FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Over 370,000 veterans live throughout the state of Maryland. Transitioning from active duty to civilian life can be challenging, and now both a Frederick County-based organization and a local Goodwill are teaming up to build a new veteran center.
Danny Farrar and Michael Meyer are both veterans and the reality of adjusting back to civilian life after combat is an experience they’ve lived through.
“I am a suicide survivor. I attempted suicide about seven years ago. You’ve had this major growth period of your life where you had a mission, you had a purpose, you felt like you were apart of something bigger than yourself, and then you transition out of the military and all of a sudden the family’s gone, the mission’s gone, the purpose is gone,” Farrar explained.
Meyer, the CEO of the Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley and Farrar, the co-founder of Platoon 22, a non-profit focused on preventing suicide among vets, have teamed up to bring a veteran services center to Frederick.
“[During] multiple meetings with the community about community needs, and what does the community look for, one of the things that came up repeatedly was is there a way that Frederick can become more involved in serving veterans in a more comprehensive way, which was music to my ears,” Meyer said.
In May, Goodwill of Monocacy Valley kicked off a capital campaign to raise $2 million for the center.
It’s there that Platoon 22 and other organizations will provide a range of services including counseling focused on mental health, navigation through VA benefits and more.
“[Veterans are] going to be greeted by a veteran, their case management is going to be by a veteran, they’re going to have all that side of the house, but at the same time we’ll start integrating them in with the civilian workforce so that they have that transition,” Farrar explained.
Meyer says $250,000 has already been raised for the new facility.
“These services will be provided to the veterans and their families for free,” Meyer said.
Organizers say it’s further fundraising that will support the center’s services.