VA, Men’s Wearhouse team up to help Veterans “Dress for Success”

Suits for Veterans enrolled in the Compensated Work Therapy program


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More than 40 Veterans stopped by the Gulf Coast VA Health Care System ready to “Dress for Success.” The event, sponsored by Men’s Wearhouse, offered new and gently used suits to Veterans who are enrolled in the outpatient and inpatient Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) program.

Anthony Williams, CWT program manager, said events like this are important for Veterans who are trying to find employment.

“I believe an event like this lets Veterans know we are serious about helping them find employment,” he said. “Several Veterans said they didn’t have clothing to wear for interviews, so they never really tried to gain community employment.”

In the photo above, from left, Bob Davis, chief of Voluntary Services, Bryan Matthews, medical center director, a Men’s Wearhouse employee; Anthony Williams, Compensated Work Therapy Program Manager and another Men’s Wearhouse employee pose for a photo.

A Men’s Wearhouse employee measures a Veteran for a suit.

Air Force Veteran grateful for VA and community support

Kyle was in transportation in the Air Force for eight years before separating back to civilian life. That transition didn’t go as well as he’d hoped.

“I went in the Air Force when I was 17 and got out when I was 25,” he said. “I felt this loss of identity that I never imagined.”

Decked out in his new suit, Kyle said he was thankful. “It means a lot, not just that the VA would do this, but to have the community come out and support us Veterans who are  struggling to get in the workforce. It just means a lot.”

Kyle entered the work program through the VA. It wasn’t because he wasn’t able to find a job, but because he found himself on a path that wasn’t healthy.

“I’ve had jobs,” he said. “But the environment wasn’t good for me and I knew I needed to change some things.”

He started as a night stocker at a local store. Within three weeks, he was promoted to oversee all the night stockers.

“My work ethic speaks for itself,” Kyle said. “But I had to ask myself what I was going to do to be successful. The answer to that was to find this program so I didn’t end up on the wrong path again.”

Men’s Wearhouse employee measures Veteran for a suit

Williams said he’s trying to transform the CWT program. He recently hired two Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists to start community-based employment service programs in Biloxi and Mobile.

“We are not only trying to help them ‘Dress for Success,’ but we are in the process of starting life skills and computer training,” Williams said. “We are going to partner with our business community and our Veteran Benefits Administration partners to assist Veterans.”


Cindy Dorfner, a retired U.S. Air Force Veteran, is chief of communications for the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

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Comments

  1. April L Babb    

    I’m a veteran who happens to disabled. Over the years I ‘ve definitely seen more unemployed homeless women use our services since I first started working here in 2008. I’m thrilled women are starting to began to come in and ask for help. It baffles me that more are willing to ask for help time and time again. I’m using my own statistics, just my experience. Most women rarely return and become productive citizens. But come in to the facility with out proper clothing to dress for success .

    We do have what we call Shop to you Drop but the scant clothing & sizes has it own barriers for our veterans women In our Domiciliary here at iHampton Roads,VA.
    I would be thrilled if a company sincerely commit to donating great clothing / accessories to build their confidence and look fantastic as well. Tried of hearing spokes people messaging they stand behind veterans. I have lost confidence in empty statements about caring about “THE VETERANS “ or genial tell these vets thing like “ all they have do is … WAKE UP try to transport & see most are feeling, rack with self-esteem problems . I’m fortunate but a lot of people are not. Just think an adult who walks through our doors is probably the last option they have. If I myself had to walk through these doors had to take that walk of shame would be devastating for me. The women struggle too & could a bit of love and care
    WE/THEY ARE WORTH YOUR COMPANIES KINDNESS and care. My sincere thank you for any sincere company (s) to help a most fortunate former
    20 year Navy Hospital Corps disabled women who has a great job and one of God’s favorite personV/R A humble woman who wants to wants to just help people in my own small way by beg for other to see that light return to people eyes
    FYI I have not one clue of experience , just want to do something to help…Only reward for me is a sense of just DOING SOMETHING FOR OTHERS

  2. SHIRLEY R LINWOOD    

    Does this program exist in Dallas, Texas? If so which stores?

  3. anthony alan Forti    

    This is great, I receintly went to Mens Warehouse and bought some nicer clothes to wear and now people call me “Sir!”. I like that.

  4. loaded    

    waoo i just got to know that you also help Veterans find employment,i must say this is a great development on you side and mayn they all find joy in the process

  5. S W    

    This is great but what about WOMEN veterans? Who is partnering with VA to help them “dress for success” and get a job? Or maybe the VA thinks women should remain barefoot, pregnant and slaving over a hot stove. I can not cheer wholeheartedly for anything the VA does until it recognizes that women are real veterans too and it (VA) stops being “a good ole boys network”.

    1. A    

      Perhaps find out if there are woman’s clothing retailers that have a “dress for success” program. If there there are women’s clothing retailers with a national footprint like, Anne Tailor, Chico’s, etc. and they have a “dress for success” type of program, perhaps they can reach out to the VA to introduce their services. Typically, retailers do not actually to organizations to help with career apparel “coaching”.

      So don’t get mad, do a little research and help out. I highly doubt VA wants women to remain barefoot, pregnant and slaving over a hot stove.

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