"Voices of Veterans" will be a panel of veterans and veteran service organizations discussing the challenges veterans face as they reintegrate into the civilian community. Veteran service programs in Massachusetts and on the Cape are integral to the success and well-being of the veterans who have given us their all.
Veterans confront visible and invisible challenges as they transition from miliary to civilian life, navigating work, family, and everyday living. Many of our veterans have experienced the physical, emotional, and mental impact of combat. All have experienced the unique military culture of service, chain of command hierarchy, self-expectations of strength and control, strong sense of rules and regulations, “never leave a brother behind” ethos, and self-sacrifice.
Understanding and addressing these challenges is imperative for both those who have served in the military and for civilians. Our veterans have not only given their all to preserve our freedoms and our way of life, but they continue to live with a strong sense of service and purpose.
Veterans represent an invaluable and unique resource for our community. Their experience is incredible. Often, they are not aware of this and do not see how valuable their military skills and experience are to the community and the workforce. To shine a light on what our veterans will be facing and the people and organizations that have developed programs and tools to serve the veterans as they reintegrate into civilian life, we will be hosting a panel discussion.
The panel discussion will be led by Steven Xiarhos, State Representative of the 5th District in Barnstable County and retired Deputy Chief of Police at Yarmouth Police Department.
FOUNDER MASSACHUSETTS MILITARY SUPPORT FOUNDATION
Don Cox is the founder and president of the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation and has been serving active-duty military, guard members, and veterans since its establishment in 2017. He is also an incorporator of USA4Vets, a national organization that aims to assist and enhance the lives of veterans and their families.
Cox has been recognized for his work and has received awards as an executive. He is a highly experienced professional in areas such as food insecurity, family programs, fund-raising, and more. He has been the founder and president of the Cape Cod Military Support Foundation since 2013 and has served as its board chair and CEO since 2019.
FOUNDER NICHOLAS G XIARHOS MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
When Steve became a Gold Star father, he started the Nicholas G. Xiarhos Foundation in honor of his son, a fallen soldier and hero. In addition, he started Big Nick’s Ride, a motorcycle road to honor his son Nicholas and 15 other Massachusetts fallen heroes.
The Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Fund supports local military families, wounded warriors, deployed military troops and other causes.
Nicholas died on the battlefield in the Garmsir District of Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan on July 23, 2009 while going to the rescue of his fellow Marines in combat. Nicholas fought for the freedom of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan . He chose to make a difference in the world and was a true American Patriot.
Former U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command Raider and Government Clandestine Services Operator and his service dog, Jax
VP DIRECTOR B FREE WELLNESS
“One Call Away” is the targeted initiative of the B Free Wellness Veterans Program. The primary focus is Veteran Suicide Prevention and Awareness. A grassroots movement founded by our VP Director, Damon Green.
Damon began saving money to purchase clothes, food, and necessities to hand out in December 2016. As word got around, he began getting donations from other people that also wanted to do their part.
Joined by his sister on Christmas Eve, he drove from Provincetown to Boston providing whatever he could for veterans in need. This later led to hosting group sessions in his home and therapy walks through the beautiful trails of the Cape.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR EMERALD HOLLOW THERAPEUTIC RIDING CENTER, INC.