The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot serve our nation’s Veterans, military families, caregivers and survivors on its own. VA relies on community engagement and partnerships, ensuring the women and men who’ve served our Nation receive every service, resource and benefit they’ve earned.
The Midlands Veterans Engagement Council (MVEC) Community Veterans Engagement Board (CVEB) answers the call to continue serving America’s Veterans. Based in Columbia, S.C., the MVEC serves the greater Midlands region. It collaborates with community-led organizations in the nonprofit community resource sector, including higher education and federal, state and local agencies.
MVEC brings together local resources and capabilities to improve outcomes for Veterans, transitioning service members, and those who support them. It enables Veterans to easily identify and reach available resources available. It also allows stakeholders to build trust among the Veteran community, discuss needs, develop collaborative relationships, and to identify opportunities to improve the Veteran experience.
MVEC engages with hundreds of Veterans and Military Families, develops multiple suicide prevention resources, supports at-risk homelessness prevention, and develops a joint statewide action plan with South Carolina’s three other CVEBs. It collaborates with local VA, DoD and National Guard leadership, and the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veteran Friendly Community Certificate
For its commitment, MVEC was presented with the Veteran Friendly Community Certificate of Appreciation. The presentation was made on behalf of VA Secretary Robert Wilkie by VA’s Veterans Experience Office Executive Director of the Veterans, Family, and Community Engagement Directorate, COL Jim Wartski (USA, ret.) at MVEC’s monthly Board meeting at the WJB Dorn VA Medical Center.
The Veteran Friendly Communities Initiative demonstrates appreciation to CVEBs like MVEC. This Initiative thanks local communities for their hard work meeting the needs of the Veteran and Military community, their families, and supporters. This recognition, in turn, inspires other communities to join efforts in supporting Veterans in other communities.
VA leaders from Dorn VA Medical Center, the Columbia Regional Office, and Fort Jackson National Cemetery celebrated the partnership. MVEC’s sees the partnership as positive force multiplier for the Veteran community.
MVEC believes it’s not the VA experience that matters most–it’s the Veteran’s experience that matters most.
Douglas Webb has been a member of the Veterans Experience Office since 2016. He previously served on the Secretary’s MyVA Task Force as a Veterans and Military Aide to a Member of Congress. Before that, he served as a Veterans Service Representative in Pension Management. He is a USCG Veteran.