No One Left Behind – Arizona Nonprofits Work to Ensure Veterans Receive the Support They Need and the Opportunities They’ve Earned
Arizona’s veterans community is large, strong and active. Get insights into how several diverse nonprofits are assisting veterans and their families — and how you can help in this latest podcast.
Special guests Paula Pedene of Honoring America’s Veterans, Victoria Bellomo-Rosacci of Soldier’s Best Friend and Mike Phillips or Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve discuss some of the innovate efforts to support our veteran communities.
Honoring America’s Veterans (HAV) Mission statement is “To help Arizona’s veterans heal and reintegrate through recognition events and programs”. HAV’s signature and primary event is the annual Phoenix Veteran’s Day Parade.
HAV is passionately committed to providing a community event that ensures our veterans receive the honor and recognition they deserve and give the community the opportunity to publicly recognize and acknowledge veterans on their important day.
Paula Pedene, APR, Fellow PRSA, has a well-earned reputation as a public relations strategist and counselor in both government and nonprofit realms.
She currently serves as Executive Director of the nonprofit Honoring America’s Veterans and as Owner/Principal of her public relations firm Paula Pedene & Associates. In these roles, she provides strategic counsel to senior leaders and managers and builds trusted relationships between them and their stakeholders.
Pedene is a five-time PRSA Silver Anvil award recipient for Institutional Programs (2004), Reputation Management (2007), Community Outreach (2010, 2020), and Public Service (2020).
Her leadership awards include the Percy Award from the Phoenix PRSA Chapter, the Platinum Leadership Award from the PRSA Western District, and the Senator John McCain Inspirational Leadership Award in Arizona.
She is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, a member of the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, and she earned distinction as a PRSA PR Pro of the Year (2015) for her ethical stand as a Phoenix VA Whistleblower. In this realm, she was able to help expose the VA Wait Time Scandal and call for change to legislation and accountability within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Soldier’s Best Friend provides U.S. military veterans living with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with Service or Therapeutic Companion Dogs, most of which are rescued from local shelters. The veteran and dog train together to build a trusting relationship that touches two lives at once and inspires countless others.
Soldier’s Best Friend is devoted to helping our veterans living with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A second part of our goal is to make a positive impact on the pet overpopulation problem. We are dedicated to pairing and training service dogs with veterans at no cost to the veteran.
Through his veterinary practice, our Founder, Dr. Burnham worked with veterans and cared for their pets. He saw how the interaction with the animals helped returning veterans interact more comfortably in civilian environments and an idea was sparked. With the support of his devoted wife and business partner, Jan, the organization was founded in 2011 and became a reality.
John’s goal was to create a nonprofit devoted to placing and training service dogs for our veterans, at no cost to them. He also wanted to acquire many of the dogs through local rescue organizations, thus helping Arizona’s pet overpopulation problem.
We offer training in Flagstaff, Prescott, Phoenix (East and West Valley), Tucson, and Sierra Vista. Using the owner/handler model, our professional Service Dog Trainers train the veteran to train their canine partner.
While our program is provided at no cost to our veterans, the average cost of a team from accepting through graduation (which takes a minimum of 6-9 months) is approximately $5,000. By the end of 2020, 302 veteran/dog teams have graduated from our program and over 183 dogs have been rescued from shelter and rescue partners across the state of Arizona.
To request an application or to find out more information, please visit our website.
Victoria Rosacci is the 2019-2021 Co-chair of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Arizona committee and 2021 Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation 10th year Ball.
Victoria a tax attorney in private practice with her husband of 20 years, a US Marine Corps veteran.
Our Special Guest Co-Host
Mike Phillips is a Marine Corps veteran and volunteer with the Foundation’s Arizona committee. He recently retired from a 40-year career in journalism and municipal communications.
Mike is a freelance writer and co-founder of the Arizona Baseball Legacy and Experience, an organization that celebrates the state’s rich baseball history.
Today’s generation of Marines have made unprecedented sacrifices. And while there are many ways to honor our Nation’s heroes, there is no organization closer to the intersection of real need and lasting impact than the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (MCSF).
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency run almost entirely by volunteers. Its mission is to support Citizen Soldiers and those who employ them. It seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.
The Foundation provides need-based scholarships to the children of Marines, Navy Corpsmen and Navy Chaplains who have served in Marine units. Every qualified child receives a scholarship.