The Veterans Wooden Boat Workshop is dedicated to the well-being of Veterans and Community through purpose, dignity, and respect.
The Veterans Wooden Boat Workshop envisions an Organization, nationally recognized, that is steadfast on the reintegration of Veterans, inspiring selfless service and community involvement.
The Veterans Wooden Boat Workshop is an organization founded by Veterans located in New York’s Hudson Valley. We are dedicated to the well-being of Veterans and their families. Our mission is to bring much-needed programs into the area. This project is coordinated and led by Veteran volunteers and community leaders who donate their time and experience to help struggling Veterans reintegrate.
The Catskills are home to over 12,000 veterans and their family members. While veterans do have some access to programs that assist in homelessness, substance abuse, employment, and other basic needs, there is a serious gap regarding the veteran’s psychological well being. This Workshop is a program that integrates cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and access to support professionals to help Veterans successfully reintegrate into society as well teaching a viable skill in woodworking and watercraft.
The program is fluid and constantly evolving. It is critical we stay up to date with current trends in veteran reintegration techniques and available resources that will keep the program viable and relevant. This can only be done by working with the community.
The ultimate goal of the program is to be put out of business, we look forward to the day that the military develops the proper tools to out process these men and women and give them what they need to reintegrate. Until that day, we will be here for them. If you’re interested in learning more about the program, volunteering, or know of a veteran in need, please take a moment and reach out to us.
WHY, HOW & WHO
Our military is trained to perform vital tasks under austere conditions for the greater good of our country, taught to deal with physical pain and emotional discomfort. They are trained to suck it up and not complain. They are trained to do whatever it takes to complete the mission. During their time in the military the reality is, this is sometimes necessary. Unfortunately, many carry this mindset into the civilian world. They alienate themselves, avoid help, and sometimes fall through the cracks not knowing that help is out there waiting for them.
By integrating service professionals into the Wooden Boat Program, veterans will be given access to resources such as The Veterans Administration, Veteran Service Officers, and countless other programs that are specifically designed to help Veterans reintegrate into their communities. Whether that is by education, counseling, or comradery, the program tailors itself to the individual. Through direct interaction and peer-to-peer counseling techniques, this program is designed to empower Veterans by reinforcing the same team building skills they are familiar with in the military.
The Program isn’t a cure at all and it isn’t intended to be. We target specific groups of Veterans that may benefit from the program. Sometimes all someone needs is time around like-minded individuals. Compare it to a book club or even a reunion with classmates. The time spent in the program reminds them of who they are. Some require a bit more help and can discuss their problems with the volunteers in the program. Others require further assistance and may not know what they need. That is when the volunteer staff can help assess the veteran’s situation and suggest resources that are available. We can’t fix everything or help everyone, but we are just one more tool available to the Veterans.
Having the opportunity to surround myself with this group of individuals is something I never would have imagined, but all the pieces have fallen into place. Interacting with them through the program has helped me grow as an individual. I have been able to provide insight from the perspective of the younger generations, but, more importantly, I broadened, and am continuing to broaden, my horizon with the help of this organization.
The combination of building the kayaks from raw materials through to completion, and the support of all those involved was something that I never would have missed if I hadn’t gotten involved- now I’m really looking forward to continue working with Kevin in any capacity he needs filled. Being involved with the group has also had many unexpected collateral benefits. From camping and canoeing with the guys to countless conversations that total strangers start with me when I’m wearing my ‘Veterans Wooden Boat Workshop’ shirt.
Really enjoyed meeting and working with other veterans and building my own wooden kayak. Something most people never get to do.
I’d have to say that the boat workshop was my saving grace. The comradeship and bonds that we formed certainly set me on a great path, and I’m very grateful for having the opportunity to participate.
I’m thankful for the support that wasn’t always available for people like me.
Doing something with your hands, when it finally comes to completion it feels good.