Legacy Zone creates lasting connections with national organizations serving veterans

Legacy Zone creates lasting connections with national organizations serving veterans

Posted on December 04, 2014 by Linda Gould

The Legacy Zone was part of an amazing series of events over four days during the Veterans Legacy Summit Nov. 14-15 in Sarasota. Culminating several years of The Patterson Foundation’s military initiative, individuals, organizations and foundations from more than 25 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico came to our community to share, learn and connect.

Many summit participants were military or families of military seeking ways to tell their stories or learn how to heal. Others were seeking ways to support those who serve and sacrifice every day for our great nation. The Legacy Zone at Sarasota National Cemetery on Saturday, Nov. 15, was a vital part of their connecting, learning and sharing. More than two dozen national-level organizations came together for the first time in one space to showcase time, talent and treasure.

Coming away with ideas and connections

Everyone who visited the Legacy Zone that day came away with thoughtful ways to recognize those who have served, are serving or may serve in our nation's armed forces. Many shared their stories along the way while constantly asking how they could best help. Vital and important networking took place among the organizations represented, along with local organizations and individuals from across the United States that visited to make connections with the national-level organizations.

The Legacy Zone was a mecca of support and education as those attending the Celebrate Service and Sacrifice program that day flowed toward Patriot Plaza. Many of the organizations learned from each other and formed bonds. Some organization representatives started their day at Zoned In while they listened to Col. Steve Parker from The White House’s Joining Forces program. Joining Forces has three pillars that focus on Employment, Education and Wellness of veterans and their families.

The Legacy Zone featured many organizations focused on those three pillars, including the Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes Program, which helps veterans and their families find jobs. In Gear Career focuses specifically on supporting active military spouses find employment.

Education was represented in many ways and included the Student Veterans of America for veterans returning to further their education in our colleges and universities. Also, organizations like Heroes on the Water and Operation Second Chance demonstrated the important role recreational support programs play in the recovery of veterans.  In the area of Wellness, organizations such as the National Military Family Association and Blue Star Families demonstrated support for military families with a myriad of programs.

A challenge to continue with enthusiasm 

As we enter into a season of sharing and gratitude, our appreciation for each other and those who sacrifice everything for our freedoms abound. We challenge you to keep moving forward with that gratitude and appreciation. Find a local or national-level organization that supports our military and their families, there are many, and gift them with your time, talent or treasure to help that soldier, sailor, airman, marine or coastguardsman and their families who quietly serve each of us every day or need our help now that they no longer serve actively but still keep our communities strong.


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