Though it is admirable to give recognition to veterans for their service after they are no longer with us, it’s an even bigger service to recognize and service those who are still around today. The Veterans Association of North County is paving the way, when it comes to this notion.
“We are comprised of 20 different organizations that support veterans,” says Bill Harms of the Veterans Association. “We are non-profit. No one at the veterans organization gets paid. One hundred percent of proceeds go towards what we are raising funds for.”
What exactly does the Veterans Association do to service those who have served our country? “We help returning service members transition into civilian life,” he says. “We have training and assistance so people can perform well in presentations and job interviews, and that is just one aspect of what we do to help.”
The association has been working hard setting up their headquarters, so it can serve as a highly functioning center for veterans, active duty, and their families. “We got a 60 year lease from the city of Oceanside after the police department moved out,” Bill tells us at FedHome Loan Centers. “We gutted the building, and completed the ballroom along with the kitchen at the end of January.”
The facility, nearby San Diego, will be holding The Garden Swings event on Thursday, April 2nd in Oceanside, which starts at 7 p.m. with doors open at 6:30 p.m. It will be a great event for the general public, military, and their families where they can dance and listen to live music.
Where will the proceeds of Garden Swings be going towards? “There’s a 10k square foot area adjacent to the main entrance, and it’s bare land,” Bill states. “We want to develop it into an Honor Garden. It will be a beautiful spot designed specifically to honor and recognize veterans, and active military. It’s not a memorial. It’s important that people see that it’s to thank those who are still here with us for their service.”
Everyone involved in this effort has their hearts and minds into it. Even the band performing at Garden Swings, called Get Groovin, is excited to help out. “Since I own a non-profit organization myself [Carly’s Cause], I told the booking agency who contacted me about this gig that we will do it just for gas money,” we were told by Sandi Shaner, the lead of the band.
“We, the band Get Groovin, have several connections to veterans,” Sandi says. “I lost an uncle in the Vietnam War. We all have close friends who have fought in recent wars, and the husband of one of our other singers is active duty. We also had a former drummer who was also in the military.”
“If I could tell the military anything about our band, it would be that we are good entertainment to get your mind off of things,” she tells us. “We’ve been together since 2008 and though we write our own songs, we primarily do covers. I’m the rock singer of the group, and we have a pop and a soul singer. We are a high energy, choreographed band.”
What is Sandi’s favorite song to perform live, which she hopes to maybe perform at Garden Swings? “’Signed Sealed Delivered’, by Stevie Wonder,” Sandi said, with the hint of a smile in her voice. “I’m the rock singer, but I like crossing over into that genre of music.”
The Veterans Association has big plans to keep raising funds and entertaining visiting patrons. “We’ve been doing events on Thursdays, but once May hits, we will be doing Saturday events to take advantage of those with free time on weekends,” Bill says. “We want to do events for other music acts, dancers, comedians, and be a host for different presentations.”
“I spent four years in the Air Force and another 11 years in Reserves as an officer,” Bill told us. “I have a law enforcement background, so I’m very close to military.”
In regards to the services that FedHome Loan Centers offers in regards to government loans, Bill is very passionate about VA Home Loans. “Definitely. Veterans and active duty need to know about the loan and take advantage of it,” he said. “Years ago, I took advantage of the loan and I would hope everybody that we can tell about it, and we do through meetings and so forth where we provide that information to, looks into it.”
Get more information at http://www.vancnorthcounty.org or call (760)722-1277. The Veterans Association doesn’t have any social media set up yet, as Bill told us with a laugh, “We do need to take advantage of it, soon. Our grandkids are into that sort of thing.”
Visit http://www.getgroovinband.com and like https://www.facebook.com/pages/Get-Groovin/208969525828942?fref=ts on Facebook to become a fan of Get Groovin. For more information on Sandi’s cause, visit http://www.carlyscause.com and like https://www.facebook.com/carlyscauseinc?ref=profile.
Thinking of applying for a VA Home Loan? Visit https://www.fedhomeloan.org/apply-for-a-mortgage/. For information on how to apply for a USDA Home Loan, visit https://www.fedhomeloan.org/usda-home-loan-information-resources/. For information on an FHA Home Loan, visit https://www.fedhomeloan.org/fha/.