out the main goal of the program is to show the community's gratitude for each Soldier's service.
"Unfortunately, we are unable to offer them three-day fishing trips or give them big electronic devices, but we can provide them with love and a great deal of respect from the local community." Voccio said. "So far, it is working."

The Belvoir Soldiers and Family Assistance Center has been extremely happy with the program and its effect on the WTU. "It is an outstanding program," SFAC Human Resources Coordinator Tim Grayson said. "We push it with the Soldiers, because people like Chuck and Helen want to show you that other people in the community want to give back and understand the sacrifices these Soldiers have made."

 

Chuck Voccio Welcomes WTU members to Post 162

Members of the WTU, Ft. Belvoir, enjoy lunch at Post 162 with the residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home - Washington, DC.  Along with lunch, many conversations with residents, staff, Unit members and Post members were enjoyed by all.



 


Family Center Assists Soldiers in Warrior Transition Unit

 

By Julia LeDoux
 

Special Correspondent 

Ft Belvoir Eagle

 

 

Soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at DeWitt Army Community Hospital (Ft Belvoir , VA) will soon be able to make a single stop at the Solider and Family Assistance Center to get the services they or their families need.

 

The mission of the center is to provide tailored, compassionate and coordinated social services to warriors in transition, retirees and family members, explained Timothy Grayson, a human resources specialist for Fort Belvoir's SFAC.

 

"We're here to service the Soldiers who are in the Warrior Transition Unit at DeWitt," he said. "This is basically a new program just coming on."

 

There are currently 42 wounded warriors in DeWitt's WTU, but that number is expected to grow to around 100, Grayson said.

 

Both Grayson and SFAC director Robin Johnson were hired last fall. Grayson said the center is currently bringing on board a social worker, guidance counselor and an information referral specialist.

 

"We can function right now, right here where we're at," he stressed from his office in Bldg. 210 on 21st Street. "Any problems that a Soldier may have right now come to me and the director. We're here to assist the Soldier and their family. That's our main thing." '

 

The center and its staff move to Sosa Community Center in July.

 

"By December, well have an additional wing built on [Sosa] just for the SFAC," Grayson said. "When a Soldier arrives to in-process, he won't have to go anywhere else. We're not a one-stop shop yet, but that's what we're going to be."

 

Through the center, Soldiers and their families can obtain support services including family services, money management, child care, budgeting, chaplain's assistance, legal assistance, military personnel issues, logistics, transportation, installation access, benefits counseling, education, employment opportunities, information and referral and more.

 

"We are a liaison between the Soldiers and the services that are provided by the Army," explained Grayson. "When a Soldier comes to me with a problem, they will not have to go to these different agencies. It's my job to give them a priority appointment so the Soldier does not have to wait."

 

Grayson can also contact outside agencies such as the Veterans Administration and Veterans of Foreign Wars post on behalf of a WTU Soldier.

 

"I break it down to find out what the need of the Solider is, whether it is urgent at this time or whether it's some information they are looking for. Once I find out what the WTU Soldier needs, it's my job to resolve that issue," he explained.

 

Grayson said Army leaders recognized the need for immediate services in one central location for family members and Soldiers for administrative services without travel or having to locate the service.

 

"The only thing the SFAC does not get involved in is medical issues. That is done by the hospital and the unit they're in," he said.

 

The SFAC at Sosa will also include a computer center, a lounge, and child care, added Grayson.

 

"If a Soldier belongs to the WTU, that Soldier's spouse and children have the right to come over here and receive services just like the Soldier," added Grayson, who is a 21-year Army veteran himself.

 

For more information, call Grayson at 703-805-4409.

 

 

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Friday, 10 October 2014 11:38:17 AM -0400

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