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Posted 7/10/2013

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By Ryan McClymont
District Public Affairs Office


SAN FRANCISCO - Roughly 300,000 active duty military service members transition back into civilian life every year and many, having faced rapid deployments to dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, struggle with the change from warrior to civilian.   

“As an organization that serves combat veterans we identify groups within the community that work with veterans and help them to make a successful transition back into the civilian world,” said Maurice Delmer, an outreach specialist for the Veterans Affairs Center in Concord.   “We really appreciate the Corps of Engineers opening up this opportunity to us.  Outings like this let the vets know that their service is appreciated and is acknowledged.”

Crewmembers from the M/V John A. B. Dillard, Jr., a San Francisco District command and control vessel, escorted 12 wounded warriors from the Concord Vet Center on a day of recreational therapy July 10.  After boarding the Dillard and receiving a safety brief, the veterans were given a quick tour of the San Francisco Bay before heading to AT&T Park to watch the Giants take on the Mets.  The group of veterans served in conflicts going back to WWII and represented all five branches of the military. 

“Time passes and people forget some of the sacrifices that these vets have made for us, so this is a way of giving back to them and showing how much we appreciate their service to our country,” said Joe Aguila, a district equal employment opportunity specialist. 

 

Aguila attended the event to represent the San Francisco district’s EEO office and to reach out and assist veterans looking for employment opportunities.

 

“I found out about this through a work study program at the vet center,” said Jeremy Robinson, a Navy veteran.  “I think it is a great event and that they put it together for disabled veterans to show their appreciation for what we did.”

 

The Dillard crew and the Army Corps of Engineers assists military veterans by supporting four wounded warriors events annually, the next event is scheduled for October where the Dillard will assist in the “Take the Rock: Veterans Swim Challenge,” a one-plus mile swim from Alcatraz Island to Aquatic Park (San Francisco), the event is open to all veterans and active duty military service members of the U.S. Armed Forces.