Representatives from the Easter Seals Southern California and the US Department of Veterans Affairs spoke to the monthly gathering of Trans Active Duty, Reserve, and veterans at the 94th Aero Squadron Tuesday Night.
The Easter Seals representatives, John Funk Director of Operations for the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program was joined by others in his office, Al Lejarde and Adriana Gomez. All three described the program as one which helps veterans navigate their post military transition from military to civilian with employment search support. The program also works with veterans who are enrolled in college. Mr. Funk, himself a retired Navy pilot, reported that all veterans who came to the Easter Seals looking for help in finding employment found it. “We talk to the veteran and get to know them to make sure they get the right fit for employment.” Mr. Funk added that his office strives to match the veteran with the most rewarding and appropriate job. All representatives expressed the desire and willingness to work with Trans troops who are in the process of leaving the services. One Trans attendee endorsed their work and credits their office as easing her transition from the military to the civilian sector. The Bob Hope Veterans Support Program is a program of The Easter Seals and is based out of Escondido, California. More information can be found at /https://www.easterseals.com/southerncal/our-programs/military-veterans-services/
Beth Juachon who is the Military Outreach Coordinator for the San Diego Regional Office spoke briefly about the educational benefits available to veterans, focusing especially on post 9/11 veterans. She said she wanted let everyone put a face to her name and encouraged trans people to use the VA benefits that they earned for their service. For those who are interested in learning more about VA benefits go to https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage
Both agencies will be back periodically to go over their programs again.
The Trans Military gathering takes place every month at the 94th Aero Squadron at 8885 Balboa Avenue San Diego. The group meets from 7-9pm. Attendees do not need to order food or drink to attend. The event is open to Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard, veteran, and retired personnel from all services and their spouses. The next gathering will be on September 24th at 7 pm.