“My position at CompeerCORPS allows me to talk to and spend time with other Vets and witness the continued respect grow across the branches of the military through our Veterans. My work at Compeer — the programs I coordinate — is just a catalyst to bring Veterans together. It’s rewarding when they form friendships among themselves and spend time together independently.”
— Eric Baetzhold, CompeerCORPS Program Coordinator
IS THE KEY
Many Veterans deal with severe daily stresses that stem from trauma experienced during deployment. Our CompeerCORPS Program partners with the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency, through the PFC Dwyer Initiative, offering peer supports that provide opportunities for Veterans to engage, network, and form friendships with other Veterans to help reestablish the feeling of camaraderie and build positive mental health as they transition from military service to civilian life.
In order to do this, CompeerCORPS organizes golfing and bowling groups, cooking and painting classes, fishing charters, ice skating and hockey groups, and more. Through this time of camaraderie, many natural friendships form. Veterans find that they are connecting outside of the group activities and spending time on their own. In doing this, they are truly showing the model of Compeer – mental health recovery through friendship.
CompeerCORPS created the Vets Driving Vets Program as a way to help Veterans be of service to each other. Veterans who do not have reliable transportation or other barriers to accessing appointments and activities in the community are now able to call for a ride from another Veteran. This service results in the connections and guidance needed for a healthy life in the community.
Recognizing that many women who were in the military often feel that their service has gone unnoticed, we have worked to highlight their accomplishments and help them find the connections that they have been missing as well. Many women find that when they return to civilian life they must immediately pick up and carry on and are not able to take the time to process their military experience. CompeerCORPS works to give them the help they need to begin to heal through the camaraderie and support of other female Veterans, many of whom have been in the same difficult place themselves.
Our CompeerCORPS program is building an ever-growing “platoon” that welcomes all Veterans, is driven by the needs of each Veteran, and allows every Veteran to feel connected to a group.
Want to Connect with Other Vets?
If you’re seeking to volunteer, be matched with a volunteer, or have other questions, connect with our CompeerCORPS Staff:
Frank Patricelli, Program Manager, at (585) 546.8280 ext. 207 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RJ Sirianni, Program Coordinator at (585) 546.8280 ext. 207 or email@example.com
Eric Baetzhold, Intake & Engagement Specialist, at (585) 456.4889 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy LoTemple, Women Veteran Intake and Engagement Specialist, at (585) 546.8280 ext. 230 or email@example.com
If you are interested in joining in CompeerCORPS, or are in need of regular transportation, please download, print, and send the referral form.