Issue: #20                                                                                  July 2019
One-Stop
for Veterans
& Military




Mt. Carmel Delivers Support
During Transition
At the start of a military career, new service members raise their right hand and swear to defend and uphold our constitution and more. With a signed contract, recruits have provided a presumptive personal check, up to and including their very life. Years of formal training and related experience follow, forming a career in the profession of arms.

Fast forward to a veteran’s departure from service. The armed forces Transition Assistance Program (TAP), designed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, is a formal approach to prepare troops for a major career transition.
Today's TAP isn't your grandfather's transition program. TAP has evolved to present resources, explore career opportunities, and in many cases, help veterans participate in career internships, pre-apprenticeships, on the job training and more prior to leaving the service. The program bridges gaps between service member skills and in-demand industry requirements towards opportunities with a living wage.

The reality is that not every veteran left the service with this gold standard of transition support and their own transition ‘pack’ remains a heavy load to carry. This is the area where Mt. Carmel excels.

We welcome veterans, military and their families into Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, an actual brick and mortar facility, centrally-located in Colorado Springs. From here, our team rallies to provide personal assistance in a one-stop environment – helping each veteran achieve a successful transition – no matter how long ago they may have started the journey.  

We’re committed to meeting clients where they’re at and delivering best practices in a one-on-one environment in the areas of Career and Transition, Behavioral Health and Supportive Services. In addition, we provide a warm-handover to partnered services, provide a safe event space, and more. 

With the arrival of summer, we know many veterans and families placed the concerns of transition on ‘hold’ to enjoy their family and friends and all the fun of the season. As we round the corner towards fall, it’s time to re-look at the transition needs of the entire family.

A recent veteran client said it best, “Knowing you were there for me and my wife alleviated a lot of pressure. It allowed me to keep a positive outlook on my entire transition. I knew if plan B didn’t work, I would return to my peer navigator at Mt. Carmel and there would be a Plan C, D and E. I was never worried. That’s what Mt. Carmel did for me.”

In addition to supporting the transitioning veteran, Mt. Carmel has one of the most robust Military Spouse Career programs partnered with the City of Colorado Springs’ Military Spouse Career Coalition and networked with many other powerful resource providers. We deliver the same one-on-one career support to military spouses of any era as we do for veterans of any era.

Finally, transitions are challenging times. Whether transitioning from military service, from summer into fall, into the school environment, or into a new community, Mt. Carmel represents powerful resources to ease these challenges.

If you haven’t visited us in person recently (530 Communication Circle), followed our social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), or looked at our website ( veteranscenter.org ), please take the time today. Additionally, if you know veterans, military or family members in need of our services, please refer them to us. We’re here for you and your families. 

By Col. Bob McLaughlin, U.S. Army, Retired
Chief Operating Officer
Mt. Carmel Joins Roundtable with Governor Polis
Retired Army Col. Bob McLaughlin, Mt. Carmel Chief Operating Officer, participated in a roundtable discussion with Colorado Governor Jared Polis on July 17. The focus was on transportation needs of veterans and military installations. Governor Polis thanked veterans in attendance for their service and announced new initiatives. “Transportation and infrastructure are essential to continue to support our veterans and military population,” said Polis.
New Program Helps Veterans and Families Heal
Andy Vick, Executive Director of the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, welcomed local artists and other community members to Coffee with COPPeR today at Mt. Carmel. Andy led a discussion on Military Arts Connection (MAC), a new program matching military, veterans and their families with local artists for a powerful, healing experience, fully funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. On behalf of a veteran or family member, MAC encourages behavioral health program managers to request an art enrichment experience, at no cost, with a local artist. Through COPPeR’s website, Kirsten Belaire, Mt. Carmel’s Director of Behavioral Health, can request experiences connecting clients to local art experiences. While Mt. Carmel has infused art in behavioral health programs for years, the MAC program is new. Learn more at https://www.culturaloffice.org/programs/creative-forces/
Thank-you Pikes Peak United Way
# StrongerTogether

Mt. Carmel extends great thanks and appreciation to Pikes Peak United Way for the generous contribution Cindy Aubrey and her team personally presented on July 17. This support of Mt. Carmel programs directly helps veterans, military and their families in the areas of Career & Transition, Behavioral Health & Wellness, and Supportive Services. 
Mt. Carmel Builds Local Behavioral Health Capacity
Our Behavioral Health Team welcomed local clinicians to join our two-day Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Training event at Mt. Carmel on July 19. The effort increases clinical effectiveness for the military and veteran community by expanding interventions and techniques among care providers directly contributing to local behavioral health capability and capacity.
The Gazette Features Mt. Carmel & Our Partners’
Efforts to Provide Behavioral Health Care
We are thankful to The Gazette staff for spotlighting our efforts and those of our partners in caring for veterans, military and families. Mt. Carmel has provided 8,000+ hours of traditional (individual and group) and non-traditional (art, yoga, tai-chi) therapy on-site. Partnerships with master’s programs in Front Range academia allow Mt. Carmel to develop future cohorts of clinicians culturally competent in caring for the mil/vet community.

Watch the Video:

Read the Story:
Make a Difference Today!
At Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, we believe military heroes need
a hand-up, not a handout. You can play an important role and have a
direct impact on thousands of veterans in our community!
Donate today to help provide vital services,
programs and resources.  
Notes from Those We Serve
Congratulations to
Air Force Veteran Jim Onder

Jim was recently recruited to the team leading establishment of U.S. Space Command at Peterson AFB. Following a uniformed career in the civil engineer arena, he finds his current role a familiar and welcomed professional challenge. “In 2017 my transition plan was to complete my degree, earn my Project Management Professional certification, and embrace my transition from the Air Force.” Jim achieved all three goals before seeking out Mt. Carmel and our community partners at Prep Connect 360 (PC360), a five-day professional workshop touted as a ‘must have’ to successful career transition for veterans. “Mt. Carmel and PC360 gave me great confidence that what I did for the last 26 years transfers directly to the private and defense sectors,” said Jim. “I learned to network successfully with senior industry officials and focus casual communication toward career opportunities.” Today, Jim highlights Mt. Carmel and PC360 to service members preparing to transition. “I learned so much from my peer navigator, my peers and the alumni panel. I learned to share career success stories and challenges that were crucial to my current success,” said Jim. “I also value the continued support from Mt. Carmel and the professional network I developed throughout my transition.”
MilSpouse Candace Lands Her Dream Job

Congratulations to Military Spouse Candace Gross! A Mt. Carmel volunteer and client, Candace has been recruited as a career counselor on Fort Carson to help soldiers and their families as they prepare to leave the Army and seek post-service employment. “It’s a dream come true,” said Candace. “It’s been my life’s work to connect people to good work and good opportunities that allow the best version of themselves to shine in the workforce.” As she conducted her own job search, Candace volunteered with Mt. Carmel’s Career & Transition team and gained significant experience related to her new role. “Volunteering has helped me grow, provided strong support to my own transition, and has given me great understanding of the needs of transitioning service members and their families.” A professional with a master's degree and 12 years of experience with non-profits, Candace noted an important lesson in her journey. “There were three times I was offered a position, or was being considered for a position, that I realized the opportunity wasn’t the right fit for me,” said Candace. “I’ve never previously had the self-awareness to realize that both the opportunity and my career goals needed to match. I credit Janet Farley, Mt. Carmel’s MilSpouse Career Program manager, and the PrepConnect 360 team for that knowledge and strength.”
Therapeutic Retreats for
Veterans, Military & Families
Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center offers no-cost half, full and multi-day therapeutic retreats for individuals, couples, families and youth in the veteran and military community. The program includes equine and sport-themed retreats in Colorado nature accompanied by behavioral health therapists. Get more information and pre-register by contacting Abbey at awestphal@mtcarmelcenter.org or (719) 309-4761.
King Soopers Community Rewards Help Veterans



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Career Networking - Mark Your Calendar
Hottest career networking event in the Springs for the veteran, military & MilSpouse community! Practice your elevator pitch and gain meaningful feedback from employers, community partners and those who have successfully transitioned - all at a fun Veteran-owned brewery! Snacks, water, soda provided. Informal dress.
Open for Business: Welcome,
Veterans Optometry Partners of America
One of our newest Mt. Carmel community partners is making a big impact with quality
optical care and convenience for veterans, military and their families, as well as all other members of the community. Veterans Optometry Partners of America is now performing annual eye exams and providing brand name eyeglasses in residence at Mt. Carmel.

Led by Keegan Meyer and his team, formerly of Abba Eyecare, the effort helps veterans access their covered, annual, free VA eye exam and a free pair of glasses. “Services include a comprehensive exam and digital lenses by a licensed optometrist,” said Keegan. “Many veterans are unaware of their annual optical care benefit. This partnership encourages veterans to access that, and I’m excited to provide the exam and glasses at Mt. Carmel.”

Keegan and his team at Mt. Carmel also welcome customers to access their insured benefits. “We welcome all forms of Tricare, Medicaid, Medicare, and most other insurance plans,” said Keegan. “For the uninsured, we offer affordable packages as well.” Army Veteran Jeffrey Cross was VOPA’s first official client, and he used his annual VA authorization to cover a full eye exam from Dr. Michelle Centi to include digital-surfaced multi-focal lenses and name-brand frames (Ray-Ban, Oakley, D&G, Coach, etc). Learn more at veteranscenter.org/vopa/
Are You Listening to the Award-Winning Veterans Voice?
The Mt. Carmel Veterans Voice Podcast was awarded first place at the Colorado Broadcaster Association Awards of Excellence on April 12 in the Best Use of New Media category!

The bi-monthly radio show is a podcast and broadcast on KRDO Radio. Veterans Voice is Hosted by KRDO personality and Navy Veteran Mike Lewis, presented by USAA in partnership with Star Dental Institute.

Listen to the July 20 show
Listen to the July 6 show
Listen to the June 15 show
Listen to the June 1 show
She Nailed It!


Mt. Carmel Peer Navigator Tandi Zerfoss provides veteran family member Jazmyne Mott, 19, with pre-interview tips ahead of an interview with Great Wolf Lodge at Mt. Carmel on July 24. We learned Jazmyne is in consideration for multiple positions with the national hotel chain!
Celebrate Back-to-School with Toasty and Sox the Fox!
Free family-friendly activities for the military and veteran community at UC Health Field/Vibes Stadium on August 9, 6-9 pm, with a movie, The Sandlot, starting at dusk. Music, food trucks, s'mores, game booths, face-painting, bounce house and more! Fun carnival for kids of all ages! Visit the Mt. Carmel Team at our booth on-site!
Farewell, Nicole & SaCorra
The Mt. Carmel team bids farewell to long-time team members Nicole Holling and SaCorra Ned-Johnson. The two veterans have departed the team for career growth opportunities. An Air Force Veteran, Nicole served as our Veteran and Family Resources Director. She leaves to start a new role with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes program. A Navy Veteran, SaCorra served as our Employment and Transition Intern Facilitator. She has started a new role with the Social Security Administration in Pueblo.
Looking for a Way to Honor a Loved One?

Honor a loved one or show your support of a veteran friend or family member by purchasing a brick or paver, featured as part of our Veterans Tribute Walkway on the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center campus.

The proceeds are used to continue providing our essential veterans services. Bricks range from $175 - $200; Pavers from $750 - $850. They can even be personalized with military emblems.
To order your brick or paver,
or for additional information, visit  www.thatsmybrick.com/mtcvsc
 
Help Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center while buying things
you would normally purchase. Sign up for AmazonSmile .
 
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know.
Same products, same prices, same service.

Simply choose Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center as the charity of your choice , and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to help veterans, military and their families. It's that easy!

Shop today at AmazonSmile !
Upcoming Events
(All events at Mt. Carmel unless notes - additional events at veteranscenter.org )
Therapeutic/Trauma Focus Tai Chi
May 25, 10 - 11 am

PTS Support Group
August 1, 10 - 11 am

The Link Up Colorado Springs
August 1, 6 - 8 pm

Financial Planning Workshop by AAFMAA
August 1, 7 - 8 pm

Therapeutic/Trauma Focus Tai Chi
August 3, 10 - 11 am

Alcoholics Anonymous
August 5, 8 - 9 am

Spiritual Coverage
Meet with a chaplain
August 5, 10 am - 2 pm

Spiritual Connection Group
Non-denominational discussion of spirituality
August 6, noon - 1 pm

Veteran-X PTS-focused Group
August 6, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Yoga, PT/Trauma Relief-focus
August 6, 5 - 6 pm

How to Find God’s Plan For Your Life: Introduction to Course
August 7, 7 - 8:30 pm

Warriors First
Support group for justice-involved veterans
August 7, 4 - 5 pm

Art Therapy
Promoting stress relief and self-healing
August 7, 5 - 7 pm

Pointman Ministries
August 7, 6 - 8 pm

PTS Support Group
August 8, 10 - 11 am

CSMNG Family Movie Night at UC Health/Vibes Stadium
August 9, 6 - 9 pm – visit the Mt. Carmel booth/team

Therapeutic/Trauma Focus Tai Chi
August 10, 10 - 11 am

VetFest at UC Health/Vibes Stadium
August 10, 10 am - 5 pm – visit the Mt. Carmel booth/team

Alcoholics Anonymous
August 12, 8 - 9 am

Spiritual Coverage
Meet with a chaplain
August 12, 10 am - 2 pm

Spiritual Connection Group
Non-denominational discussion of spirituality
August 13, noon - 1 pm

Veteran-X PTS-focused Group
August 13, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Yoga, PT/Trauma Relief-focus
August 13, 5 - 6 pm

Pointman Ministries
August 14, 6 - 8 am

How to Find God’s Plan For Your Life: Introduction to Course
August 14, 7 - 8:30 pm

Warriors First
Support group for justice-involved veterans
August 14, 4 - 5 pm

Art Therapy
Promoting stress relief and self-healing
August 14, 5 - 7 pm

PTS Support Group
August 15, 10 - 11 am

Peer Navigator Social & Career Networking
August 15, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

27th Annual Salute to American Veterans Rally and Festival - Cripple Creek
Visit the Mt. Carmel booth/team
August 16 - 18, 9 am - 4 pm

Therapeutic/Trauma Focus Tai Chi
August 17, 10 - 11 am

Alcoholics Anonymous
August 19, 8 - 9 am

Spiritual Coverage
Meet with a chaplain
August 19, 10 am - 2 pm

Spiritual Connection Group
Non-denominational discussion of spirituality
August 20, noon - 1 pm

Veteran-X PTS-focused Group
August 20, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Yoga, PT/trauma Relief-focus
August 20, 5 - 6 pm

How to Find God’s Plan For Your Life
August 14, 7 - 8:30 pm

Warriors First
Support group for justice-involved veterans
August 21, 4 - 5 pm

Art Therapy
Promoting stress relief and self-healing
August 21, 5 - 7 pm

Faith Night
August 21, 6 - 7 pm

PTS Support Group
August 22, 10 - 11 am

Government Contracts for Vet/Service-disabled Small Business Owners
August 22, 8 - 11:30 am

Government Contracts for Vet/Service-disabled Small Business Owners
August 23, 8 - 11:30 am

Therapeutic/Trauma Focus Tai Chi
August 24, 10 - 11 am

Alcoholics Anonymous
August 26, 8 - 9 am

Spiritual Coverage
Meet with a chaplain
August 26, 10 am - 2 pm

Spiritual Connection Group
Non-denominational discussion of spirituality
August 27, noon - 1 pm

Veteran-X PTS-focused Group
August 27, 4:30 - 6:30 pm

Yoga, PT/trauma Relief-focus
August 27, 5 - 6 pm

Warriors First
Support group for justice-involved veterans
August 28, 4 - 5 pm

How to Find God’s Plan For Your Life
August 28, 7 - 8:30 pm

Art Therapy
Promoting stress relief and self-healing
August 28, 5 - 7 pm

Pointman Ministries
August 28, 6 - 8 pm

PTS Support Group
August 29, 10 - 11 am

Therapeutic/Trauma Focus Tai Chi
August 31, 10 - 11 am
Are you following us online and on social media?
For the latest Mt. Carmel information, events and services, visit veteranscenter.org.
Follow us on social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter;
and listen to the Veterans Voice Podcast at KRDO.com.