CVA Announces foundation to "promote freedom at home"

Eye on Veterans
July 26, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Courtesy Concerned Veterans For America

There are groups within the veteran sphere that do not take sides when it comes to politics. Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is not one. But the conservative group, best known for their activities surrounding politics particularly as they relate to the VA, has a new foundation that will be focus not on legislation and activism, but on education and assistance. 

CVA recently announced the launch of the Concerned Veterans for America Foundation (CVAF), 501(c)(3) non-profit that aims to assist vets, focusing on four specific areas: transitioning to civilian life, veteran health awareness,  assisting with entrepreneurial ventures, and promoting patriotism at home. For those wondering if a group known for its involvement in politics, the non-profit classification of 501(c)(3) vs. 501(c)(4) is key as they allow for different activities.

CVA is a (c)(4), which allows for more political activity, while CVAF has the (c)(3) designation which requires it to keep a safe distance from partisan politics. CVAF Project Manager John Byrnes, who served in both the Marine Corps and National Guard, says the foundation will be centered on individual veterans rather than the legislation and big-picture ideas that are CVA's bread and butter.

"The foundation is different because we focus on education, issue education," Byrnes says. "We focus on the veterans themselves, making them both healthier, wealthier, more prosperous and better versed in the freedom they stood up for." 

Whether it's helping entrepreneurs translate the core values of their service to starting their own business, or simply teaching vets the details of how the VA works and how best to approach different issues, CVAF will focus on assisting vets on the ground-level according to CVA Executive Director Dan Caldwell, a Marine Corps vet. One thing he's quick to point out is that the foundation is not looking to push any of the VSOs to the side, but rather to work with groups like the VFW, American Legion and AMVETS.

"We want to supplement, not replace," Caldwell says. "I can't emphasize enough, whatever policy disagreements that we have, I respect the work that these organizations do with their service officers... we're identifying gaps where we thing we can add value and not replicate or try and push out somebody from a certain space because that, at the end of the day, won't help veterans that will hurt them."

In addition to various educational programs, such as a course to connect veterans and their families to resources to grow or start a business, they're testing a new resource as well.

On July 26th CVAF is hosting a beta test in Ohio of a new curriculum in collaboration with the Grassroots Leadership Academy called “Insight to Action: The VA MISSION Act." It aims to familiarize and educate vets on the utilization of the recently passed legislation. Following that test run, they say they plan to start rolling out similar courses in a number of states, the details of which will be made available at cvafoundation.org

You can hear the full interview with Caldwell and Byrnes from the Morning Briefing radio show below. To listen later, click Share and select Download from the options.

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